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Self-determination and elementary education: Elementary school teachers' knowledge of and use of interventions to promote the self-determination of students

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: Hyun-Jeong Cho
Abstract:
There are five chapters in this dissertation. Chapter 1 gives an overview of self-determination for individuals with disabilities in public policy, research, and practice in the field of special education and presents the research questions that will be addressed in this dissertation. Chapter 2 provides a history and definition of self-determination and discusses in greater depth the literature on self-determination for individuals with disabilities within the field of special education. Chapter 3 describes the research procedures and data analysis methods used in this study. Chapter 4 presents the research findings with regard to each research question and Chapter 5 discusses the present research findings, how they compare with and build upon previous research, the implications of these findings and the limitations of this study. The promotion of self-determination for students with disabilities is gaining prominence among researchers and practitioners in the field of special education. This study surveyed 407 elementary teachers in schools in a broad cross-section of the classrooms of this country. The survey asked about their understanding of self-determination, their perception of the importance of teaching it to their students with disabilities, the instructional time they devote to teaching it and the barriers they perceive that inhibit them from teaching self-determination as they might wish. Major findings include that (a) general and special educators did not differ from each other in their evaluations of the importance of teaching self-determination related skills, nor do they differ in the instructional time they devote to teaching such skills, (b) they also were the same in their use of the 7 self-management strategies that help students become self-determined, and (c) they both assign considerable importance to providing instruction in self-determination related components and both report at least occasionally devoting time to teaching it, (d) the value teachers place on promoting self-determination does not correspond to the time they devote to promoting it, (e) access to instruction to promote self-determination for students with disabilities is not equal across educational settings, (f) students' disability category appears to influence which components of self-determination they are taught most frequently, (g) problem solving and choice making were the most frequently taught components of self-determination, (h) more than 45% of the teachers include students in their IEP meetings, (i) frequently cited barriers to teaching self-determination to students included lack of time, competing priorities, lack of authority to decide what to teach, and lack of knowledge about how to teach these skills. Approaches for promoting self-determination for students with disabilities and for inculcating self-determination instruction into the general curriculum are discussed and recommendations for future research are offered.

vii Table of Contents

Chapter I: Introduction1 Summary 7 Problem Statement 8 Research questions 9 Chapter II: Review of Literature 16 History of Self-Determination 16 Definitions of Self-Determination 18 Impact of Self-Determination on Post Secondary school outcomes and Quality of Life in adulthood 19 Interventions Promoting Self-Determination 21 Self-Determination in Early Elementary school 31 Importance of Social and Physical Environments to Promote self-determination in students 36 Teachers’ Perceptions of Self-Determination 38 Conclusion 49 Chapter III: Method 52 Participants 52 Power analysis 52 Procedures 53 Research Design 53 Threats to Internal Validity 54 Instrumentation 54 Reliability 56

viii Data Analysis 56 Chapter IV Results 69 Research Question 1 70 Research Question 2 72 Research Question 3 75 Research Question 4 77 Research Question 5 79 Research Question 6 82 Research Question 7 85 Research Question 8 87 Research Question 9 89 Research Question 10 91 Research Question 11 93 Research Question 12 94 Research Question 13 95 Research Question 14 97 Research Question 15 98 Research Question 16 99 Research Question 17 101 Research Question 18 102 Research Question 19 103 Research Question 20 104 Research Question 21 107 Research Question 22 108 Research Question 23 108

ix Research Question 24 110 Table 25 113 Chapter V Discussion 123 Conclusion and Implication 125 Research Question 25 127 References 136 Appendix A Cover Letter of Survey 152 Appendix B Survey Instrument 155 Appendix C Demographic and Professional Information 164

