Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Special Education

Major Professor

David Allsopp, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Sarah VanIngen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Doone, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Karen Colucci, Ph.D.


Autism, Evidence-Based Practice, Special Education, Special Education Teacher Preparation, Teacher Education


This study explored the male preservice special education teachers’ perceptions in regard to the preservice special education teacher preparation courses, practicum, and evidence-based practices that they have recently completed. The participants of the study included five preservice special education teachers from two universities, Shaqra University and King Saud University, in Riyadh (the capital city of Saudi Arabia). Qualitative interview designs were employed to gather the data, which included conducting fifteen interviews. Each participant was interviewed three times with 45-90 minutes of length for each interview. Thematic analysis was used to analyze the data. Thematic analysis is a method for identifying, analyzing, and reporting themes within data (Guest, MacQueen, & Namey, 2011). This included translating and transcribing the recorded interviews from Arabic to English, coding, and identifying themes before further in-depth analysis. Additionally, peer debriefing was employed and member checks to increase the credibility of the study and help prevent personal bias. The findings revealed that five preservice special education teachers identified the issues they faced during their four 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. Preservice special education teachers were influenced by (a) community and family (b) culture and common values (c) religion, and (e) college environment. Preservice special education teachers believed that special education programs helped them in many ways which included: (a) providing a knowledge-base related to disabilities, definitions, inclusion and special education (b) become professional (c) gaining skills in communication, problem-solving and proactiveness (d) shifting their perceptions (e) acquisition of educational skills during the practicum. Most preservice special education teachers believed they had a good relationship with their instructors, school teachers, school administration and the local government during the practicum. Findings of the study were discussed, as well as implications of the findings and recommendations for future studies.