04 SES 01 B, Improving Instruction In The Inclusive Classroom
The rapid economic, social, cultural, and political shifts of the last decades have changed our societies, calling educational studies for rethinking and designing new forms of education that better prepare students to develop the skills (making choice, taking risks, having control over outcomes, assuming responsibility for personal action, setting goals and problem solving) needed across their life to full exercise active citizenship (European Commission, 2019).
Self-directed (Knowles, 1975) and self-determined learning (Hase & Kenyon, 2013) represent two interesting approaches to support students to set educational goals based upon their own interests, abilities, and needs, meaningfully participate in decisions, implement strategies that enable them to modify and regulate their own behavior, and utilize strategies that support them to track their progress and, eventually, to modify their action plan.
This is even more crucial in the case of young persons with disabilities, specifically intellectual, who generally experience low levels of personal autonomy and few possibilities of freely making the most common choices of everyday life (Devi, 2013). Researcher have highlighted the need to identify new forms of educational paths aimed at supporting these students in implementing self-determined actions in everyday life. Achieving these results would also allow to undermine infantilizing, overprotective, substitute, assistive attitudes still affecting and discriminating them today (Giraldo, 2020; Besio, 2020).
To this end, special education studies have developed specific models and programs of intervention and coherent strategies to promote self-determination in educational and didactic contexts, such as individualized educational plans (Martin et al., 1993; Van Reusen & Bos, 1994), transition planning (Wehmeyer & Lawrence, 1995; Wehmeyer & Schwartz, 1997), person-centered approaches (Vandercook, York & Forest, 1989) and self-directed teaching methods (Field & Hoffman, 1996; Wehmeyer, Agran & Hughes, 1998; West, Taymans & Gopal, 1997).
A first development of research in this direction, relating to students with intellectual disabilities, was carried out by the research group of the University of Kansas, headed by Wehmeyer and colleagues, who created two specific models, the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI) (Wehmeyer et al., 1998) and the Self-Determined Career Design Model (SDCDM) (Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003). Following the construct of self-determined learning, these models aim at supporting the agency of the students with intellectual disability in school and post-secondary transition (Wehmeyer et al., 2000).
Starting from a preliminary presentation of the SDLMI and the SDCDM, this paper intends to investigate: 1) the operative applications of the two models in high school contexts (phases, times, subjects involved, materials, educational support); 2) the components of the self-determination construct on which they act; 3) the impact they have on the self-determination of students with intellectual disabilities.
The data presented in this paper were selected starting from a theoretical review of the scientific sources (primary/secondary) relating to the experimentation and use of the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction and Self-Determined Career Design Model with people with disabilities intellectual. All the works included (13 scientific articles and a volume chapter) were identified from the following databases: SocIndex, Psych ARTICLE, Pubpsych, EBSCO host, PsychINFO, Science Direct. The search was conducted in December 2020 (from 10th to 20 th ) and the databases were queried using an advanced search resulting from the combination of the following keywords (AND and OR represent the Boolean operators used): a) intellectual disability or mental retardation; b) self-determination or self determination; c) Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction; d) Self-Determined Career Design Model. To systematize the data, a reading form was prepared based on the model for the analysis of qualitative studies developed by Law et al. (2007). The information collected was therefore grouped into the following categories: a. Bibliometric indicators: name of the journal; Source-Normalized Impact for Paper (SNIP); Scimago Journal Ranking (SJR); year of publication; name of the authors and their geographical area of origin; DOI code and type of publication. b. Characteristics of the studies: purposes and results. c. Characteristics of didactic planning: phases, times, subjects involved, instructional materials, educational supports. d. Components of the self-determination construct involved.
