Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The EXTENT PROFESSIONAL and MORAL AUTHORITIES ARE EVIDENT in FEDERAL INCLUSIVE EDUCATIon POLICIES This study was conducted to investigate landmark federal inclusive policies in relation to leadership styles, specifically characteristics related to Sergiovanni's (1992) professional and moral leadership authorities. Research is markedly limited regarding what federal inclusive education policies say about school and district leadership. This enlightenment concerning the lack of guidance in the field of educational leadership practice, federal education policy, and inclusive learning methods is significant. Current literature supports the examination of federal education policies in relation to educational leadership. There is currently a gap in research involving leadership and policy. It is important to uphold continued research in relation to examining the treatment of educational leadership within federal policy (Young, Winn, & Reedy, 2017). My study has followed suit and determined the extent professional and moral authorities are evident in inclusive federal policy. School and district leaders are responsible for ensuring an equitable education for all students. This study focuses on determining the extent Sergiovanni's (1992) professional and moral leadership authorities are evident in federal educational policies focusing on inclusive practices spanning from 1965 through 2016. Six federal landmark inclusive policies were analyzed in this study. the policies spanned over 50 years, 1965-2016. Policies were analyzed through the conceptual framework of Sergiovanni's (1992) five leadership authority to determine the extent professional and moral authorities were evident. Policy statements referencing leadership were analyzed and coded according to the framework. Through the examination of federal policy I determined that together, professional and moral authorities were evident in over half of all the coded statements. Though professional authority is the highest noted in policy, moral authority was actually third. Coming in second was technical-rational authority. the least noted authority was psychological and bureaucratic authority was fourth. the findings of the study will assist school and district leaders as they respond to the need of diverse learning needs and providing quality inclusion settings. for policy writers, the enlightenment of knowledge regarding the consequences of the five types of leadership authorities and how to ensure language in future policies encourage moral and professional authority. for higher education, and contributors of professional development the results of this research provide an understanding on best practices for effective leadership when leading inclusive learning environments.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.