The Effects of a Systematic Training Package on Secondary Special Education Teachers to Teach Self-Determination Skills to Students with High Incidence Disabilites

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Bond, Marcy Beth
Kohl, Frances L.
There has been increased interest in and concern about the level of self-determination with which secondary students with disabilities leave high school. While educators acknowledge the importance of teaching such skills, researchers have documented a lack of self-determination instruction occurring in the secondary school setting. When teaching self-determination skills to students with disabilities, two barriers most frequently cited by educators are they feel unprepared to teach self-determination skills and they are unsure how to prepare students to be active participants in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) process which determines a student's future. The purpose of this study was to determine whether secondary special education teachers could provide self-determination instruction to students with high incidence disabilities having been given systematic training opportunities. A multiple probe single subject design across three special education teachers was used. Teachers were systemically trained on the ChoiceMaker's Self-Directed IEP Curriculum™. Direct observation of self-determination instructional procedures were conducted across baseline, intervention, and maintenance conditions for three teachers during self-contained secondary special education classroom settings. The results of the study confirmed the author's hypothesis that secondary special education teachers can effectively use the ChoiceMaker's Self-Direct IEP Curriculum™ to teach self-determination skills to students of high incidence disabilities after receiving systematic training. Furthermore, IEP committee members, including the students, parents, general educators, special educators, and administrators noted an increase in active student involvement and self-determined behavior at IEP meetings. The results contribute to the self-determination knowledge base addressing teachers' preparation and confidence in teaching self-determination skills to students with high incidence disabilities.