Self-Determination and Inclusive Schools

Authored by: Michael L. Wehmeyer

Handbook of Effective Inclusive Schools

Print publication date:  May  2014
Online publication date:  May  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415626057
eBook ISBN: 9780203102930
Adobe ISBN: 9781136242434


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Promoting the self-determination of youth with disabilities has become best practice in secondary and transition education for students receiving special education services since the mid-1990s (Wehmeyer & Field, 2007). With the emergence of federal school reform efforts in the early 2000s, though, the importance of promoting self-determination to other valued educational outcomes, specifically access to the general education curriculum and inclusive practices, began to be recognized (Konrad, Walker, Fowler, Test, & Wood, 2008; Wehmeyer, Field, Doren, Jones, & Mason, 2004). In fact, Spooner, Dymond, Smith, and Kennedy (2006) suggested that promoting self-determination is one of several theoretically valid means of promoting such access. This chapter will present the case that, over the past decade, it has become increasingly obvious that if students with extensive support needs receiving special education services are to be effectively included in both the general education classroom and the general education curriculum, there is a need to focus on issues pertaining to self-determination.

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