1 CHAPTER 1: Introduction Promoting self-determination for students with disabilities has been an important focus of policy, disability advocacy, research, and practice in the field of special education since the mid-1980s, when educators increasingly became concerned about the poor post-secondary outcomes of students with disabilities (Ward, 2006; Shogren, Wehmeyer, Palmer, Soukup, & Little, 2007). Such concerns continue today. Recent research studies find that the majority of students with disabilities are not living outside of their parents' homes, do not obtain competitive employment, and are not accessing community activities even two years after leaving high school (Wagner, Cadwallader, Garza, & Cameto, 2004; Wagner, Newman, Cameto, Levine, & Garza, 2006). Several studies have examined what contributes to successful post-school outcomes. Data from the second National Longitudinal Transition Study (NLTS-2) (Wagner et al., 2005) identified several educational variables, including self-determination, as related to improved post-school outcomes. The NLTS-2 findings mirror findings from research conducted over the past decade pertaining to the self-determination of students with disabilities. Wehmeyer and Schwartz (1997), for example, followed up with students with intellectual and learning disabilities nine to 12 months after they graduated from high school to examine the impact of their self-determination on post-school outcomes. Results from this study showed that students with higher levels of self-determination had more positive outcomes after high school, including employment at jobs that allowed them to earn higher wages and maintaining checking and savings accounts, than did their peers who were less self-determined. These students and an additional cohort were

2 surveyed three years later (Wehmeyer & Palmer, 2003). This study replicated findings from the Wehmeyer and Schwartz, indicating that students with higher levels of self- determination were more likely to experience positive adult outcomes in the areas of employment, post-secondary education, and independent living both one and three years after leaving high school. Expanding on the findings that students with disabilities achieved more positive post-secondary outcomes, Getzel and Thoma (2008) conducted focus groups with 34 college students with disabilities to examine the role of self-determination in helping them stay in college and obtain the support they needed to succeed. These students identified self-determination (e.g. self-advocacy, goal setting and attainment strategies, and self-management )as major factors in their college success. Similarly, Robbin, Allen, Casillilas, and Peterson (2006) examined self-management, academic, social, and motivational attributes as predictors of college success for over 1400 students and found a positive correlation between self-determination and academic performance. Further, self-determination has been conceptualized as a core dimension of quality of life and research has found a positive association between a person’s level of self-determination and his or her level of quality of life. For example, Wehmeyer and Schwartz (1997) examined the association between self-determination and quality of life for 50 adults with intellectual disability and found that participants in a high self-determination group experienced a higher quality of life than did their peers who were less self-determined. Similarly, Lachapelle, Wehmeyer, Haelewyck, Courbois, Keith, and Schalock (2005) assessed the relationship between level of self- determination and quality of life for people with intellectual disability living in

3 Canada, the United States, Belgium, and France, and found that, overall, higher self- determination predicted higher quality of life. Current school reform efforts, including both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), call for a heightened emphasis on accountability to improve student achievement in academic areas for all students, and promoting self-determination has been proposed as a means to achieve this outcome (Wehmeyer, Field, Doren, Jones, & Mason, 2004). Wehmeyer and colleagues (2004) observed that most state and local student achievement standards across multiple content areas and grade levels contain language pertaining to component elements of self-determined behavior—such as goal setting, problem solving, and self-regulation—that all students are expected to address in the general education curriculum. As such, promoting self-determination becomes important as a means for students with disabilities to gain access to the general education curriculum (Lee, Wehmeyer, Palmer, Soukup, & Little 2008; Wehmeyer et al, 2004). There are several reviews of studies measuring the effects of self-determination intervention on students with disabilities (Algozzine, Browder, Karvonen, Test, & Wood, 2001). Test, Fowler, Brewer, and Wood (2005), for example, examined the effect of interventions to promote self-determined behavior related to classroom success. They concluded that these interventions generally resulted in diminished aggressive behavior(Martin, Mithaug, Cox, Peterson, Van Dycke, & Cash, 2003), on-time task(Agran, Cavin, Wehmeyer and Palmer (2006), improved problem solving skills (Palmer, Wehmeyer, Gipson, and Agran, 2004), and better academic performance (Agran, Cavin, Wehmeyer and Palmer, 2006; Palmer &Wehmeyer, 2003).

