Increasing Self-Determination: Teaching Students to Plan, Work, Evaluate, and Adjust

The article describes a study, in which systems were put into place, including self-determination contracts, to assist secondary-age students in their studies by using self-regulation. The study yielded positive results. The overall takeaway of the study was that the students' increased control over the small adjustments in their lives translated to increased learning.

Author(s): 

Martin, James E., Dennis E. Mithaug, Phil Cox, Lori Y. Peterson, Jamie L. Van Dyck, Mary E. Cash

Publication Date: 
Summer 2003
Publisher: 
Exceptional Children
Citation: 
James E. Martin, Increasing Self-Determination: Teaching Students to Plan, Work, Evaluate, and Adjust, 69 Exceptional Children 431 (2003).
Document Type: 
Audiences: 
Region of Influence: 
Abstract: 
A study was conducted to determine if secondary-age students could use self-determination contracts to regulate the correspondence between their plans, work, self-evaluations, and adjustments on academic tasks. The authors examined the impact of these contracts on the plan, work, evaluation, and adjustment behaviors of 8 secondary-age students with severe emotional/behavioral problems. The students completed daily self-determination contracts to schedule their work on academic tasks, plan for work outcomes, evaluate progress, and adjust for the next day's activity. One-way repeated-measures (ANOVAs) yielded 15 significant effects for the correspondence between plan and work, between work and evaluation, between evaluation and adjustment, and between adjustment and the next day plan. Pre- and postassessment found significant academic improvement.