American Journal of Applied Psychology
ISSN (Print): 2333-472X ISSN (Online): 2333-4738 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2018, 6(1), 1-7
DOI: 10.12691/ajap-6-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Investigation of Principals’ Attitude towards Inclusion of Special Needs Students in Public and Private Secondary Schools in Rivers State, Nigeria

Ugwu Chinelo Joy1, and Onukwufor Jonathan N1

1Department of Educational Psychology, Guidance & Counselling University of Port Harcourt Rivers State Nigeria

Pub. Date: April 11, 2018

Cite this paper:
Ugwu Chinelo Joy and Onukwufor Jonathan N. Investigation of Principals’ Attitude towards Inclusion of Special Needs Students in Public and Private Secondary Schools in Rivers State, Nigeria. American Journal of Applied Psychology. 2018; 6(1):1-7. doi: 10.12691/ajap-6-1-1


The study examined principals’ attitude and factors that influence their attitudes towards implementation of inclusive education in secondary schools in Port Harcourt Metropolis, Rivers State, Nigeria. A survey design was used and samples of 116 principals through stratified random sampling were selected. Data on principals’ attitude towards inclusion regarding their knowledge of special education, type of school, gender and years of service in general education setting were collected using an adapted instrument titled: Scale of Teachers’ Attitude Towards Inclusive Classroom (STATIC) developed by Cochran (1997). The instrument has a reliability coefficient of 89. Data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistics. Result indicates that high percentage of school heads had positive attitude towards inclusion. Principals with knowledge of special education showed high positive attitude towards inclusion than those without prior knowledge. Gender, years of service, and the type of school they head (public/private) did not produce significant difference. Every Principal should have fair knowledge of inclusive education for proper implementation of inclusive education because the principals’ role cannot be overemphasized. This study will spur more research on the role of principals’ attitude in the implementation of inclusive education in Nigeria and the need to improve their knowledge on special education.

