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ATTITUDES OF PARENTS AND TEACHERS TOWARDS CHILDREN WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES IN SOME SELECTED SPECIAL SCHOOLS

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Abstract

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

1.2    Statement of the Problem

1.3    Purpose of the Study

1.4    Research Questions

1.5    Significance of the Study

1.6    Scope of the Study

1.7    Definition of Terms

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW   

2.1 Introduction 

2.2 Types of Disabilities        

2.3 Attitude Formation

2.4 Societal Attitudes towards Persons with Disabilities      

2.5 Parental Attitudes Toward Education of their Children with Disabilities        

2.6 Parental Involvement in the Education System   

2.7 Socio-Economic Status of Parents of Learners with disabilities       

2.8 Gender and Education    

2.9 Theoretical Framework   

2.9.1 Person Centered Theory       

2.9.2 Social Learning Theory of Attitude Formation   

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1    Research design

3.2    Sources of Data

3.3    Population of the study

3.4    Sampling technique

3.5    Instrumentation

3.6    Reliability

3.7    Validity

3.8    Method of Data Collection

3.9    Method of Data Analysis

3.10  Ethical consideration

CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

4.1    Results

4.2    Discussion

CHAPTER FIVE: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1    Conclusion

5.2    Recommendation

References

Abstract

This research work is designed to investigate on the attitude of parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities in some selected special schools, area of Ogun State. This work attempts to find out the attitudes and solution to the attitudes of parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities. The study employed a descriptive survey method. Random sampling method was utilized in selecting 50 random respondents for the study. The study used both primary and secondary methods for data collection. The study recommended that with the right attitude and framework, teachers can start the learning process on an equal footing for all students including those with disabilities and help them to take responsibility for their learning and exploration.

Chapter One

Introduction

1.1   Background of the Study

The process of providing education to children with learning disabilities is considered one of the most prominent challenges the human community is encountering. This started as a result of the negative attitudes that prevailed against the communities during the 50s and the 60s of the past century calling for separating learners with special needs from their regular peers and assigning them to special classes. So many empirical studies were conducted to assess the effectiveness of the separation and it really worked with the international community agreeing that more than 10% of school age children in every community suffer from at least one disability (Rocklin, 1994).

Furthermore, the special education estimates that disability, reaches 15% in developing countries (Conrin, 1994).

The United Nations Declaration on the rights of Disabled Persons (1981) and the 17th World Congress of Rehabilitation held in Nairobi in 1991, emphasized on the need for all governments and individuals to integrate persons with disabilities into the life of their societies and to ensure that they become economically independent. To implement this vision, various services and programmes to promote the self–actualization of persons with disabilities have been initiated in different parts of the world (UNESCO, 1981). The Kenyan government has adhered to this and introduced special needs education to take care of learners with disabilities and in some cases integrated them with their able-bodied counterparts. The government has also enacted and implemented the Education For All Handicapped Children Act (1975). The Act was later amended to Individuals with

Disabilities Education Act and establishes basic principles for educating children with special needs (Hedrick, 1997). 

Following the Act, there has been increased access to educational opportunities, training of specialized teachers, physical facilities and specialized schools. The Kamunge Education Commission Report of 1988 observed that the government provides education opportunities to persons with disabilities through special needs education. Special needs education is charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the time spent in school by these special needs learners helps them to attain self-actualization and fully develop their potentials. The government has established a number of special schools in the country to cater for such children. According to Education For All (2000), enrolment in special schools at primary school level has increased from 6,115 in 1990 to 8,978 in 1998. The number of schools has also risen from 62 in 1990 to 107 in 1998. 

There has also been an increase in the number of integrated programmes from 184 in 1990 to 655 in 1998. For the visually handicapped category, there are 19 programmes sponsored by Sight Savers International (SSI), with a total of 1040 blind children having been integrated into regular primary and secondary schools. Integration of the deaf is only done at the secondary school level. The integration of the physically handicapped has been done at all levels of education system. The current trend is towards more integration and less segregation of the learners with disabilities. So far 11,000 have been integrated in regular schools in the country.  The specialized, regular and integrated schools for the hearing impaired, physically and visually impaired follow the same education and sit for the same national examinations. In so doing, learners with disabilities compete equally with their normal children at all levels. 

