Exploring Preservice Teachers' Perceptions of Preparedness to Teach Students with Disabilities

Linda M. Reeves, Ph.D.
Rebecca M. Giles, Ph.D.
Todd Johnson, Ph.D.

University of South Alabama


The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of initial special education experiences on elementary preservice teachers’ knowledge and comfort level regarding students with disabilities. A total of 109 preservice teachers enrolled in a dual teacher certification program (general and special education) were surveyed before and after their semester long training in special education to investigate their perceptions of preparedness to teach students with disabilities. There was a significant increase in the preservice teachers’ knowledge across all disability categories. A significant increase in their comfort level occurred across all disability categories with the exception of behavior disorders. As follow up, approximately one-third of the participants completed a questionnaire which provided additional qualitative data. The results support that field experiences with students who have disabilities seems to be an influential factor in preparing teachers to become more knowledgeable and comfortable meeting the needs of these students. The implications of this study for practice and future research are discussed.

Keywords: preservice training, special education, inclusive education, mixed-methods

Read or Download

  • To Read this Article - or Download this Article (login required)

  • To Download the Entire SPRING-SUMMER 2019 Issue of JAASEP -  (login required)

NASET Members -  Login to Access These Files.


Not a Member?

If you are a member of NASET, please login to freely access this and all archived articles of JAASEP

If you are NOT A MEMBER of NASET you may purchase this article of JAASEP for $4.95 (use the "Buy now" button below):

OR Buy the entire issue of JAASEP SPRING-SUMMER 2019 for $19.95. Use the BUY NOW button below:

OR - Join NASET and have access to this & ALL PAST ISSUES of JAASEP - JOIN NASET

Return to the Table of Contents - CLICK HERE

forgot username or password?