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Students being able to determine their own learning program.

As the Y9’s transition to secondary school from intermediate we realised that decisions made at this time influenced the availability of future options and ultimately the role the individual may play in society. How could we give the students a sense of agency and control over their classroom programme. We wanted to enable the students to have the understanding, ability, and opportunity to be part of the learning design.

We decided to use the tool MAPS (Making Action Plans) that embraces futures planning and vision orientation with the integral involvement of family members, friends and others who care about and are involved with the student. MAPS has been used as a tool for many years throughout the disability sector (Forest & Pearpoint) to help individuals with disabilities who are at risk of being isolated, left out of mainstream life, to realise their future goals and make plans to achieve their ‘dream, the most desired outcome while avoiding the ‘nightmare’ the most feared outcome.

This is a different approach to the regular Individual Education Plan meeting where the parents and students meet with the educational / therapy team involved with the student and spend time setting short term goals for school, based on a predetermined curriculum without exploring opportunities for the distant future let alone exploring what the student’s strengths and gifts are. This process recognises the professionals as the skilled processors and student agency does not exist.

We found that the MAPS process provided a structure to assist the student to creatively dream, plan and produce results that provided them with a vision for the future including immediate goals which helped determine their personal school curriculum.


 For resources and further information go to Inclusion Press

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