Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name



Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Bob Pettapiece


Students with disabilities are spending significantly more time in the general education setting than they have historically. General education teachers are in need of strategies to enable them to work with these students more successfully. Additionally, research shows that all students could benefit from activities geared toward developing self-determination skills.

The purpose of this descriptive study was to see if the use of cooperative learning activities could improve the self-determination abilities of general education students and students with an Individualized Education Program in a social studies classroom. Students were given the American Institutes for Research Self-Determination Scale as a pretest and posttest.

Scores were compared between control and intervention group as well as the subgroups of students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and general education students. Data from this study supports the use of cooperative learning activities in the social studies classroom in order to promote self-determination for all students. Recommendations for teachers as well as further research are made as well.