At the secondary level, number of schools for the visually handicapped has not increased due to the aggressive integration programme by SSI and the low vision project by Christofel Blinden Mission (CBM). Enrolment in the secondary schools for the hearing impaired has increased from 110 in 1990 to 268 in 1998. This is attributed to the effort by welfare organizations to provide physical facilities and supply teaching staff. The educational placement for children with mental disabilities in the country depends on the severity of the retardation. Specifically, children with mild to moderate mental disability are placed in special units, whereas children with severe to profound mental disabilities are placed in residential-type segregated schools (Education For All, 2000).

Special education includes a group of education alternatives that can be provided for learners with special needs, according to the kind of difficulty of the learner and the votality of the special classes. Nayak, 2008 examined the attitude of both parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities and found that teachers look forward to teaching these children and are ready to face the challenges. It also states that parents discuss the problems and this helps to take effective measures to bring the children to mainstream.           

1.1.1         Learning Disability

Learning disability is a classification including several areas of functioning in which a person has difficulty learning in a typical manner, usually caused by an unknown factor or factors. While learning disability and learning disorder are often used interchangeably, the two differ.

Learning disability refers to significant learning problems in an academic area. These problems, however, are not enough to warrant an official diagnosis. learning disorder, on the other hand, is an official clinical diagnosis, whereby the individual meets certain criteria, as determined by a professional (psychologist, predicatrician, etc). The difference is in degree, frequency, and intensity of reported symptoms and problems, and thus the two should not be confused. When the term “learning disabilities” is used, it describes a group of disorders characterized by inadequate development of specific academic language and speech skills.

The specific causes of learning disabilities are not clearly understood, however, these disorders are presumably related to central nervous system dysfunction or from genetics to nutrition to pre-birth and early childhood injury.

Although all learning disabilities are different, students with learning disabilities report some common problems, including slow and inefficient reading, slow essay-writing, with problems in organisation and the mechanics of writing and frequent errors in math calculation.   

1.2   Statement of the Problem

Attitudes of parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities is a challenge to every society, especially in Nigeria. A lot of debates, seminars and conferences have been held to discuss this issue but the problem is far from being solved. Rather, it seems to be going worse everyday particularly among teachers in primary secondary schools. This research work is basically to investigate on the attitude of parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities in some selected schools in Ogun State.

1.3   Purpose of the Study

  1. To examine the various kinds of learning disabilities suffered by school children.
  2. To enlighten parents and teachers on how to test and notice, associate and educate the learning disabled. 
  3. To minimize isolation or discrimination between other children and to minimize negative stereotype on special need children.

1.4   Research Questions

  1. How would you describe parents attitude towards children with learning disabilities?
  2. What are teachers attitude towards children with learning disabilities?
  3. Are children with learning disabilities ready to learn?
  4. What support do government, teachers and parents provide for children with learning disabilities? 

1.5   Significance of the Study

The research work is specially designed to examine the attitudes of parents, and teachers towards children with learning disabilities in some selected special schools in Ogun State.

  • It will call the attention of parents’ attitudes towards their children will learning disabilities.
  • It will call the attention of teachers’ attitudes towards children with learning disabilities.
  • It will call the attention of government attitudes towards children with learning disabilities.
  • To know the level of education of the children with learning disabilities. 

1.6   Scope of the Study

This study will focus attention on the factors responsible for the attitude of both parents and teachers towards children with learning disabilities. It will lay emphasis in the need of special training and supportive service for teachers in Nigeria.

1.7   Definition of Terms

Disability: An illness, injury or condition that makes it difficult for someone to do the things that other people do.

Learning: The activity of obtaining knowledge. Knowledge obtained by study.

Attitude: The act of a person towards something either positively or negatively. The way you think about somebody. Confident, sometimes aggressive behaviour that shows you do not care about other people’s opinions and that you want to do things in an individual way.

Parent: A person’s father or mother.

Teacher: A person whose job is teaching especially in a school.

Impact: Having a strong effect.

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