Date of Award

Spring 5-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. John Freeman

Second Committee Member

Dr. Steve Bounds

Third Committee Member

Dr. Paul Griep

Program Director

Dr. John Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Richard Schoephoerster


Educational leadership in public schools have struggled to service second language learners across the United States. Although support systems in urban education settings have seemed to be fully staffed, the surge of new immigrants, has posed challenges to classroom teachers. Unspoken attitudes of bias and perception of faculty members have been menacing and could have impeded equitable practice and performance of both the English language learner and the teacher. Previous research of Reeves (2002, 2004, & 2006) has inferred teachers have struggled with their attitudes toward ELLs in their mainstream classes and have indicated professional development as being essential. Specifically, high schools have had little research to indicate if progress has been made to address the issues of social justice and the effects on teacher attitudes and student performance. Inevitably, current research on secondary teacher attitudes toward ELLs in content-area subjects is important. Urban school districts have needed to hear and understand teachers’ feelings to equitably plan and employ fundamental supports of practice for teachers that can be of benefit to ELLs. Because of ongoing needs to seek further understanding of teachers attitudes toward linguistic diversity of ELLs in the mainstream classroom, a further examination of teacher attitudes within urban secondary schools, as relates to the inclusion of English Language Learners required further research. Therefore, four significant attitudinal themes were collected from teachers from the study in the form of questions. Those themes were attitudes toward: ELL inclusion in mainstream classes; modification of coursework for ELLs; ELL professional development for teachers; and teacher perceptions of second-language acquisition. The contents of the study consisted of an introduction, a literature review, the methodology (sampling and design of the study), the research findings along with a conclusion and recommendations. The study was a survey and held in the largest school district in the State of Arkansas accessing 133 faculty members who all have had contact with ELLs in their content-area subjects. Last, school leaders and districts will find the recent research document to be realistic and applicable as they navigate support for teachers that enhance ELL proficiency rates.