Abstract of P. Shavit lecture


P. Shavit1, S. Reiter2
1 Beit-Berl academic college, Israel; 2 Haifa University, Israel

Today, most pupils with intellectual disabilities who complete their
schooling do not know what they like or what they want to do. They
have limited experience in decision making that affects their lives, and
few opportunities to express their preferences. As a result they lack
initiative and self-determination, and do not function autonomously.
The assumption is that better self-determination skills would enable
pupils with intellectual disabilities to make successful transitions to
adulthood and to inclusion in the community, both in terms of work
and residential settings. The underlying premise of this study was that
if pupils with disabilities participate in a school environment that
supports self-determination, they will use these skills effectively to
begin to control their own lives and take greater responsibility that will
enable their pro-active participation in the community as they enter
adulthood. The goal of the research was to examine the differences in
self-determination and in the sense of quality of life between pupils
with intellectual disabilities who study in The Cycle of Internalized
Learning (Reiter, 1997; 2008) and those who study in traditional
classrooms (Ausubel, 1968). Another goal of the study was to
describe and characterize the interpersonal relationships formed in
each of the groups. Seventy-four adolescents and young adults with
intellectual disabilities participated in the study. The participants were
divided into five experimental and five control groups and a pre- and
post intervention design was employed. In addition, the degree of
maintenance was checked five months after the end of the

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