4 Several instructional strategies and models have been proposed to promote self-determination in the context of the general education classroom and curriculum. The Self-Determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLMI), described in detail in Chapter 2, is a model of teaching that enables educators to teach students to self- direct learning by enabling them to set goals, develop action plans to achieve, and self-evaluate progress toward those goals. The SDLMI has been identified as an effective intervention to improve academic access to the general education curriculum (e.g. Agran, Wehmeyer, Cavin, & Palmer, 2008; Palmer & Wehmeyer, 2003; Lee et al., 2008). Another line of research relevant to self-determination has focused on teaching students with disabilities to participate in their Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting (Algozzine et al., 2001; Test et al, 2005). Results from studies in this area have found that providing direct instruction on how to actively and meaningfully participate in the IEP process enhanced the participation, knowledge, and performance of students with disabilities in their IEP meetings. Despite these beneficial outcomes, research has found that too few teachers implement instruction to promote the self-determination of students with disabilities (Agran, Snow, & Swaner, 1999; Mason, Field, & Sawilowsky, 2004; Thoma, Nathanson, & Baker, 2002; Wehmeyer, Agran, & Hughes, 2000). The reasons this is so are complex, but in these studies teachers identified several factors —such as the lack sufficient training or information to teach skills related to self-determination, the lack of time to teach self-determination related skills, and the unavailability or lack of knowledge about published curricular or instructional methods for teaching self-determination— as barriers to instruction to support self-determination (Agran et al, 1999; Grigal,

5 Neubert, Moon, & Graham, 2003; Mason et al., 2005; Thoma et al., 2002). Research documents that instruction to promote component elements of self-determined behavior appear on only some or none of students’ IEPs (Agran et al., 1999; Wehmeyer et al, 2000; Gradual et al, 2003;Mason et al, 2004). Many teachers report that they feel that the students they teach, particularly students with more severe disabilities, will not benefit from instruction to promote self-determination because they lack the capacity to learn and practice self-determined behavior (Carter , Lane, Pierson, and Glaser , 2006; Grigal et al, 2003; Shogren, et al., 2007; Wehmeyer, et al., 2000). There is substantially less information about the perceptions of elementary school teachers with regard to self-determination. Research suggests that elementary school teachers consider student involvement in the IEP process and teaching self- determination less important than secondary school teachers (Danneker & Bottge, 2008; Mason et al., 2004). This limited research suggests that elementary school teachers are largely unaware of their potential role in promoting the self- determination of their students with disabilities (Danneker & Bottge, 2008; Mason et al., 2004). There are a few studies that show that elementary school students with disabilities can benefit from instruction to promote skills that enhance self- determination. Several researchers (Sands & Doll, 1996; Wehmeyer &Palmer, 2000;Wehmeyer & Field, 2007) contend that self-determination is developmental and that the temperament and behavior necessary for learning and exhibiting self- determined behavior is acquired over a lifetime of experience. Special attention may be required to assist students with disabilities, who may already be dealing with

6 developmental challenges, to begin to acquire self-determined behavior. This attention should involve dedicated instruction beginning at an early age in the elementary years. Failure to do so may be at least in part responsible for students with disabilities becoming disengaged in classroom activities and dropping out of school.(Eisenman ,2007). Despite calls to broaden self-determination instruction across the grade span, the extent to which educators working with younger students value and promote component elements of self-determination in their classrooms remains uncertain. In a recent study, Stang, Carter, Lane, and Pierson (2008) reported that there was no difference between middle and elementary school teachers' perception of the importance of teaching self-determination. As in the Carter et al. (2008) study, Stang et al. found that special education teachers in both middle and elementary school, assign a higher importance to teaching self-determination than do general education teachers. However, elementary school teachers spend less time teaching self- determination skills than middle school teachers. This study, as did Carter et al. (2008), showed that although the majority of both elementary and middle school general and special educators considered teaching self-determination skills important, they assigned a lower degree of importance to and spent less time teaching self-advocacy and self-awareness, which are related to enhanced IEP skills, than they did to other related self-determination skills (e.g. problem solving, goal setting self-regulation). Summary Research points to the benefits of teaching skills to students with disabilities that lead to greater self-determination, that enhance the quality of students’

7 participation in IEP meetings, that aid in the development of their self-awareness, and that improves their academic attitude and social behavior during their school years. Also, research has shown a positive relationship between level of self- determination and more positive post-secondary school outcomes and a more positive quality of life for people with disabilities. However, most of this evidence is directly related only to students ages 14 or older. The research on teaching self-determined behavior to elementary age students that exists shows that promoting self- determination in elementary school students can enhance a learning experience and improve students’ behavior. These students gain a sense of personal investment and commitment toward their own goal attainment and problem solving. There is a clear need, however, to expand the research pertaining to self-determination and elementary-age students with disabilities. Problem Statement Studies that have explored teachers’ perceptions, knowledge and practices with regard to teaching self-determination have been concerned mostly with transition age and secondary school students. Only two studies involving elementary school teachers have been published (Mason et al., 2004; Stang et al., 2008). Neither of these studies, however, looked at elementary school teachers separately from middle or secondary school teachers. The proposed research will be a first step in addressing issues concerning the knowledge and practice of teaching self- determination to elementary school students with disabilities. This will involve a comprehensive survey of elementary school special and general education teachers with regard to their knowledge and beliefs about self-determination. It will examine how this knowledge and these beliefs, the level of disability, and ecological factors

