Direct Discussion to Enhance Self-advocacy Skills
Mr. Lajoie researched "Using Directed Discussion to Enhance Self-advocacy Skills" for the IBSC theme "Boy Voice and Choice"
This action research project explored how involving graduating boys with Individualized Education Plans in directed discussions around learning challenges, strengths, goals and teaching strategies could enhance self-advocacy skills. The boy's voices can sometimes be lost. This project developed a strategy that included the boys' voices and encouraged deeper self-reflection. The assumption was that directed questions and participation in the process would help the boys to develop better self-advocacy skills. Over a twelve-week period, students were asked a range of questions, using online surveys and one-on-one interviews, designed to elicit discussion around elements typically found in IEPs (strengths, challenges, goals and teaching strategies). Responses were analysed to identify emerging themes. At the conclusion of the study, the boys were asked to evaluate whether they felt that they had developed a better understanding of their learning preferences, as well as whether they felt more able to advocate for their needs as a result of participation in the project. The results suggest that explicit, directed discussions in these areas contributed to a greater ability for graduating boys to enhance their self-advocacy skills.