04 SES 06 C, Effective Provision: Models
Parallel Paper Session
It is widely accepted that pupils with special educational needs (SEN) benefit enormously from the implementation of individualized, intentional and planned interventions (e.g., Pretti-Frontczak & Bricker, 2000; Wolery, 2000). These interventions are usually translated into Individualized Educational Plans (IEP), an essential instrument that contributes to “bridge (...) ‘what is’ and ‘what can be’” (Thompson et al., 2009, p. 138). In fact, individualization is referred in the literature as the nuclear factor for intervention effectiveness (Wolery, 2000). Nevertheless, the IEP has long been regarded by many professionals as a bureaucratic procedure with little impact and utility (Lynch & Bear, 1990; Reiher, 1992), therefore constituting the first vehicle of segregation. In fact, whilst a strong relationship between assessment, goals and service provision has been ascertained as the best practice to meet the students’ needs (Bagnato, Neisworth & Munson, 1997), several studies evidenced a mismatch between students’ assessments and services, interventions and supports provided (e.g. Silveira-Maia & Lopes-dos-Santos, 2009). Frequently, the focus has been on the person’s deficits and type of disability and not on the supports they need to live a fulfilling life in their environments (Thompson et al., 2009). Thus, in order to align the IEP design with the students’ special educational needs it is fundamental to comprehensively identify and analyse their functioning and disabilities (Bagnato, Neisworth & Munson, 1997). Specifically, the goals and objectives of an IEP, if adequately designed, can contribute to the development of the pupils. However, there is little information on how to write a goal and some studies have shown that individualized goals are often poorly written (Boavida, Aguiar, McWilliam, & Pimentel, 2010).
The provision of supports in Portuguese schools ranges from adaptations and accommodations to access general curriculum to highly individualized curriculum, where the students’ involvement in functional contents based on life contexts is prescribed (Decree-Law 3/2008, article 21º, point 3). A more functional curriculum is addressed for students with more severe disabilities (Sanches-Ferreira et al., 2010) and means that the school must prepare the students in life skills required for all aspects of an independent everyday functioning and foresee the student’s transition for daily environments after they leave school (Pretti-Frontczak & Bricker, 2000).
Following this line, the overall aim of this paper is to examine the quality of the goals established for students with SEN and how they fit the students’ level of severity, and their demographic characteristics (age, gender). In this sense, we studied two broad dimensions: (1) the general quality of the goals designed in the IEP’s; (2) if the goals established for students supported by a highly individualized curriculum reflect their need of more functional contents, following the perspective of independence in everyday functioning.
Bagnato, S., Neisworth, J., & Munson, S. (1997). LINKing assessment and early intervention : An authentic curriculum-based approach. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes Publishing. Boavida, T., Aguiar, C., McWilliams, R., & Pimentel, J. (2010). Quality of Individualized Education Program Goals of preschoolers with disabilities. Infants & Young Children, 23(3), 233-243. Decreto-Lei n.º 3/2008 (Decree-Law 3/2008). Ministério da Educação. Diário da República – Série n.º 4 – 7 de Janeiro de 2008, pp. 154–164. Lynch, E., & Beare, P. (1990). The quality of IEP objectives and their relevance to instruction for students with mental retardation and behavior disorders. Remedial & Special Education, 11(2), 48-55. Notari-Syverson, A., & Shuster, S. (1995). Putting real-life skills into IEP/IFSPs for infants and young children. Teaching Exceptional Children, 27(2), 29-32. Pretti-Frontczak, K., & Bricker, D. (2000). Enhancing the quality of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals and objectives. Journal of Early Intervention, 23(2), 92–105. Reiher, T. (1992). Identified deficits and their congruence to the IEP for behaviorally disordered students. Behavioral Disorders, 17(3), 167-177. Sanches-Ferreira, M., Simeonsson, R., Maia, M., Pinheiro, S., Tavares, A., & Alves, S. (2010). Projecto da Avaliação Externa da Implementação do Decreto-Lei n.º 3/2008: Relatório Final. Lisboa: Direcção-Geral de Inovação e de Desenvolvimento Curricular. Available in: http://www.dgidc.min-edu.pt/educacaoespecial/data/ensinoespecial/estudo_simeonsson.pdf Silveira-Maia, M. & Lopes-dos-Santos, P. (2009). The ICF-CY Use to Support Disability Documentation and to Plan Interventions on Individualized Education Programs. Proceedings of 1st International Congress of Educational Research, Turquia. Thompson, J., Bradley, V., Buntinx, W., Schalock, R., Shogren, K., et al. (2009). Conceptualizing Supports and the Support Needs of People with Intellectual Disability. Intellectual and Development Disabilities, 47(2), 135-146. Wolery, M. (2000). Recommended practices in child focused interventions. In S. Sandall, M. E. McLean, & B. J. Smith (Eds.), DEC recommended practices in early intervention /early childhood special education (pp. 29–37). Longmont: Sopris West.
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