Policy and Practice of Special Education: Lessons and Implications for Education Administration from Two Countries


Over 10% or 650 million people around the world live with disabilities of which 150 million of them are children. International conventions, pronouncements, and declarations have greatly influenced governmental policies and practices on the education of children with disabilities worldwide, especially in developing countries. The policy and practice of the education of children with disabilities have taken international dimension with the United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) sponsored declaration on Education for All by the year 2015. Most developed countries, especially the United States, have had decades of experience establishing and reforming their public education systems to guarantee appropriate education for all children with disabilities, while developing countries, like Nigeria, are just in the pioneering states of providing public education for children with disabilities. In this paper, the authors examine the different journeys of the two countries, the United States and Nigeria, on the path of the education of children with disabilities and proffer possible lessons to be learned from both countries for the mutual improvement on the policies and practices of special education. Implications for the administration and practice of special education in both countries are also examined.