This work analyzes, on a pedagogical and didactic level, the two models Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction and Self-Determined Career Design Model, based on self-determination researches in the field of special education, with particular reference to persons with intellectual disabilities (Wehmeyer et al., 2000). Conceptually founded on the self-directed learning construct (Shogren et al., 2016), they share a dual purpose: on the one hand, to allow teachers to structure their educational-instructional proposals, within specific teaching and learning programs. student-directed (Lee et al., 2015); on the other hand, to support students to act self-determined behaviors (Agran, Blanchard & Wehmeyer, 2000; Shogren et al., 2012). According to the literature (Hase & Kenyon 2000; Canning, 2010), the analysis of the phases and educational support proposed in the SDLMI and in the SDCM confirms the importance of some specific components of self-determination (such as, for example, choice-making or decision-making) and of the students’ agentic engagement. Emerging evidence suggest that enhanced self determination contributes to more positive outcomes (Wehmeyer, Agram & Hughes, 1998). These elements work to overcome the crystallization that often characterizes the life of students with intellectual disability, who often lacking specific personal and professional skills and real possibilities offered by the life context, and delegating decisions, even the most common ones (Wehmeyer & Metzler, 1995).
Agran M., Blanchard C., Wehmeyer M.L. (2000), Promoting transition goals and self-determination through student self-directed learning: The self-determined learning model of instruction. Education and Training in mental retardation and developmental disabilities, 351-364. Field S., Hoffman A. (1996), Promoting self-determination in school reform, individualized planning, and curriculum efforts, in M.L. Wehmeyer, D.J. Sand, Self-determination across the life span: Independence and choice for people with disabilities (pp. 197-213). Baltimore: Paul Brookes Publishing. Hase S., & Kenyon, C. (2000). From andragogy to heutagogy. UltiBase. Retrieved on January, 2021, from http://ultibase.rmit.edu.au/Articles/dec00/hase2.htm Hase S. & Kenyon, C. (2013). Self-Determined Learning: Heutagogy in Action. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Knowles, M.S. (1975). Self-directed learning: A guide for learners and teachers. Chicago: Follett Publishing Company. Lee, S.H., Wehmeyer, M.L., & Shogren, K.A. (2015). Effect of instruction with the self-determined learning model of instruction on students with disabilities: A meta-analysis. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 237-247. Law, M., Stewart, D., Letts, L., Pollock, N., Bosch, J., & Westmorland, M. (1998). Guidelines for critical review of qualitative studies. McMaster University Occupational Therapy Evidence-Based Practice Research Group. Shogren, K.A., Palmer, S.B., Wehmeyer, M.L., Williams-Diehm, K., & Little, T.D. (2012). Effect of intervention with the Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction on access and goal attainment. Remedial and Special Education, 33(5), 320-330. Shogren, K.A., Gotto, I.V., George, S., Wehmeyer, M.L., Shaw, L., Seo, H. & Barton, K.N. (2016). The impact of the Self-Determined Career Development Model on self-determination. Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, 45(3), 337-350. Wehmeyer, M., & Lawrence, M. (1995). Whose future is it anyway? Promoting student involvement in transition planning. Career Development for Exceptional Individuals, 18(2), 69-83. Wehmeyer, M.L., & Metzler, C.A. (1995). How Self-Determined Are People With Mental Retardation? The National Consumer Survey. Mental Retardation, 33(2), 111. Wehmeyer, M.L., & Schwartz, M. (1997). Self-determination and positive adult outcomes: A follow-up study of youth with mental retardation or learning disabilities. Exceptional children, 63(2), 245-255. Wehmeyer M.L., Agran M., Hughes C. (1998), Teaching self-determination to students with disabilities: Basic skills for successful transition. Paul Brookes Publishing, Baltimore. Wehmeyer, M.L., Palmer, S.B., Agran, M., Mithaug, D.E., & Martin, J.E. (2000). Promoting causal agency: The self-determined learning model of instruction. Exceptional Children, 66(4), 439-453. Wehmeyer, M.L., & Palmer, S.B. (2003). Adult outcomes for students with cognitive disabilities three-years after high school: The impact of self-determination. Education and training in developmental disabilities, 24(2), 131-144.
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