This research utilized an interpretive, multiple-case design to explore how fourth- and fifth-grade charter school students with high-incidence disabilities experienced instruction to participate in their annual IEP meetings and how they described their experiences of their meetings. Using student interviews, observations of the instruction and IEP meetings, review of instructional materials, and researcher-developed tools for students to self-record data, the study focused on students' perceptions of their experiences. Specifically, this research examined factors that motivated students to participate in their IEP meetings and factors that supported and impeded their participation.
A review of the literature revealed a wide gap around research on preparation of elementary students to participate in their IEP meetings. Much of the research on how best to involve students with disabilities in their educational programming has focused on student development and training in the context of transition planning, specifically with regards to self-determination skills (e.g., problem-solving, goal-setting, self-regulation). However, researchers have suggested that students in elementary grades may require adult support and monitoring, as well as contextual practice opportunities, in order to build self-efficacy in using these skills.
Results from the research are presented separately for each student and finally compared and contrasted across students. Findings were (a) students were primarily motivated to participate in their meetings out of a need to develop competence and mastery in their academic pursuits and (b) they perceived their teachers and mothers as critical supports in their efforts. Factors found to support and impede students' participation related to: accessibility of language and content, teachers' expectations for the students' participation, level of autonomy support students received, the extent to which students perceived their voices were validated, and the extent to which students' participation focused on strengths versus deficits.
The discussion provides an analysis of motivational, support, and impediment factors through a theoretical lens that integrates self-determination theory and self-efficacy theory. The discourse highlights the importance of autonomy support to enhanced student competence and ultimately to students' more active participation in their IEP meetings. Recommendations for future research, policy, and practice are provided.
|Advisor:||Taymans, Juliana M.|
|Commitee:||Howard, Lionel C., Kester, Joan|
|School:||The George Washington University|
|School Location:||United States -- District of Columbia|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Instructional Design, Elementary education, Special education|
|Keywords:||Autonomy support, Elementary, IEP participation, Individualized education program, Self-determination, Self-efficacy, Students with disabilities|
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