Child Study Team Members’ Attitudes towards Individualized Educational Goals and Their Alignment with Standards

Sabol, Melissa R.
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In special education there are different types of goals to develop for individualized education programs. There are standards-based and functional goals. In New Jersey, Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goals must be standards-based or linked to them. However, there is a concern as to whether standards-based goals are viewed more favorably when compared to functional goals. This study involved 92 child study team (CST) members located in Sussex, Warren, Morris, and Hunterdon Counties in Northern New Jersey. For the purposes of this research, CST members included anyone who participated in a CST meeting. This study utilized a survey method to collect data on CST members attitudes towards the different styles of goals. Parents, adult students, and teachers along with social workers, psychologists, learning consultants, therapists, and directors were surveyed. The data was examined through t-tests, analysis of covariance, and coded-data analysis. Evaluation of the data revealed that CST members and educators see benefits and problems with standards-based goals. However, those evaluated also saw the same for functional-based goals. This study indicated that both goals are acceptable, but the goals must be appropriate, individualized, measurable, and meaningful. The research indicated inconclusive results. It remains unclear as to which method yields the best results for students.
Melissa R. Sabol Dissertation
standards-based goals, functional goals, child study team, Individualized Education Plan, cognitive load theory, ecological method