This study explored preservice special education teachers’ perceptions regarding special education teacher preparation courses, practicum, and evidence-based practices they recently completed. The participants of the study included five preservice special education teachers from two universities, Shaqra University and King Saud University, in Riyadh. A variety of qualitative interview designs, such as semi-structured interviews and in-depth interviews were employed to gather the data. This involved conducting a total of 15 interviews. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Additionally, peer debriefing and member checks were used to increase the credibility of the study and help prevent personal bias. The study aimed to explore the perceptions of five preservice special education teachers specializing in autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities regarding their experiences in special education teacher preparation in Riyadh universities. The findings revealed that the five preservice special education teachers identified the issues they faced during their 4 years in teachers preparation programs as: (a) limited content of educational strategies and Evidence-Based Practices (b) classroom communication was one-sided (c) redundant content in textbooks (d) course content is focused on theory instead of practical knowledge (e) lack of supervision by their faculty adviser and school members during the practicum.


teacher education, autism, special education teacher preparation, evidence-based practice, qualitative interview design

Author Bio(s)

Salman Almughyiri is an assistant professor with the Department of Special Education, College of Education in Al-Kharj, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, Al-Kharj 11942, Saudi Arabia. Please direct correspondence to s.almughyiri@psau.edu.sa


This study is supported via funding from Prince sattam bin Abdulaziz University project number (PSAU/2024/R/1445)

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