What Challenges do Special Education Teacher Educators Encounter While Preparing Novice Special Education Teachers?

Laurie A. Sharp, Ed.D.
Frank Goode, Ed.D.


Special education teacher preparation programs must ensure that their program requirements sufficiently prepare preservice teachers to become high-quality special education teachers.  The purpose of the present study was to address a void in available literature by examining the challenges that special education teacher educators encounter while preparing future special education teaching professionals.  A survey research design was utilized to ascertain the viewpoints of special education teacher educators concerning the preparation of preservice teachers.  Data were collected among 46 special education teacher educators who were affiliated with university-based special education teacher preparation programs in a state located in the Southern United States.  Relevant data were analyzed with three levels of coding and constant comparisons, which generated six categories.  Findings for each category were reported, along with implications for internal and external preparation program stakeholders.  Limitations with the present study were acknowledged, as well as recommendations for future research studies.

Keywords: preservice teachers, special education, teacher educators, teacher preparation programs

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