attitude inclusion special needs children principals

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Aiden, H. & McCarthy, A. (2014). Current attitudes towards disabled people. Retrieved from
[2]  UK Office for National Statistics (2014). Million life opportunities survey, understanding disability wave two. Retrieved from index.html.
[3]  European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (2015). Agency Position on Inclusive Education Systems. Odense, Denmark: European Agency. Teacher Education and Special Education, 24(1), 58-69.
[4]  Booth, T. & Ainscow, M. (2002). Index for inclusion. Bristol: Center for Studies on Inclusive Education.
[5]  Dupoux, E., Wolman, C., & Estrada, E. (2005). Teachers’ attitudes toward integration of students with disabilities in Haiti and the United States. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 52, 43-58.
[6]  UNESCO (1994). The Salamanca Statement and Framework for Action on Special Needs Education. Adopted by the World Conference on Special Needs Education: Access and Quality. Salamanca, Spain: UNESCO.
[7]  Riser, R. (2014). What's happening with inclusive education around the world. Retrieved from
[8]  Nigerian National Policy on Education (2013). National Policy on Education 6th Edition. Lagos: NERDC.
[9]  Cushing, L. S. & Kennedy, C. H. (1997). Academic effects of providing peer support in general education classrooms on students without disabilities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30(1), 139-151.
[10]  Cole, C. M., Waldron, N, & Majd, M. (2004). Academic progress of students across inclusive and traditional settings. Mental Retardation, 42(2), 136-144.
[11]  Mittler, P. (2000). Working towards inclusive education: Social context. London: David Fulton.
[12]  Zigmond N,& Baker JM.(1995). An exploration of the meaning and practice of special education in the context of full inclusion of students with learning disabilities. The Journal of Special Education. 29,109-115.
[13]  Barton, L. & Armstrong F. (2007). Policy experience and change: Cross-cultural reflection’s on inclusive education. Dordrecht: Springer.
[14]  Vaz, S., Wilson, N., Falkmer, M., Sim, A., Scott, M., Cordier, R., Falkmer, T. (2015): Factors associated with primary school teachers’ attitudes towards the inclusion of students with disabilities, PLoS ONE, 10(8), 1-12.
[15]  Kvam, M. H. & Braathen, S. H. (2006). Violence and abuse against women with disabilities in Malawi. Oslo: SINTEF.
[16]  Waldron, N., & McLeskey,. J. (2010). Establishing a collaborative culture through comprehensive school reform. Journal of Education and psychological Consultation, 20(1), 58-74.
[17]  Loreman, T. (2002). Teacher Education and Inclusion. Paper presented at the 13th World Congress of Inclusion International, Melbourne, Australia.
[18]  Nwanne, A. I. (1996). The perceptions of public school principals in the state of Texas toward selected United States Supreme Court decisions concerning desegregation issues. (ERIC Document Reproduction Services: ED 301921).
[19]  Ball, K. & Green, R. L. (2014). An investigation of the attitudes of school leaders toward the inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting. National Forum of Applied Educational Research Journal, 27 (1/2), 57-76.
[20]  Gous, J., Eloff, I, & Moen, M. (2013). How inclusion is understood by principals of independent schools. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(5), 535-552.
[21]  Dash, N. (2006). Inclusive education for children with special needs. New –Delhi: Atlantic Publishers.
[22]  Ajzen, I. and Fishbein, M. (2005) The Influence of Attitudes on Behavior. In: Albarracín, D., Johnson, B.T. and Zanna, M.P., Eds., The Handbook of Attitudes. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
[23]  Praisner, C.L. (2003). Attitudes of elementary schools principals toward the inclusion of students with disabilities. Exceptional Journal of Inclusive Education, 18(5), 535-552.
[24]  Boyle, C., Topping, K. & Jindal–Snape, D. (2013). Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion in high schools’ teachers and teaching. Theory and Practices, 19(5), 527-542.
[25]  Ainscow, M. and Sandill, A. (2010). Developing inclusive education systems: the role of organizational cultures and leaders. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(14), 104-111.
[26]  Topping, K. & Jindal-Snape, D. (2013). Teachers attitudes towards inclusion in high schools. Journal of Teachers and Teaching, 19(5), 527-542.
[27]  Mthethwa, G.S. (2008). Principals’ knowledge and attitudes regarding inclusive education: Implications for curriculum and assessment, master’s thesis, University of Zululand. Retrieved from
[28]  Smith, C. W. (2011). Attitudes of secondary school principals toward inclusion of students with disabilities in general education class. Electronic Dissertation. Retrieved from
[29]  Boyle, M.J. & Hernandez, C.M. (2006). An investigation of the attitudes of catholic school principals towards the inclusive of students with disabilities. Journal of Catholic Education, 20(1), 190-119.
[30]  Nguluma, H., Bayrakcı, M., & Titrek, O. (2017). School administrators' attitudes toward inclusion of children with disabilities in the general education classrooms. International Journal on Lifelong Education and Leadership, 3(2), 1-12.
[31]  Embich, J. L. (2001). Relationship of secondary education special education teachers’ roles and factors that led to professional burnout. Teacher Education and special Education, 24, 58-69.
[32]  Sharma, U. & chow, E.W. S (2008). The attitudes of Hong Kong primary school principals towards integration education. Asia Pacific Education Review, 9, 380-391.
[33]  Ramirez, R.C. (2006). Elementary principals ‘’attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities in the general education setting (Doctoral dissertation, Baylor University).
[34]  Livingstone, M., Reed, T., & Good, J. W. (2001). Attitudes of rural school principals towards inclusive practices and placements for students with severe disabilities. Retrieved from gston-0102.htm.
[35]  Agbenyega, J. & Deku, P. (2011). Building new identities in teacher preparation for inclusive education in Ghana. Retrieved from
[36]  Vazquez, M.F. (2010). Inclusionary practices: impact of administrators’ beliefs on placement decisions. (Doctoral Dissertation) University of Central Florida. Retrieved from Maria F 201005 EdD.pdf.
[37]  Mashiya, J. N. (2003). Educator’s Attitudes towards Inclusive Education. Unpublished M.Ed Thesis, University of Zululand.
[38]  Tsakiridou, H. & polyzopoulou, K. (2014). Greek Teachers attitudes towards the Inclusion of students with special educational needs. American Journal of Educational Research, 2 (4), 208-218.
[39]  Bhatnagar, N. and Das, A. (2014) Attitudes of secondary school teachers towards inclusive education in New Delhi, India. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 14, 255-263.
[40]  Almeida, P. (2015). Inclusion of students with disabilities in private schools around the world. Retrieved from
[41]  UNESCO (2018). Global percentage in enrollment in secondary education in private institutions. Retrieved from
[42]  Cochram, H. K. (1997). The development of psychometric analysis of the scale of teachers ‘attitudes towards inclusion (STATIC). Retrieved from
[43]  Papadopoulou, D., Kokaridas, D., Papanikolaou, Z., & Patsiaouras, A. (2004). Attitudes of Greek physical education teachers toward inclusion of students with disabilities. International Journal of Special Education 19 (2), 106-111.