SA Journal of Education, Vol 40, No 2 (2020)

Factors influencing the decision to major in special education in Saudi Arabia

Ghaleb H Alnahdi


The study reported on here examined the factors influencing the decision to major in special education in Saudi Arabia. The sample was composed of 394 preservice special education (SE) teacher participants of which 141 were female and 253 were male. Three different statistical analyses were used to examine the study data: Cronbach’s alpha coefficient for reliability; confirmatory factor analysis for construct validity; and t-test for examining significant differences. The findings indicate that participants have positive attitudes towards teaching and a high interest in special education. However, 34% of participants stated that they did not want to teach for the rest of their lives, and 16% reported that they chose this major although they were fully convinced that special education was not their preferred type of work. We concluded that female preservice SE teachers were most likely to be interested in the field of special education and held positive attitudes towards teaching. This study presents major potential implications for preparing special education teachers in Saudi Arabia and other countries.

ORCiD iD of author:
Ghaleb H Alnahdi -

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