This essay paper provides a summary of four different articles, each article with a separate heading. Each article answers pre-assigned questions in a given order. Depending on each of the articles, this essay revolves around the concept of self-determination and key players such as special educators or teachers and students with disabilities.
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Self-Determination for Students with Disabilities Views of Parents and Teachers
The purpose of writing this article was to determine the views of special education teachers and parents of students with low and high incidence disabilities, on self-determination. In order to support their position, the authors review studies that are relevant to their topic, which relate to self-determination among persons with disabilities. These works include Sands’ and Doll’s article, Fostering Self-determination is a Developmental Task, amongst several others.
The authors address a socially essential problem by demonstrating that there is minimal past research documenting teachers’ and parents’ perceptions and knowledge of self-determination among students with disabilities. The authors identify the research questions clearly. They include parents’ viewpoints about teaching self-determination as a component of the school curriculum, students’ opportunity to express interest and make choices in school, and participation of students with disabilities in individualized education programs (IEP) meetings.
The authors view that currently, students with disabilities need instructions in order to gain empowerment and know how to advocate for themselves and evaluate options. Therefore, they need self-determination as it is the set of instructional activities that enable students with disabilities to meet their requirements. The authors argue that to establish self-determination it is essential to know the view of parents and teachers as they are the most direct contacts for students with disabilities.
The proposed change affects students with disabilities and their teachers. The results of the research found that parents support the teaching of self-determination at school, granting students opportunities to express interest and make choices, and participation of their children in IEP meetings. Findings on teachers reveal that they acknowledge that students with disabilities have opportunities, to learn and apply the skills. They present results in tables and address the research questions perfectly. Limitations to the study include the minimal rate of response to the surveys and a lack of reflection of the true beliefs of teachers and parents on the issue of self-determination. In conclusion, the findings were that both groups support self-determination for students with disabilities.
A National Survey of Teachers’ Promotion of Self-Determination and Student-Directed Learning
According to this article, the research problem pertains to the opinion of secondary level teachers in regard to the value of self-determination and matters relating to teaching skills that enhance self-determination. As a means of supporting their argument on the necessity of self-determination for students with disabilities, the authors have evaluated the works of past authors. These include the likes of Halloran who refer to self-determination as the ultimate goal of education.
It is evident from the research that the authors are addressing a socially relevant problem relating to ensuring self-determination for students with disabilities, by identifying the techniques that secondary school teachers utilize on their respective students. In addition, they highlight to the reader the numerous assessment and curricular materials that are available to teachers to assist them to promote their student’s self-determination.
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The authors identify some research questions that they address including whether teachers view instruction in self-determination as crucial, strategies they thought were effective, and the extent of instruction that should be offered depending on the severity of students’ disabilities. The authors give details describing current conditions and also provide suggestions for change needed. They argue that the current education system places intervention control in the hands of the teachers. For a change, the authors maintain that the student should have maximum intervention control in order to empower themselves through the transition process.
This will enhance individual autonomy and independence. The proposed change would affect teachers, students with disabilities, and the government as it would be required to effect changes in the education system. The authors summarize the results and findings and present them in the form of figures for easy understanding. They make use of bar graphs and tables to indicate the results. The research looked into areas of choice making, problem solving, self advocacy, decision making, goal setting, and self management. This information effectively determines the strategies that teachers ought to use in teaching self-determination.
In addition, the information addresses the issue of the extent of instruction which students should receive depending on the severity of their disability. Further, information on reasons for not teaching self-determination addresses the matter of whether secondary school teachers view self-determination education as fundamental, which they conclude in the affirmative. Limitations of the study included a limited sample of the survey as some of the respondents did not mail the survey results back. In fact, the authors estimate the return rate to be at 33 percent. Another limitation was the drawing of respondents from teachers in professional organizations such as Council for Exceptional Children (CEC).
They are more likely to be familiar with the concept of self-determination while excluding teachers who are not members of professional bodies. Findings indicate that secondary school teachers support instruction in self-determination. Nevertheless, they differ on the effective strategies to use and extent of instruction to be provided depending on the severity of students’ disabilities.
Teacher Perceptions of Self-Determination: Benefits, Characteristics, Strategies
The rationale for the research was to assess the opinions of special educators on the gains of self-determination, its characteristics, and strategies used to achieve self-determination. The authors use the work of previous authors such as McDonell and Hardman among others, who argue that there should be the maximization of participation of students with mental retardation in decision making, in schools, and within the community that they live. The authors accurately address the problem that entails giving full decision making responsibility to teachers. Thus, denying students the opportunity to participate in their educational programs in any meaningful way.
The study’s research questions relate to what self-determination skills students with mental retardation learn and the extent to which these skills are taught. Currently, there is an interest in enhancing autonomy, encouraging student-directed learning, competence, and self-determination of students with mental retardation. Nevertheless, it remains unknown how the students are being taught self-determination and to what scope. The solution they offer is to determine these two. The new information from this research affects teachers and students with mild and severe mental retardation. The authors summarize the results and findings in tables.
The data in the tables address the research questions as it provides information such as benefits of self-determination, characteristics of students, and teachers’ views of self-determination. The limitations of the study included a limited number of respondents and failure of researchers to group the respondents according to the location of the school, grade level, and the severity of the disability of students. The findings indicated strong support for self-determination instruction and teachers reported that self-determination provides numerous benefits. However, there were few educators who include self-determination skills in Individual Education Programs (IEPs).
Promoting Transition Goals and Self-Determination through Student Self-Directed Learning: The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction
The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction makes it possible for teachers to train learners with disabilities to set goals, act on those goals, and change their plans and goals as required. The purpose of the study was to determine the efficacy of this model as a tool for teachers to use in teaching how to set goals. The other rationale for the research was to determine how students receiving instructions from teachers using this model benefit in terms of goal orientation and self-determination.
The authors make reference to previous works of authors like Martin and Marshall who argue that special education has done little to enable students with disabilities to take control of their lives. The authors address a vital problem as they argue that making choices and assuming responsibility for personal choices are high values within society, especially for students with mental retardation and other disabilities. The research question deals with the efficacy of the model by considering how teachers use it and how it benefits the students. This research calls for change because studies report poor transition outcomes for students with disabilities despite the use of the best practice in the area of this area.
The new information or change would affect teachers and authors of books with information regarding self-determination among students with disabilities. The study provides a summary of the results and findings in several tables and linear graphs. Information provided by these figures such as performance results and goal attainment addresses the research question. The use of group means to determine the increase in performance was a limiting factor as the study could not determine the increase in performance of each student. The findings signified that both teachers and students with disabilities supported the use of the model in teaching.
This discussion has provided a summary of four articles by answering pre-assigned questions separately. The paper mainly dealt with matters of self-determination special, students with disabilities, and special educators.