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Instructional and Assessment Strategies

January 2007 | 208 pages | Corwin

"There is not available a more comprehensive book in the area of self-determination."
—Melinda Pierson, Department of Special Education
California State University, Fullerton

"Unique because it provides direction for teaching and supporting self-determined behavior across all age groups and also within the general education classroom and curricula."
—Marianne Mooney, Senior Research Associate
TransCen, Inc., Post-Secondary Learning and Careers

Give students with disabilities powerful tools for success in school and in life!

Michael Wehmeyer and Sharon Field present research-proven instructional strategies that empower special needs students at all grade levels to make their own decisions.

Self-Determination offers detailed and current practitioner-oriented approaches in combination with extensive teacher reproducibles—all within the context of inclusion, standards-based reform, and access to the general curriculum. Linked to the IDEA requirement for individualized transition plans, this user-friendly resource assists practitioners in teaching the skills necessary for making decisions about employment, job skills, further schooling, and independent living. Educators will discover how to:

  • Encourage students to become their own advocates by practicing assertive behavior
  • Use needs-assessment techniques to determine the level of instruction required for each student
  • Teach effective choice making, problem solving, and goal setting
  • Support both families and fellow educators in their efforts to teach self-determination skills

Special education teachers, general educators, and administrators will find this handbook an invaluable guide for helping students establish their own goals and plan for a strong and healthy future!

About the Authors
1. Self-Determination: What Is It and Why Is It Important to Students With Disabilities?
Self-Determination: What Is It?

A Functional Model of Self-Determination

A Five-Step Model of Self-Determination

Self-Determination: Why Is It Important to Students With Disabilities?

Impact of Promoting Component Elements of Self-Determined Behavior

Impact of Promoting Self-Determination

2. Self-Determination in the Era of Standards-Based Reform
Promoting Self-Determination in the General Education Curriculum

Self-Determination Content in General Education Standards

Self-Determination and Curriculum Modifications

Infusing Instruction Into the General Education Curriculum Planning

Curriculum Content

3. Educational Planning and Student Involvement
IEP Planning, Access to the General Education Curriculum, and Self-Determination

Supplementary Aids and Services

Specially Designed Instruction

Other Educational Needs

Self-Advocacy and Student Involvement in Educational Planning

Promoting Self-Advocacy

Student Involvement in Educational Planning

4. Schoolwide and Classroom Ecological Interventions
Quality Indicators of Programmatic Efforts

Quality Indicator #1: Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes for Self-Determination Are Addressed in the Curriculum, in Family Support Programs, and in Staff Development

Quality Indicator #2: Students, Parents, and Staff Are Involved Participants in Individualized Educational Decision Making and Planning

Quality Indicator #3: Students, Families, Faculty, and Staff Are Provided With Opportunities for Choice

Quality Indicator #4: Students, Families, Faculty and Staff Are Encouraged to Take Appropriate Risks

Quality Indicator #5: Supportive Relationsips Are Encouraged

Quality Indicator #6: Accommodations and Supports for Individual Needs Are Provided

Quality Indicator #7: Students, Families, and Staff Have the Opportunity to Express Themselves and Be Understood

Quality Indicator #8: Consequences for Actions Are Predictable

Quality Indicator #9: Self-Determination Is Modeled Throughout the School Environment

5. Teacher-Directed Instructional Strategies
Learning Process Strategies

Modeling and Mentors

Cooperative Learning Groups


Behavioral Strategies

Teaching Component Elements of Self-Determined Behavior

Teaching Goal Setting and Attainment

Teaching Problem Solving

Teaching Decision Making

Fostering Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge

Promoting Choice Making

Attribution Retraining

Curricular Materials

6. Student-Directed Learning and Peer-Mediated Instructional Strategies
Student-Directed Learning Strategies

Antecedent Cue Regulation

Self-Monitoring, Self-Evaluation, and Self-Reinforcement


Multiple Strategy Use

The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction

Peer-Mediated Learning Strategies

7. Assessing Student Needs and and Evaluation Program
Assessing Instructional Needs in Self-Determination

The Arc's Self-Determination Scale

Self-Determination Assessment Battery

The AIR Self-Determination Scale

Program Evaluation

Empowerment Evaluation

8. Family Support for Self-Determination
How Families Impact Student Self-Determination

Strategies and Resouces to Help Family Members Learn About Self-Determination

Family Support for Self-Determination: Tips and Tools

Sharing Stories About Self-Determination

Making the Most of Teachable Moments

Providing a Positive Role Model of Self-Determination

9. Nurturing the Self-Determination of Teachers
What Do Educators Need to Know to Be Self-Determined in Their Work?

What Can Teachers Do to Build and Nurture Their Self-Determination?

Resource A. Self Determination Quality Indicators Assessment Tool
Resource B. The Arc's Self-Determination Scale

"There is not available a more comprehensive book in the area of self-determination."

Melinda Pierson, Professor of Special Education
California State University, Fullerton

"Unique because it provides direction for teaching and supporting self-determined behavior across all age groups and also within the general education classroom and curricula."

Marianne Mooney, Senior Research Associate
TransCen, Inc.
Key features
  • Extensive reproducibles, forms, and related materials for immediate teacher use
  • Easily implemented assessment techniques
  • Top research and practice knowledge brought together for classroom use

Sample Materials & Chapters

Preface_Self Determination_Wehmeyer

Chapter 1_Self Determination_Wehmeyer

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