Date of Award

Spring 5-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Lynne Stratton


This case study was implemented to better understand how leaders of inclusive schools develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to improve schooling for all students. Inclusive leaders find that leadership preparation programs provide theoretical knowledge that is only minimally useful to them when they are faced with the day-to-day complexities of leading inclusive schools. The most important learning takes place through “trial by fire” on the job. They learn through experiencing critical incidents which occur over both the short and long term. These critical incidents have been categorized through this study as acute and chronic critical incident. Additionally, significant learning occurs through mentorship with seasoned leaders who have themselves learned to successfully lead inclusive schools.