Making Inclusive Education Work in Nigeria: Evaluation of Special Educators' Attitudes

Paul M. Ajuwon

Abstract


The researcher investigated the attitudes toward inclusive education held by 141 special educators in Nigeria. Participants were administered a modified version of the Attitudes Towards Inclusion in Africa Scale (ATIAS). The scale was divided into four factors, namely, Behavior Issues, Student Needs, Resource Issues, and Professional Competency. The mean score for each of the ATIAS factors was compared by categories of eight descriptive variables. Female respondents indicated more confidence in their professional competency to teach special needs children than male respondents. Younger respondents and those with prior training in inclusion were more likely than their counterparts to believe that adequate resources were available to assist teachers to implement inclusion. Advanced formal education was associated with a greater tolerance for negative behaviors (that are sometimes connected with special needs students) and with a more positive attitude toward special supports for students with sensory disabilities. Special educators employed in Northern states were more likely than their Southern counterparts to believe that students with behavioral issues should attend their neighborhood schools. Participants expressed in open-ended comments their concerns that schools lack trained special education personnel, specialized materials, and architecturally-friendly buildings. Recommendations were made for the successful practice of inclusion in Nigeria.

Keywords: inclusive education; Nigeria; special educators; attitudes; behavioral issues; student needs; resource issues; professional competency


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v32i2.3198

Copyright (c) 2012 Paul M. Ajuwon



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