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date: 19 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Self-determined learning is a function of three interacting factors: self-interest that, which motivates thinking and responding; self-regulation that, which controls and coordinates that thinking and responding; and persistence of repeated adjustment to results that maximizes learning. This chapter presents evidence that when these patterns are present early in childhood, prospects for later success are greatly improved. However, this rarely occurs for children youth with disabilities, as results from national longitudinal studies of special education outcomes indicate. Instead, in special education classrooms, students are more likely to follow directions to learn than to self-regulate to learn. The recommended solution is based on self-determined learning theory that explains how self-interest, self-regulation, and persistent adjustment maximize learning and self-instruction pedagogy that teaches these behaviors. The chapter concludes that study skills classes available in schools nationwide provide key opportunities for special education teachers to help students with disabilities become self-determined learners.

Keywords: self-determined learning, self-interest, self-regulation, persistent adjustment, special education achievement outcomes, self-determined learning theory, maximizing learning, self-instruction pedagogy, self-regulation cards, study skills classes

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