Teacher decision making in the selection of educational programming priorities for severely handicapped children

Luanna M. Voeltz, Ian M. Evans, Kenneth Freedland, Sally Donellon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Special education teachers of severely handicapped children are expected to identify appropriate educational priorities from among multiple programming needs. While such decisions are initially formulated with parents and other professionals at the Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting, little is known regarding decisions teachers themselves are most likely to make on behalf of handicapped children. Study 1 investigated the relative importance attributed to various reasons for selecting target behaviors by teachers in comparison with ratings of naive subjects and clinical psychology doctoral students. A factor analysis suggested possible decision dimensions reflecting professional education practices. Study 2 presented special education teachers with a simulated but realistic IEP experience in which they were asked to formulate and rank their annual goals and objectives based upon a child's diagnostic and assessment data. The frequency of the child's excess behaviors had significant impact on the nature of identified educational programming priorities, while developmental level did not. Implications for the IEP process and for the quality of school programs for children with multiple behavior problems are emphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-198
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Special Education
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1982
Externally publishedYes

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