Enormous resources are committed by universities to prepare special educators to impact student outcomes of our most vulnerable and neediest learners. Generalizing teaching skills from university to K-12 classrooms must be a component of teacher preparation curriculum; otherwise, we continue to merely train our teacher candidates and hope they sustain and generalize their newly acquired skills. Through self-reported surveys and extant data analysis, we identify the extent to which our sample of special education teacher preparation programs are teaching their teacher candidates to generalize newly acquired teaching skills to in-service settings in K-12 classrooms. Results indicate ambiguity with familiarity of generalization techniques and fidelity of implementation. Programming for generalization is absent in reviewed course syllabi, and student teaching supervisors report a disconnect between university and classroom realities. We recommend a systematic approach to programming for generalization by increasing awareness of generalization techniques through professional development, including accountability measures in course syllabi, focusing on high-leverage practices to create more cohesive preparation programs, and improving communication between instructors and student teaching supervisors. Limitations and future research recommendations are discussed.
- Teacher preparation