8 influence teacher practices with regard to promoting self-determination for their students with disabilities. It will also survey student involvement in their IEPs and the barriers teachers face in promoting self-determination. The following research questions will be addressed by this study. Research Question 1 Are there differences in the ratings of importance teachers assign to teaching the different components of self-determination? Hypothesis Teachers will report that some components of self-determination are more important to teach to their students than other components. Research Question 2 Do general education teachers place higher value (Importance) on teaching the components of self-determination than special education teachers? Hypothesis General education teachers will value teaching the components of self- determination more than special education teachers. Research Question 3 Are there differences in the Time teachers allocate to teaching the different components of self-determination? Hypothesis Teachers will report that they allocate more Time to teaching some components of self-determination to their students than they spend on other components. Research Question 4

9 Do general education teachers allocate more Time (Frequency) to teaching the components of self-determination than special education teachers? Hypothesis General education teachers will report spending more Time teaching the components of self-determination than special education teachers. Research Question 5 Do teachers of students without disabilities place higher value (Importance) on teaching the components of self-determination than teachers of students with disabilities? Hypothesis Teachers of students without disabilities will assign more value to teaching the components of self-determination than do teachers of students with disabilities. Research Question 6 Do teachers of students without disabilities allocate more Instructional Time to teaching the components of self-determination than teachers of students with disabilities? Hypothesis Teachers of students without disabilities will devote more Instructional Time to teaching the components of self-determination than teachers of students with disabilities Research Question 7 Are teachers’ perceptions of the Importance of teaching the components of self- determination reflected in the Instructional Time they devote to teaching the components?

10 Research Question 8 Are the relationships between Instructional Time and Importance of teaching the components of self-determination for general education teachers different for special education teachers? Research Question 9 Are the relationships between Instructional Time and Importance of Teaching the components of self-determination for teachers of students with disabilities different than those for teachers of students without disabilities? Research Question 10 Do elementary school teachers incorporate classroom ecological strategies that lead to enhanced self-determination? Hypothesis Elementary school classrooms are typically structured in ways that promote choice making and problem solving, but students with disabilities have limited access to these environments. Research Question 11 Do teachers include students with disabilities in discussions of their IEP to the same degree parents and related service personnel are included? Hypothesis Most teachers do not include student in their own IEPs to the same degree as parents and related service personnel. Research Question 12 Do special education teachers include students with disabilities in discussions of their IEP to a greater degree than general education teachers?

11 Hypothesis Special education teachers do include students in their own IEPs more than general education teachers do. Research Question 13 Do general and special education teachers differ in how much they believe teaching their students self-determination will improve their academic performance and social behaviors in elementary school? Hypothesis General and special education teachers do not differ from each other in the degree to which they believe teaching their students self-determination will be helpful in improving their academic performance and social behaviors in elementary school. Research Question 14 Do general and special education teachers differ in how much they believe teaching their students self-determination would be in preparing students with disabilities for future years in secondary education and/or for transition to adulthood? Hypothesis General and special education teachers do not differ from each other in the degree to which they believe teaching their students self-determination will be helpful in preparing students with disabilities for future years in secondary education and/or for transition to adulthood. Research Question 15

12 Do teachers of students without disabilities differ from teachers of students with disabilities in how much they believe teaching their students self-determination will improve their academic performance and social behaviors in elementary school? Hypothesis Teachers of students without disabilities do not differ from teachers of students with disabilities in the degree to which they believe teaching their students self-determination will be helpful in improving their academic performance and social behaviors in elementary school. Research Question 16 Do teachers of students without disabilities differ from teachers of students with disabilities in how much they believe teaching self-determination would be helpful in preparing students with disabilities for future years in secondary education and/or for transition to adulthood? Hypothesis Teachers of students without disabilities and teachers of students with disabilities do not differ from each other in the degree to which they believe teaching self-determination will be helpful in preparing students with disabilities for future years in secondary education and/or for transition to adulthood. Research Question 17 Do general educators implement more instructional strategies that lead to enhanced self-determination than special educators? Hypothesis General educators will report the use of more instructional strategies that lead to enhanced self-determination than special educators.

