Kenneth Kapalu Muzata Teaching Skills of Special Education Students During Teaching Practice: The Case of the University of Zambia Pre-Service Special Education Students
This was a qualitative study of special education students that were doing teaching practice in 2016. The study sought to establish Special Education student teachers’ skills and abilities to balance between Special Education as a major and the teaching subject as a minor when teaching learners with special educational needs. It further established the pedagogical challenges they faced teaching learners with special education needs. Fifteen students were purposively and conveniently sampled to take part in the study. Data were collected by the use of the University of Zambia evaluation form and post-lesson discussions characterised by questions on certain behaviours performed in class. The findings of the study revealed that students concentrated on demonstrating skills in their teaching subjects than special education as their major. Students lacked skills for teaching learners with special education needs in the inclusive classroom. It was further established that students were not adequately prepared with skills for inclusive teaching. The study recommends adoption of the Practice-Based Approach by Benedict, A., Holdheide, L., Brownell, M., & Foley, M.A., (2016) to help prepare reflective teachers for special education. The study further recommends the strengthening of the teaching methodologies course and appropriate posting of students to schools where they can practice effectively.