Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Velma Menchaca

Second Advisor

Dr. Marie Simonsson

Third Advisor

Dr. Roberto Zamora


At a time when school leaders are held accountable for academic achievement and student growth, this study served to inform school leaders, who implement bilingual education programs, on the influence their perceptions have in their students’ academic success. This study examined and described elementary principals’ perceptions about bilingual education in a district implementing an early-exit bilingual program and in a district implementing a dual language bilingual program and its effectiveness to help ELLs achieve academic success. The study focused in determining if elementary principals’ perceptions were a function of their bilingual proficiency or language discourse, level of academic knowledge of bilingual education, and years of experience in bilingual education.

An explanatory sequential mixed methods design (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011) was selected for the study. The quantitative and qualitative data collected during the study provided insight into factors that influence elementary principals’ perceptions of bilingual education programs, specifically early-exit and dual language. The data provided a look at the similarities and differences that exist amongst elementary principals about their perceptions of bilingual education in an area where stakeholders are predominantly English and Spanish speakers.

Through survey instrumentation and focus interviews, the researcher developed a picture of principals’ experiences with two different models of bilingual education. This study found that the perception held by principals regarding bilingual education can be influenced by their bilingual proficiency and academic knowledge of bilingual education.


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