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Ambumulire Itimu-Phiri (third from left) receives Marg Csapo Scholarship at 13th Biennial Conference, Vancouver, Canada

Ambumulire N. Itimu-Phiri - Malawi

Ambumulire N. Itimu-Phiri is a lecturer in Education and Teaching Studies at Mzuzu University. She is completing her PhD in Education with a focus in Special Education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Her Doctoral dissertation examines factors that impact development of self-determination of young adults with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has worked in teacher education and special education research in Malawi since 2003. Her training and work experience in special education has been with teacher training, research and education of children and youth with moderate to severe developmental disabilities ranging from emotional and behavior disorders, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorders. Ambumulire's research interests are in Early-childhood Special Education, Teacher Education and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.

Contact Information

Ambumulire Itimu-Phiri

Mzuzu University

Department of Education & Teaching Studies

Private Bag 201

Mzuzu, Malawi, SE Africa

Telephone: +265 320575

Additional Information



University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Candidate for Doctor of Philosophy in Education with a focus on Special Education & Teaching and Learning Processes

Dissertation topic: An analysis of factors that impact the development of self-determination behavior of young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders participating in a school-to-work transition program. (Expected completion date: May 2014)


University of Missouri- St. Louis, Missouri, USA

Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies


Belhaven University, Jackson Mississippi, USA

Masters of Arts in Teaching

(Emphasis in Mild to moderate disabilities)


African Bible College, Lilongwe, Malawi

Bachelor of Arts Degree (Christian Education)


Itimu-Phiri, A.N., Safuli, S.D., Jere, D.R., & J. L., & Nyirenda, D.M.C. (2009). The Art and Science of Teaching. Mzuzu, Malawi: Mzuzu University.

Itimu, A. N. & Kopetz, P. B. (2008) Malawi Special Needs Education (SNE): Perspective and Comparisons of Practice and Progress. Journal of Research in Special Education Vol. 9 No 3 pp. 153-166.

Chavuta A., Itimu-Phiri A.N., Chiwaya S., Alindiamawo G. & Sikelo N.A. (2008). Baseline study on inclusive education in shire highlands education division of Malawi: a project of Montfort Special needs College and Leonard Cheshire disability International.

(Available online

Itimu, A.N. (2007) Supporting children with Special Needs: An assessment of challenges faced by special education teachers in Malawi’s primary schools. Funded by Mzuzu University Research and Publication Division.

Ndengu, D.M.C., Nyirongo, N.K., & Itimu, A.N. (2005) Early childhood education in Malawi: A baseline study. Funded by Commonwealth Education Fund (CEF) in partnership with Mzuzu University.


Phiri, A. N. I., (2013, July). Factors that support successful post-secondary education transition for adolescents diagnosed with autism and other co-morbid disorders. Paper delivered to the 13th International Conference on Topics in Special Education, International Association of Special Education, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Phiri, A. N. I., & Cress, S. N. (2013, March) Mentor Relationships within a Small Learning Community: A qualitative Inquiry of how they form and function. Paper presented to the 9th Qualitative Research Conference, University of Missouri, St. Louis, USA.

Phiri, A.N.I. (2012, October) Supporting students with special needs-Strategies that promote meaningful participation. Beginning Teachers Assistance Program (BTAP), J.C. Penney Building, UMSL Campus, St. Louis, MO.

Kopetz, P., and Phiri, A.N.I. (2011, September). Differentiating instruction for special populations – Examining learners with Autism. Beginning Teachers Assistance Program (BTAP), J.C. Penney Building, UMSL Campus, St. Louis, MO.

Kopetz, P. B. & Itimu-Phiri, A.N. (2009, July). Survey of Preferred Instructional Practices and State of Inclusive Practices in Malawi. Paper delivered to the 4th International Conference on Topics in Special Education, International Association of Special Education, Alicante, Spain.

Phiri, A.N.I. (2007, June) Facilitation of the development of the Gender and Education Training Manual for Mwazisi and Katowo CIDA-JESP Project. A gender awareness and school improvement program that was intended to help empower community leaders to curb issues of early marriage and high rates of school drop-out for girls in Mwazisi and Katowo areas of Northern Malawi. The project was funded by the Livingstonia Synod of Malawi with Help from the Canadian International Development Aid.

Itimu A.N. (2005) Realizing “Education for All” from a Special Needs Education Perspective. Paper Presentations presentation made at Curriculum and Assessment for Quality Education in the 21st Century, Sun ‘n Sand, Mangochi, Malawi.    Organized by the Malawi Institute of Education.

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