Date of Award

Fall October 2010

Access Restriction


Degree Name

Doctorate in Education



School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Victoria Graf

Second Advisor

Kevin Baxter

Third Advisor

Mary McCullough


The Holy See (2008) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (1995) stated that all students, including those with disabilities, have the right to a quality education and special attention should be given to those who are disenfranchised by having a disability (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, 1972). Based on a literature review of characteristics that embrace inclusive Catholic school leadership in elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the following research question was developed and used as the focus for this study: How prepared do Catholic elementary school principals see themselves in carrying out the responsibilities of an inclusive leader, in relation to the four identified characteristics of justice, ethics of care, moral imperative and trust?

This quantitative study examined perceptions of Catholic elementary school principals and their preparedness as inclusive leaders to serve students with disabilities. Elementary principals in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles responded to an on-line survey, which utilized a framework that noted four characteristics that embrace social justice and confirm inclusive school leadership, those being justice, ethics of care, moral imperative, and trust. Principal preparedness was also assessed via the survey.

Results of the survey indicated that elementary principals in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles did perceive themselves as inclusive leaders, prepared to serve students with disabilities with the study examining the prevalence of justice, ethics of care, moral imperative, and trust among principals. Further, this research investigated the changing responsibilities of principals and the need for principals to embrace a collaborative approach to school leadership.