UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Student involvement in IEP meetings in British Columbia Cooper, Sophie


At present, over 10% of students who attend public schools in British Columbia are identified as having a special need and require an Individual Education Plan (IEP). This plan is created or revised in yearly meetings in which parents, teachers, and others decide on individualized goals, adaptations, modifications, support, and measures for tracking achievement, all related to the student’s educational planning. Although students are encouraged to participate in these meetings, little is known about what students’ involvement looks like. Supporting students’ autonomy has several positive outcomes including increased academic motivation and academic self-efficacy. When students are given the training and opportunity to take on roles that go beyond passive participation during the IEP process, benefits including increased academic performance, motivation for learning, and the development of self-determination skills can result. However, at present, research surrounding IEP participation has only been conducted in the US and very little research has directly studied students’ perceptions of their involvement. Employing Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, in this study, semi-structured interviews were used to explore student perspectives on their participation in the IEP process and how students with learning disabilities felt they could become better involved in their educational planning. Themes that emerged related to the students’ perceptions of their involvement included involvement, lack of involvement, advocacy and perceptions regarding the purpose of the IEP and the IEP meeting. Themes regarding how the students thought other students could become better involved in their meetings included acknowledgement of successes, collaboration, honesty and acceptance.

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