DPE Goal Instruction

DPE Goal Instruction



DPE Goal Instruction


Intellectual disability is the developmental disability that affects an individual’s aptitude to learn and use information. It may occur during childhood and continue through adulthood. Students who have an intellectual disability may find it difficult to learn new skills and acquire fresh information. Much of the discussion in this paper points out on the results of the interview with Mrs. Brown upon visiting his classroom at wonderland special school. The discussion focuses on the DPE process, goal instruction analysis, development and implementation as well as goal setting, attainment and methods of goal setting and instruction planning.

IEP review, DPE process, goal instruction analysis, development and implementation:

The DEP instructional education process helps in assisting students with intellectual disabilities to achieve their individual goals. I reviewed two IEPS for one student with ID in Mrs. Brown’s classroom. The intellectual disability identified was Down syndrome. According to Mrs. Brown, intellectual disability is determined through 1Q and behavior. The children with Down syndrome were visual learners, had high distractibility and short memory spans (Sands & Doll, 2005). IEPS reviewed were speech and language and activities of daily living. The student exhibited improved self-help knowledge and desire to be independent and also had understanding of articles and plurals. Upon discussion with the teacher about the diagnosis/prescription/evaluation process, she said that the DPE process is a detailed process compared to IEP. The DEP process can be applied during lesson planning where the general curriculum has a minute by minute procedure. According to Sands & Doll (2005), the DPE process aids students with intellectual disabilities (ID) to attain the opportunity of independence and success especially when integrated with goal instructional analysis and life goal planning which are important parts of the DPE instruction. The diagnostic/prescriptive/evaluative process takes lesson planning, breaks down instruction into segments which are manageable and specialized for an individual student (Sands & Doll, 2005). This provides an important educational flexibility towards ensuring successful outcomes. Firstly in this process, the student is diagnosed in terms of skill level paralleled with his/her strengths and weaknesses. Then, a lesson path is devised and prescribed in that the progress of the student can be closely and progressively monitored for success.

Students with intellectual disabilities portray different abilities and skill restrictions that require instruction to be strictly specialized for every individual student. This is where the DPE process gives teachers, students and parents the ability to make good decisions that are made to meet the needs of students as well as create an accurate IEP, assessment program and curriculum. This process involves the diagnosis and determination of the learner’s potency and weaknesses followed by a prescription. This improves the student’s achievement. In addition, DPE process gives the individualized program team the ability to observe each student with an intellectual disability. The team is, therefore, able to put in place a system where life skill achievements and academic goals are realized and evaluated or adjusted to fit the pace of the student and the learning style. According to Wehmeyer, Agran, Hughes, Martin, Mithaug & Palmer (2007), the prescribed curriculum incorporates different areas which are combined for example communication, family living and social skills. A large study area benefits the student in transitional situations that occur from one grade to another or when the curriculum includes field study where the students gain knowledge of what they are expected of during employment. On the other hand, another student’s area of concentration may be solely based on independent skills while less focusing in academic goals. Since the individualized education program is responsible for implementing the goals, the achievement of the student can be evaluated daily, weekly or on a monthly basis. This is done in either independent or group settings until IEP is mastered. Such experiences encourage opportunities to practice new skills and knowledge where there is availability if student and teacher directed feedback and also where student expectations and instructional practice can be adjusted when necessary.In regard to goal instruction for students with intellectual disabilities, the school-based team must stipulate individual goals. This is one of the most important steps of the IEP process. For many ID students, such goals are usually broad and are related to social and behavioral areas. According to an interview with Mrs. Brown, teachers require to set high and attainable goals for students with ID so that they can be able to learn the important skills which would help them to meet their adulthood demands. Such demands, though expressed in different ways, include safety maintenance, personal health, independent living skills, self-management achievement, decision-making and personal relationship skills among others. In teaching students with intellectual disabilities, teaching involves modifying and regulation the student’s behavior. This promotes and enhances the self-determination, which according to Mrs. Brown, have become an international recognized outcome. Furthermore, according to Wehmeyer, Hughes, Agran, Garner & Yeager (2003), the strategies of individualized education program have proved to be significant in including ID students in general education classrooms in order to reduce the reliance of the students on others in the classroom.

Importance of such procedures in daily class

DEP process, analysis of goal instruction and the development and implementation of goal instruction for students is important in daily class. The DEP process enables students with disabilities to obtain knowledge in small bits since the curriculum is broken down into segments and also a lesson plan is planned, in a way, that is appropriate for such students. This aids them in succeeding in their academics. In goal instruction analysis, development and implementation, students are able to set priorities and understand what they need to achieve, strive to achieve within a stipulated period. By developing goals, students concentrate on how to attain such goals and, therefore, make use of the appropriate materials and acquire the necessary skills towards achieving such goals (Wehmeyer, Hughes, Agran, Garner & Yeager, 2003).

Goal attainment, methods, used for goal setting and instructional planning

After observing a student in an instructional setting, there was an evidence of goal attainment. The child possessed somewhat less than expected. The student also had dreams to achieve and expected the right motivation towards achieving those dreams. This meant that the instructor was using the right mechanisms towards achieving the expected level of outcome. Upon interviewing Mrs. Brown, she said that the child, though had an intellectual disability, was able to succeed in academics since the appropriate methods of instruction were available. She said that there was effective instructional planning and goal setting which enabled the intellectually disabled student succeed in their concentration areas. The following are the method(s) used for goal setting and instructional planning by Mrs. Brown. In respect to instructional planning, content is delivered into three knowledge domains which are attitudes, skills and values. In teaching knowledge, a variety of methods can be used with the aim of getting the learner to be active in learning the material. In teaching skills, important aspects are demonstrated and pointed out and he student doing the skills is supervised. In respect to teaching attitude, the methods used require the application of attitude in specific situations. Students are also given the opportunities to practice what they have learnt. In respect to goal setting method, students in Mrs. Brown’ class use the Zig Ziglar goal setting formula, where the students state their goals and the benefits of achieving them, set a deadline for achieving them, identify the obstacles, resources needed, and skills needed to help in achieving the goals. After, students create an action plan. In respect to the teacher, she ensures than she expresses the students goals positively, ensures that they set accurate goals and put priorities first. She urges them to keep goals small as well as ensure that their goals are measurable. For students with severe disabilities, the teacher can adjust the goal setting steps for example she may start explaining to them what the goal is, listen to the student’s views and give them time to express their opinions. Furthermore, the instructional planning methods used in Mrs. Brown class include grouping strategies, whole group methods, small group variations and independent work and class colleagues (Wehmeyer, Hughes, Agran, Garner & Yeager, 2003).


Though students with intellectual disability have difficulties in learning, through the DPE process, effective methods of instruction and instruction planning as well as using the appropriate teaching strategies can help them achieve their academic dreams.


Wehmeyer, M.L., Agran, M., Hughes, C., Martin, J., Mithaug, D.E., & Palmer, S. (2007). Promoting self-determination in students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. New York: Guilford Press.

Sands, D., & Doll, B. (2005). Teaching goal setting and decision making to students with developmental disabilities. In M. L. Wehmeyer & M. Agran (Eds.), Mental retardation and intellectual disabilities (pp. 273-296). Boston: Pearson.

Wehmeyer, M. L., Hughes, C., Agran, M., Garner, N., & Yeager, D. (2003). Student-directed learning strategies to promote the progress of students with intellectual disability in inclusive classrooms. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 7, 415-428.