Administrative Support and Provisionally-Licensed Special Education Teachers: Examining Support Dimensions During a Global Pandemic

Anna Macedonia, Margaret P. Weiss


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to report on the perspectives of provisionally-licensed special education teachers as to the administrative support they experienced and felt they needed in a distance learning environment. Utilizing a three-step convenience sampling process, five provisionally-licensed special education teachers who attended a Mid-Atlantic university participated in the study and described their perspectives of administrative support. Utilizing House’s (1981) theory of social support as a conceptual framework, data was collected through participant journal entries and semi-structured interviews and analyzed through a multi-step coding process. Findings revealed that provisionally-licensed special education teachers require support across all of House’s (1981) dimensions including instrumental support, informational support, emotional support, and appraisal support. Findings include four main takeaways: (a) provisionally-licensed special education teachers require supports across dimensions, most importantly, emotional support; (b) provisionally-licensed special education teachers reported a need for school-based administrators to establish open communication to inform special education teacher roles, establish expectations of collaboration, and demonstrate care and support; (c) school-based administrators who possess a background in special education were reported to possess knowledge and skills to support special education teachers and students with disabilities; and (d) support provided to provisionally-licensed special education teachers did not always align to needed support. Recommendations for administrative support approaches for provisionally-licensed special education teachers are described and limitations and implications for future research are discussed.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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