Effective inclusive teaching practices continue to be an area of uncertainty for preservice and practicing teachers.
This qualitative study examined the lived experiences of three, general education, early childhood, preservice teachers (PST) completing a field experience in preschool classrooms for children with significant disabilities.
All three PSTs in the study were completing a semester long requisite field experience while concurrently completing an introduction to special education course.
Both the field experience and the introduction to special education course were required for their early childhood, general education certification program.
While the PSTs initially acknowledged anxiety related to working with children with significant disabilities, the levels of anxiety decreased during the experience.
Additionally, PSTs noted the importance of the pedagogical skills they acquired from their special education mentor teachers. Highly skilled, special education mentor teachers were noted being critical to a successful experience.