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A Dynamic Systems Approach, Article Review Example

Pages: 1

Words: 641

Article Review

Abstract

The article, “Using a dynamic systems approach to investigating postsecondary education and employment outcomes for transitioning students with disabilities”, investigates the dynamic systems approach to finding successful strategies to help students with disabilities to further their education.

Literature Review

The purpose of this study was to specifically examine different variables and correlate the variables to educational and employment outcome in students with disabilities.   The authors indicate that the study is necessary due to the reinstatement of the federal Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1990.  This Act mandates the school systems to support agencies that help students with disabilities transition into adulthood.  In addition, it has been found that these transitioning efforts have been ranked lower than the average student.  The goal is therefore, to increase this rank and help these students transition.

Methods

The study included seven different variables, such as student timing, student behavior, student personal care, student independent living, classroom performance, and classroom cooperation and classroom self-help skills. The seven skills were also divided into two different subsystems, the student and the educational subsystem.  The purpose of these subsystems was to relate to the student and their home environment and the quality of the school system and teaching instruction.  The authors present the subsystem in a readable table illustrating the subsystem type, characteristics and related skills. The design for the experiment used a quantitative; nonexperimental correlation study evaluates the results, as well as a non-experimental correlation study to estimate the prediction of variables. In addition, correlation analysis was completed in order to compare variables to employment and post-secondary education using a binary regression analysis.  The data for this experiment was collected from the school system using 147 total students, 93 male and 55 female.

Results

The results of this study were evaluated using follow-up phone surveys.  40 participants responded.  21 reported successful employment and 21 students reported that they were involved in post-secondary education. Regression analysis did not show significant values for predictor variables. Results did, however, indicate that personal care and independent living were significantly correlated to postsecondary education.

Reflection

This study offered a valuable purpose in helping students with disabilities transition into adulthood, whether employment or post-secondary education, there were some structural problems with the methods of the study.  For one, the data was collected from the school district.  Perhaps this type of study should be a longitudinal study in which the students are monitored throughout their high school years and continually asked specific questions in regard to the study.  In addition, there were 147 with 93 male and 55 female.  It is possible that there is a difference in variables in regard to male versus female, especially in regard to societal views.  For instance, disabled females may have a harder time finding employment since they are already dealing with the society pressures of females in education and the workforce.  Furthermore, only 40 individuals followed up with the phone calls in order to complete the analysis.  This is a small sample size compared to the initial group and therefore may not be representative of the entire population of disabled students.

Another concern with the methods was the statistical analyses that were chosen for the study.  The authors do not indicate if preliminary research or previous research was conducted using the particular statistics; therefore, what is the accuracy of these measurements and how do we know as the reader that these statistical methods are appropriate for this type of study?  The authors also indicate that sufficient data has supported the use of this dynamic systems approach.  I feel that there needs to be additional studies conducted with a larger sample size.  In addition, the analysis within sexes and against sexes to illustrate any significant difference in sex.

References

Williamson, R.L., Robertson, J.S., Casey, L.B.  (2010). Using a dynamic systems approach to investigating postsecondary education and employment outcomes for transitioning students with disabilities.  Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation. 33:101-111.

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