Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Self-determination and elementary education: Elementary school teachers' knowledge of and use of interventions to promote the self-determination of students
by Cho, Hyun-Jeong, Ph.D., University of Kansas, 2009, 174; 3372404
Abstract (Summary)

There are five chapters in this dissertation. Chapter 1 gives an overview of self-determination for individuals with disabilities in public policy, research, and practice in the field of special education and presents the research questions that will be addressed in this dissertation. Chapter 2 provides a history and definition of self-determination and discusses in greater depth the literature on self-determination for individuals with disabilities within the field of special education. Chapter 3 describes the research procedures and data analysis methods used in this study. Chapter 4 presents the research findings with regard to each research question and Chapter 5 discusses the present research findings, how they compare with and build upon previous research, the implications of these findings and the limitations of this study.

The promotion of self-determination for students with disabilities is gaining prominence among researchers and practitioners in the field of special education. This study surveyed 407 elementary teachers in schools in a broad cross-section of the classrooms of this country. The survey asked about their understanding of self-determination, their perception of the importance of teaching it to their students with disabilities, the instructional time they devote to teaching it and the barriers they perceive that inhibit them from teaching self-determination as they might wish.

Major findings include that (a) general and special educators did not differ from each other in their evaluations of the importance of teaching self-determination related skills, nor do they differ in the instructional time they devote to teaching such skills, (b) they also were the same in their use of the 7 self-management strategies that help students become self-determined, and (c) they both assign considerable importance to providing instruction in self-determination related components and both report at least occasionally devoting time to teaching it, (d) the value teachers place on promoting self-determination does not correspond to the time they devote to promoting it, (e) access to instruction to promote self-determination for students with disabilities is not equal across educational settings, (f) students’ disability category appears to influence which components of self-determination they are taught most frequently, (g) problem solving and choice making were the most frequently taught components of self-determination, (h) more than 45% of the teachers include students in their IEP meetings, (i) frequently cited barriers to teaching self-determination to students included lack of time, competing priorities, lack of authority to decide what to teach, and lack of knowledge about how to teach these skills. Approaches for promoting self-determination for students with disabilities and for inculcating self-determination instruction into the general curriculum are discussed and recommendations for future research are offered.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Wehmeyer, Michael L.
Commitee: Carter, Judith, Horn, Eva, Kingston, Neal, Palmer, Susan
School: University of Kansas
Department: Special Education
School Location: United States -- Kansas
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Elementary education, Educational psychology, Special education, Teacher education
Keywords: Elementary school, Self-determination, Teacher survey
Publication Number: 3372404
ISBN: 978-1-109-35720-2
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