Key Concepts: Goals and Outcome Measures

Goals are best case scenarios. They have motivational value, but are difficult to measure. There are two goals for the community travel program:

Independence is the major goal. It exists on many levels at once.

1. Spatial Independence: in the bathroom, in a restaurant, on public transportation, etc.
2. Movement independence: from having to be pushed in a manual wheelchair
3. Personal independence: from adults, from ones teammates
4. Temporal independence: for a day, an hour, for ten minutes

Another goal of community travel is improved quality of life. Some impaired children die young. A few have progressive impairments. Many are poor. When we look back on the children who have died, or at children so poor that they never get into the community, we are proud to have given them a few laughs and a taste of self expression and freedom.

Outcome Based Education

Traditional education is time based. Students are judged on what they learn within specific time frames; one week to learn the spelling words, two months to learn subtraction, one year to pass second grade, etc. Unlike traditional education, this curriculum is outcome based. We are more concerned whether a student learns what we offer, rather than when it takes place.

We are working for outcomes on three levels

1. Experience: It is OK to have new experiences or to repeat the ones that are important and/or fun. Just going to the mall, having the "mall experience", is a valid outcome. Experience reduces fear and increases confidence, setting the stage for gaining knowledge and becoming competent.

2. Knowledge: The next step is to begin understanding the layout, the services provided, the routes, the landmarks, and appropriate behaviors. To be able to repeat back to the teacher key ideas (differentiating a mall from a department store, defining a mall, being able to say who can help with problems while in a mall, etc.) is the next level of anticipated outcome.

3. Competence: The final stage is demonstrated competence. If a student can be dropped off at a mall, and be independent there (eating, bathrooming, getting help, shopping, driving the power chair without incident), then the best level of outcome is reached.


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