13 Research Question 18 Do teachers of students without disabilities implement more instructional strategies that lead to enhanced self-determination than teachers of students with disabilities? Hypothesis Teachers of students without disabilities will report the use of more instructional strategies that lead to enhanced self-determination than teachers of students with disabilities. Research Question 19 What barriers exist that inhibit a focus on intervention to promote component elements of self-determined behavior at the elementary school level? Hypothesis The lack of training about and knowledge of promoting self-determination will be the primary barrier to efforts to promote teaching self-determined behavior. Research Question 20 Do General And Special Educators Differ In The Barriers They Feel Exist That Inhibit A Focus On Intervention To Promote Component Elements Of Self- Determined Behavior? Hypothesis Special educators will differ from general educators in the barriers to promoting self-determined behavior that they report most frequently. Research Question 21 How Many Elementary School Teachers Are Familiar With The Construct Of Self-Determination?

14 Hypothesis A majority of elementary school teachers will report they are familiar with the self-determination construct on item 10. Research Question 22 Do General Education Teachers Differ From Special Education Teachers In Their Familiarity With The Construct Of Self-Determination? Hypothesis More general education teachers will report they are familiar with the construct of self-determination than special education teachers. Research Question 23 Do Teachers Believe Teaching Students With Disabilities Self-Determination Skills Will Be More Helpful To Students In Their Elementary School Years Or More Helpful In Preparing Them For Their Secondary School And Transition Years? Do General Education Teachers And Special Education Teachers Differ From Each Other In This Belief? Hypothesis Both general and special educators believe that teaching students self- determination will be more helpful in preparing them for their secondary school and transition years than in improving their academic performance and social behavior in elementary school. Research Question 24 Do Teachers With Students With Disabilities And Teachers Without Students With Disabilities Differ From Each Other In Believing That Teaching Their Students Self-Determination Skills Will Be More Or Less Helpful In Preparing

15 Them For Secondary School And Transition Than In Improving Their Elementary School Performance And Current Social Behavior? Hypothesis Both teachers of students with disabilities and teachers without students with disabilities believe that teaching students self-determination skills will be more helpful in preparing them for their secondary school and transition years than in improving their academic performance and social behavior in elementary school.

16 CHAPTER 2: Review of Literature History of Self-Determination The term self-determination was introduced in the disability literature in a chapter by Bengt Nirje (1972) titled “The Right To Self-Determination” in Wolf Wolfensberger's (1972) influential book on the principle of normalization. In this chapter, Nirje called for people with disabilities to experience the normal respect that any human being is entitled to, and discussed the importance of taking into account the choices, wishes, desires, and aspirations of people with disabilities as much as possible. Wehmeyer (1996, 1997, 1999, 2001) also addressed the importance for all people to, including people with intellectual disability, to become more self-determined, and noted how critical and relatively more difficult this goal is for people with disabilities due to stereotypes held about them (i.e., that people with disabilities cannot, or even perhaps should not, practice self-determination). During the early 1920s the perception and treatment of disability took many different forms. The medical model viewed disability as pathological and dysfunctional (Skrtic, 1991, 1995; Wehmeyer, 2000). This model was the most commonly held view of disability and has had the greatest influence on education and social standards and norms. Historically, within a medical model, people with disabilities were too often viewed as subhuman and dangerous to society and linked with crime, poverty, depravity, and the decline of civilization. "Scientific" studies of the time used devaluing concepts such as mental disability to describe the disabled and concluded that "feeble-mindedness" should be treated aggressively with segregation and sterilization. By the middle of the 20th century, when many veterans

