ERG SES D 08, Health and Education
The aim of this research is to explore the knowledge, attitude and practice of inclusive education for young people with Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Lagos, Nigeria. The in depth mixed methods case study of a young person with ASD in mainstream school, should reveal the impact of the knowledge, attitude and practice by the key professionals and parents around them on the outcome of the implementation of the Nigerian inclusive education policy.
The research questions for this study are:
- What are the knowledge, attitudes and practices of key individuals (teachers, parents and professionals) regarding autism and inclusive education?
- How might these impact on the experience of young people with autism?
The theoretical framework underpinning the study is Bronfrenbrenner’s bioecological model of human development. The theory is used as a tool to explore the individuals in the social systems of the child in the particular context under study. These individuals either directly as a teacher or parent or indirectly as policy makers and members of the community affect the outcome of inclusive education for the young person with ASD.
The first phase of the theory, the ecology of human development studied the growing human being in their immediate environment, in the settings and the larger social contexts in which they are embedded in (Bronfenbrenner, 1977). The second phase focused more on developmental processes and the role of the individual. In the third phase the interactions among proximal processes, personal characteristics, context and time link to the developmental outcome of effective inclusive education. Since the research is about all these elements of the bioecological theory of human development, this phase of the theory is best suited as a tool to study inclusive education in the mainstream classroom. The PPCT (process, person, context, time) model has not been used in the study of children with ASD in mainstream school and the individuals around them.
The educational policies in Nigeria have been influenced by the British who were the colonial masters. There are two significant stages of educational policy in Nigeria and they are the colonial and independent periods (Garuba, 2003; Imam, 2012). The British educational policy was adopted in Nigeria by the colonial administrators without consideration for the aspirations and needs of the Nigerians. The traditional educational system was also ignored by the administrators in the development and planning of education (Fabunmi, 2005; Nomisham, 2014). Right from the introduction of educational policy formulation in Nigeria the people for whom the policies are being formulated were not involved and their peculiar needs were not considered. The post-colonial educational policies were formulated by the federal government with the implementation left to the appropriate tier of government without any law or guidance to back the policies (Nomishan, 2014).
The first national policy on education was published in 1977 and it is the ‘first indigenous education policy.’ (Fabunmi, 2005). The policy has been revised three times (1981, 2004 and 2008) resulting in four editions with changes. Imam (2012) argued that since the Nigeria “National policy on education is dynamic and subject to amendments so as to make it relevant and effective in addressing societal problems and meeting the needs of the pluralistic Nigeria society” the people should be included in the policy process (Imam, 2012; Obiakor & Offor 2011).
Bakare, M. O., Ebigbo, P. O., Agomoh, A. O. and Menkiti, N. C. (2008) Knowledge about childhood autism among health workers (KCAHW) questionnaire: description, reliability and internal consistency. Clinical practice and epidemiology in mental health, 4 (17) Bakare, M. O., Ebigbo, P. O., Agomoh, A. O., Eaton J., Onyeama, G. M., Okonkwo, K. O., Igwe, M. N., Orovighwo, A. O., & Aguocha, C. M. (2009) Knowledge about childhood autism and opinion among healthcare workers on availability of facilities and law caring for the needs and rights of children with childhood autism and other developmental disorders. BMC Pediatrics, 9 (12) 12 Bakare, M. O., Agomoh, A. O., Ebigbo, P.O., Eaton, J., Okonkwo, K. O., Onwukwe, J. U. and Onyeama G. M. (2009) Etiological explanation, treatability and preventability of childhood autism: a survey of Nigerian healthcare workers opinion, Annals of general psychiatry 8 (6) Bakare, M.O., Munir, K. M. (2011) Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in Africa: a perspective. African journal of Psychiatry 14 208-210 Bakare, M.O. & Munir, K. M. (2011) Excess of non-verbal cases of autism spectrum disorders presenting to orthodox clinical practice in Africa – a trend possibly resulting from late diagnosis and intervention. SAJP 17 (4) Bakare, M. O., Ebigbo, P. O. & Ubochi, V. N. (2012) Prevalence of autism spectrum disorders among Nigerian children with intellectual disability: A stopgap assessment. Journal of health Care for the poor and underserved, 23 (2) 513- 518 Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977) Toward an experimental ecology of human development. American Psychology July 1977 Fabunmi, M. (2005) Historical analysis of educational policy formulations in Nigeria: Implications for educational planning and policy. International journal of African and African American studies IV (2) Garuba, A. (2003) Inclusive education in the 21st century: Challenges and opportunities for Nigeria. Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal, 14 (2) 191-200 Imam, H. (2012) Educational policy in Nigeria from the colonial era to the post- independence period. Italian journal of sociology of education 1 Ni, P. & Gabriel-Brisibie, C. (2015) Awareness of autism amongst primary school teachers in Yenogoa, Bayelsa Niger . J. Paed 42 (1) Niaz, M. (2008) A Rationale for mixed methods (integrative) research programmes in education. Journal of Philosophy of education 42 (2) Nomishan, D. A. (2014) Education in Nigeria: Reflections and global perspectives. Xlibris Corporation USAA. Robson, C. (2002) Real world research. 2nd edition. Blackwell publishing, Oxford, UK. Robson, C. (2011) Real world research. 3rd edition. Blackwell publishing, Oxford, UK.
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