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Overview of Self-determination. Self-determination learning model of instruction teacher guide Colleen A. Thoma Virginia Department of Education Virginia Training and Technical Assistance Center Virginia Pilot Schools (Franklin County, Richmond City, Prince Edward County, Montgomery County).

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overview of self determination

Overview of Self-determination

Self-determination learning model of instruction teacher guide

Colleen A. Thoma

Virginia Department of Education

Virginia Training and Technical Assistance Center

Virginia Pilot Schools (Franklin County, Richmond City, Prince Edward County, Montgomery County)

definition of self determination
Definition of self-determination
  • Acting as the primary causal agent in one’s life and making choices and decision regarding one’s quality of life free from undue external influence or interference

--Wehmeyer, 1996

later definition
Later definition
  • A combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior. An understanding of one’s strengths and limitations together with a belief in oneself as capable and effective are essential to self-determination. When acting on the basis of these skills and attitudes, individuals have greater ability to take control of their lives and assume the role of successful adults.

- Field, Martin, Miller, Ward & Wehmeyer, 1998.

like any skill people are at different levels
Like any skill, people are at different levels
  • It doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone will be independent in all these tasks, or that anyone would choose to be so.
  • Instead, it’s about knowing where you are, and making decisions about where you want to be, and putting the pieces of supports in place to get there.
why is this important
Why is this important?
  • Better outcomes associated with
    • Inclusive education (do better in academics while still in K-12 education)
    • Post-school outcomes
      • Employment (more likely to have jobs, and earn more money)
      • Community living (more likely to live where they want)
      • Post-secondary education (more likely to enter and remain in college)
why is this important1
Why is this important?
  • Olmstead Supreme Court Decision
    • States must provide options for community living/employment if people with disabilities choose that option, and are determined to be capable
    • Virginia’s plan includes goal of teaching self-determination/self-advocacy skills to students with disabilities in 9th grade (and those older who have not had that training)
Okay, so we know why it’s important to teach self-determination skills
  • What else do we need to know?
core component skills
Core Component Skills
  • Wehmeyer breaks self-determination down into 11 core component skills
  • Each make up part of what it means to be self-determined
choice making
  • Involves making a choice among two known options
  • Do I want to vacation at sea or at a mountain resort?
decision making
Decision making
  • Involves choosing among more than two known options
  • Example…I want a job where I work with animals and I know that those include being a veterinarian, owning a kennel, becoming a dog walker/pet sitter, and being a veterinarian technician.
problem solving
  • Solution is not readily known
  • Decision making or choice-making is usually part of the process
  • This is integral to the process of implementing the self-determined learning model of instruction!
goal setting attainment
Goal setting & attainment
  • This is the process of determining how you’re going to accomplish what you want.
  • Not just the process of setting a goal, but also figuring out how to implement it, and how to know when you’ve arrived!
self regulation
  • Includes:
    • self-observation
    • self-evaluation
    • self-reinforcement
self instruction skills
Self-instruction skills
  • Teaching students to provide their own verbal prompts for solving an academic or social problem
  • Has been used successfully to solve job-and work-related problems and to teach social skills.
self advocacy and leadership
Self-advocacy and leadership
  • Self-advocacy: skills necessary to advocate for oneself. Advocate refers to being able to speak up or defend a cause or a person.
    • Involves knowing one’s rights (as a citizen and as a recipient of services)
    • Involves understanding how to be assertive, how to communicate in large groups, and how to navigate through systems and bureaucracies.
internal locus of control
Internal locus of control
  • Belief that one has control over outcomes that are important to one’s life
  • If no internal locus of control, the belief is that reinforcement is result of outside forces: luck, fate, chance and/or powerful others.
positive attributions of efficacy and expectancy
Positive attributions of efficacy and expectancy
  • Self-efficacy: the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce a given outcome
  • Efficacy expectations: belief that if a specific behavior is performed, it will lead to anticipated outcome
self awareness self knowledge
Self-awareness & self-knowledge
  • Know one’s owns strengths, weaknesses, abilities and limitations
  • Know how to utilize these unique attributions to beneficially influence one’s quality of life
  • We need to spend more time helping students with disabilities identify their strengths!
focus of self determination
Focus of self-determination
  • Has been student involvement in IEP meetings
  • Great way to learn, practice, and have impact
  • Although they are clearly linked, they are not synonymous
  • Student who decides to “opt out” of bureaucratic process is demonstrating self-determination
  • This is the teaching of skills to student
  • This is the area where we’ve placed the majority of our focus
  • Not enough to focus all our efforts here!
  • This is at the interaction level, and where we as teachers need to change our ways of interacting
  • We have to listen, and use that information to guide what we do
  • This is the focus on the policies and procedures that are in place that can support or be barriers to student self-determination
  • What do we need to do for IEP meeting process, for policies in school, etc.
  • This is bigger than the school setting, with a focus on culture, laws, and mores of society
  • This is harder to influence, but needs to be addressed as possible supports and/or barriers to student self-determination.
what does this mean for us
What does this mean for us?
  • When you’re going through the self-determined learning model of instruction, you’re going to need to help students identify both supports and barriers to their goals at each of these levels. The success of use of this model will be in the degree to which you and students focus on each of these levels.
activity break into groups of 3 look at the true false statement and discuss why it is false
Activity: Break into groups of 3.Look at the true/false statement and discuss why it is FALSE.
true or false
True or False?
  • Self-determination is the same as self-actualization (Be all that you can be!)
  • Some individuals have disabilities that are too profound for them to be self-determined
  • If self-determination isn’t taught at home, then there’s nothing we can do at school
  • If someone engages in challenging behavior, then they can’t be self-determined because we have to have more control over their day
true or false1
True or False?

5. Some individuals will make inappropriate choices or choose to do nothing

6. Some individuals need a highly structured environment with planning and systemic instructional opportunities and that means we can’t allow them to make choices (i.e., be self-determined)

7. Program standards and regulations concerning education prohibits our teaching self-determination skills