High School Special Education Teachers' Perspectives of Student-let Individualized Education Planning
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For educators, the least dangerous assumption is to believe all students are capable of developing self-determination skills and will utilize those skills to gain a better quality of life through choice-making that directly impacts life outcomes (Mason et al., 2002). Many special education teachers, as part of their teacher preparation courses, are taught that best practice is to encourage and guide each student to gain the self-determination skills (self-management, selfawareness, self-advocacy) to lead a portion or all of their Individual Education Plan (IEP) meeting. There is minimal research that has been done regarding the relationship of high school teachers’ perceptions and student involvement in the IEP process. The purpose of this study was to analyze electronic survey data from approximately 7 high school special education teachers and service providers in a suburban Midwestern school district to gather perceptions of student-led IEPs. This study gathered perceptions in the areas of administrator support, professional development, and availability of resources to assist teachers prepare students to lead their IEPs. Findings provide insight into the perceptions of teachers in the areas of student involvement, self-determination skills involved in the IEP process, administrative support, and student participation in the IEP process. Based on the findings, this researcher recommends that teachers work with students to improve the skills necessary for increasing their involvement and leadership in their IEP meetings. There does appear to be a relationship between administrator support, access to professional development, and availability of resources regarding the level of student participation in their IEP meetings.