Evaluation of Teachers’ Attitudes towards Academic Performance of Students with Disabilities in Selected Regular Secondary Schools in Bauchi State, Nigeria
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate teachers’ attitudes towards academic performance of students with disabilities in selected regular secondary schools in Bauchi state, Nigeria. The objectives of the study were to investigate the teachers’ attitudes toward inclusion of students with disabilities into regular classrooms, assess the instructional strategies used by teachers, explore the teachers’ previous work experience, examine administrators’ support and provisions towards teachers work and compare the academic performance of students with and without disabilities in regular school settings. The study was guide by Albert Bandura Social Learning Theory and supported with Lev Vygotsky’s Guided Learning Theory. Survey and correlational designs were used. The location of the study was the three geographical zones of Bauchi state (South, Central, and North). The target population of the study was 746 regular teachers, 34 principals, 9812 students without disabilities and 614 students with disabilities. Stratified random sampling technique was employed in selecting the schools, simple random sampling was used in choosing the teachers, purposive sampling technique was used in selecting the principals, simple random sampling was used in sampling students with and without disabilities. The sample size of the study was 15 schools, 75 regular teachers, 90 students with disabilities, 90 students without disabilities and 15 principals. The instruments used for data collection were survey scales (ATIAS and LSAS), Questionnaire on Instructional Strategy (QIS), interview, Students’ Examination Records (SER) and observation checklist. Both quantitative and qualitative techniques were used in data analysis. Data collected using scales, questionnaires and students’ examination records were analyzed quantitatively using SPSS descriptive and correlational statistics. While the data gathered using interviews and observation checklist were analyzed thematically. The results of this study revealed that regular teachers hold negative attitudes towards including students with special needs, teachers with more years of work experience appeared to be more positive than those with fewer years and finally, students without disabilities outperformed students with disabilities in the selected secondary schools of Bauchi State, Nigeria. It is recommended that the regular teachers should be given more training on inclusive education; this study can be replicated in other States of Nigeria and other studies should be conducted in primary school to find out the attitudes of teachers towards the inclusion of learners with disabilities.