Friday, 25 May 2012

High-Poverty Youth Self-Determination and Involvement in Educational Planning

an article by Barbara H. Washington, PhD (Murray State University, Kentucky, USA) and Carolyn Hughes, PhD and Joseph C. Cosgriff (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA) published in Career Development and Transition for Exceptional Individuals Volume 35 Number 1 (May 2012)


The authors compared involvement in educational planning and use of self-determination strategies reported by two groups of students attending a high-poverty, predominately Black high school: 19 students with severe intellectual disabilities and 20 general education seniors who were identified as successful.

Findings revealed that special education students participated in few activities (e.g., general or career education classes, transition activities, or employment) on a daily basis outside their self-contained special education classes. Special education students were significantly less likely than their general education peers to report involvement in educational planning activities or use of self-determination strategies.

Although successful general education peers did take an active and self-determined role in their high school education, they represented only 20 of 114 members of their graduating senior class. Findings are discussed in relation to increasing efforts to promote self-determination and resilience among students with severe intellectual disabilities and their general education peers who are attending high-poverty high schools.

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