17 returned from World War II with physical disabilities, emphasis changed from ostracism to rehabilitation and old conceptions of how to respond to disability became more inclusive, though still destructive. Individuals with disabilities were still seen as victims to be cured, rehabilitated and pitied (Skrtic, 1991, 1995; Wehmeyer, Agran & Hughes, 1998). However, significant changes began to emerge in the field of disability services and supports (Wehmeyer, Agran & Hughes, 1998). A social model of disability evolved out of the medical model that had prevailed from the late 1800s through much of the 1900s (Swain, Finkelstein, French, & Oliver, 1993; Wehmeyer, 1999). Whereas the medical model of disability blamed the failures and limitations experienced by people with disabilities on their own deficits, the social model shifted the emphasis from deficits within the person to deficits within society and the way it treated these people (Skrtic, 1995; Trent, 1994). With this shift in emphasis came changes in the perceptions of disability and in recommendations for providing services to people with disabilities (Holburn & Vietze, 2002; Wehmeyer, 1999). Services for people with disabilities became person- centered rather than program-centered, and focused on working with the person’s abilities instead of trying to fix his or her deficits (Holburn & Vietze, 2002; Wehmeyer, 1999, 2000). In 1988, the U.S. Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) began a self-determination initiative that sought to focus on system wide activities, promote inclusion of consumers in the decision- making process, and increase the number of potential leaders with disabilities (Ward, 2006). During the following year the National Conference on Self-Determination developed recommendations that led to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs' (OSEP) funding of the first six of 25 projects to teach

18 and promote self-determination for individuals with disabilities. This proved to be the start of the self-determination movement in special education (Ward, 2006). Definitions of Self-Determination The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) defined self-determination operationally as an educational outcome: self- determination is "choosing and enacting choices to control one's life - to the maximum extent possible - based on knowing and valuing oneself, and in pursuit of one's own needs, interests and values" (Campeau & Wolman, 1993, p. 2). Other definitions of self-determination have focused more on the construct as a quality of the individual, such as one of the earliest definitions of self-determination, coined by Ward in 1988, as "the attitudes which lead people to define goals for themselves and the ability to take the initiative to achieve those goals" (p. 2). Powers, Singer, and Sowers (1996) stated that personal attitude is the indicator of one's self- determination, and that it is people's attitudes that either facilitate or thwart them in their demonstration of empowerment, active participation in decision-making, and self-direction. Martin, Marshall and Mason (1993) described self-determined people as individuals who "define goals for themselves and then take the initiative needed in achieving their goals" (p. 55). Self-determined individuals have also been characterized as those who know how to make their needs known, evaluate their progress, adjust their performance, solve their problems, and pursue what they want (Martin & Marshall, 1995). Similarly, Field and Hoffman (1994) concurred that self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge, and beliefs that enable a person to engage in goal-directed, self-regulated, autonomous behavior.

Full document contains 175 pages
Abstract: There are five chapters in this dissertation. Chapter 1 gives an overview of self-determination for individuals with disabilities in public policy, research, and practice in the field of special education and presents the research questions that will be addressed in this dissertation. Chapter 2 provides a history and definition of self-determination and discusses in greater depth the literature on self-determination for individuals with disabilities within the field of special education. Chapter 3 describes the research procedures and data analysis methods used in this study. Chapter 4 presents the research findings with regard to each research question and Chapter 5 discusses the present research findings, how they compare with and build upon previous research, the implications of these findings and the limitations of this study. The promotion of self-determination for students with disabilities is gaining prominence among researchers and practitioners in the field of special education. This study surveyed 407 elementary teachers in schools in a broad cross-section of the classrooms of this country. The survey asked about their understanding of self-determination, their perception of the importance of teaching it to their students with disabilities, the instructional time they devote to teaching it and the barriers they perceive that inhibit them from teaching self-determination as they might wish. Major findings include that (a) general and special educators did not differ from each other in their evaluations of the importance of teaching self-determination related skills, nor do they differ in the instructional time they devote to teaching such skills, (b) they also were the same in their use of the 7 self-management strategies that help students become self-determined, and (c) they both assign considerable importance to providing instruction in self-determination related components and both report at least occasionally devoting time to teaching it, (d) the value teachers place on promoting self-determination does not correspond to the time they devote to promoting it, (e) access to instruction to promote self-determination for students with disabilities is not equal across educational settings, (f) students' disability category appears to influence which components of self-determination they are taught most frequently, (g) problem solving and choice making were the most frequently taught components of self-determination, (h) more than 45% of the teachers include students in their IEP meetings, (i) frequently cited barriers to teaching self-determination to students included lack of time, competing priorities, lack of authority to decide what to teach, and lack of knowledge about how to teach these skills. Approaches for promoting self-determination for students with disabilities and for inculcating self-determination instruction into the general curriculum are discussed and recommendations for future research are offered.