Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Inclusive Education; Case Study of Young Person with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Nigeria

  • Remi Odunsi

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis explores the impact of knowledge and attitude in the practice of inclusive education in Lagos State, Nigeria through the case study of a young person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in a mainstream primary school. The study looked at how the inclusive education policy adopted by the country in their National education policy (2004, 2008) is formulated and implemented in schools. The study identified the mechanisms that were constraining the process of inclusive education at the different levels of the social systems in which the schools are embedded and the reasons for the poor implementation of the policy.

The survey of the teachers which was carried out by questionnaire revealed that their knowledge and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder is generally low. The age and qualification of the teachers were linked to the level of knowledge of ASD. The interviews of the key professionals around the young person with ASD confirmed the link between the age and qualifications of the professionals to their knowledge and attitudes towards young people with ASD and disabilities in general. The professionals, including the teachers who have knowledge and understanding of ASD are not sharing them with those who do not have because of the lack of leadership at the school, local authority and the national level needed in promoting inclusive education. The education administrators at the local authority level who are supposed to monitor the implementation of the policy in schools are constrained by their low level of knowledge and negative attitude. The Federal ministry of education that is responsible for the special needs education in the country stopped at the formulation of the policy without clear guidance on its implementation at the different levels of local authority and school.

The study concluded with recommendations for the implementation of the recently formulated Special Needs Education Policy that is accompanied by guidelines. The negative attitudes from the cultural beliefs and values can be addressed through knowledge and understanding of SEND. The knowledge is needed by all involved in education of people with special needs as this will enhance their practice of inclusive education. This knowledge that the country needs is already available through the professionals and teachers that were trained in the teacher training colleges and universities specially designated for that purpose. The training of teachers can be done by the teachers and professionals who have the knowledge of the different types of SEND. All the education administrators from the school, local authority level up to the national level that are responsible for the implementation of the policy need the knowledge that can come through training and continuing professional development as well as multi-agency approach to management of people with disabilities.
Date of AwardMay 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorPhilip Garner (Supervisor) & David Preece (Supervisor)


  • autism
  • ASD
  • Nigeria
  • inclusive education

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