Abstract

Abstract The main aim of this study is to study the attitudes towards teaching handicapped pupils among a group of Nigerian student teachers. A 13-item Likert-type scale, specially constructed to measure attitudes towards the teaching of handicapped pupils, was administered to 149 Nigerian student teachers, of differing ethnic and educational backgrounds. The respondents were also questioned about their preferences for teaching certain types of handicapped pupils. It was found that female student teachers had a much more favourable attitude towards teaching the handicapped than male student teachers. Student teachers under twenty-five had more favourable attitudes towards teaching the handicapped than older student teachers. Ibo students showed the most favourable attitudes towards teaching the handicapped, and specialist-trained students showed more favourable attitudes towards teaching the handicapped pupils than their counterparts who had not been specially trained. When it came to preferences for teaching certain categories of handicap, a clear sex difference appeared. Almost half of the 101 males nominated teaching the mentally handicapped as their first choice, with only about 10% selecting the visually handicapped as their first choice. The situation was reversed in the case of the females, with over a third selecting visual handicap as their first choice, and only about 10% selecting mental retardation as their first choice.

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