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“At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study” by Philip Cardon Critical Analysis Essay (Article)

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Updated: Sep 25th, 2019

Introduction

According to Philip Cardon, enrolment in technology education is pervasive among at-risk students. Moreover, he testifies that at-risk students have shown more interest in technology education than before. However, he attributes this to the numerous studies conducted on at-risk students in the country.

The article alludes to the fact that studies on innovative academic programmes as well as vocational training have been paramount in retaining at-risk students. Moreover, it mentions the need to focus education on the interests and needs of students to achieve success.

The article is backed by evidences from several previous studies on at-risk students. In addition, it connects these studies to the needs of at-risk students. For instance, the paper begins by defining what is meant by at-risk students. In this regard, it mentions that at-risk students are those that have low risk of achieving educational goals.

In addition, it adds that they are students who show behaviours that interfere with progress in education. Lastly, it defines at-risk students as those who come from poor family backgrounds.

The paper goes on to define at-risk students in two broad categories namely individual and family. It therefore provides adequate background on the subject with qualitative description of the same. It is important to note that the author utilised these descriptions to identify at-risk students for research purposes.

In this regard, the article focused on improving the relationship between at-risk students and their teachers. Their interest in extracurricular activities is also encouraged. Moreover, it notes that students who received support showed great interest in focusing in school.

However, it justifies its studies on technology education for at-risk students by noting that very little has been done to research on that area. Therefore, the paper aims to explore, scrutinise, and describe how students relate with the new curriculum.

The research question addressed is on how at-risk students interrelate with technology education. This is a qualitative study paper, which is designed in the form of a case study (Cardon, 2000, p. 49-57).

Sampling

This study was conducted in the form of a case study. In essence, it employed the use of participant-observation qualitative research as its methodology. To achieve this, a pilot study was conducted with a view to developing observation techniques. This was also done to develop observation questions for the study.

In this regard, views were collected from at-risk students concerning technology education. This involved examination of at-risk students in an environment of technology education. In addition, their interaction with technology education was closely monitored.

In this regard, purposeful sampling was chosen as the best for this qualitative study. However, a different location was chosen for this study. This was aimed at backing up one-teacher education technology. In this regard, eight of them were sampled from the field of technology education as well as from the field of transportation/power/energy.

In this respect, those who demonstrated most characteristics were selected. In essence, sampling chosen was representative of the population (Cardon, 2000, p. 49-57).

Data Collection

Data collected was in form of participant observation as well as interviews. The study was therefore conducted by use of interactive methods of data collection. However, it is also important to note that non-interactive methods were also utilised while sourcing for evidences of study.

This involved use of document evaluation, among others. In essence, the three main methods mentioned above were paramount in data collection. However, other methods such as member checking and use of patterns were also utilised to achieve accuracy and credibility.

It can therefore be noted that results were mindful of validity and credibility through the channels of establishing authenticity mentioned above. Moreover, instruments were also used to obtain evidence of interviews and observations.

These instruments were developed from literature review as well as from pre-study. In addition, data collection through observations was carried out for a total of six months. However, interviews were done at the convenience of the respondents (Cardon, 2000, p. 49-57).

Method of Analysis

Data was measured through use of evaluation programs. For instance, data was evaluated using software with the capability of compiling data based on themes. In this regard, three groups of theories came up namely the principle of problem-solving theory, the principle of constructing knowledge as well as the principle of hands-on education.

This shows that instruments were utilised to measure data collected from the study. Given the descriptive nature of the study, minimal statistics techniques were utilised. In fact, descriptive statistics was used in some cases to provide a brief summary of data.

Otherwise, statistics was scarcely used in this paper. Research design utilised was in form of a case study. This was important because the process of collecting data was through participant observations and interviews. In addition, evidence documentation was also utilised.

These were fed into the software to try to come up with themes and categories of results as given above. Moreover, responses from students concerning transportation/power/energy were found to be positive.

This study was aimed at explaining, examining, and describing the relationship between at-risk students and technology education. In this regard, two main research questions were to be addressed. This included the need to understand the ways in which at-risk students reacted to programmes relating to technology education.

In addition, this study was to address the reasons for enrollment of at-risk students in courses related to technology education. These research questions were in depth as they reflected on both present and previous knowledge and experiences gained by students in technology education.

However, given that minimal statistical analysis was utilised, it was quite difficult to locate dependent and independent variables. Moreover, given that it was a participant observation, (which was not based on specific parameters apart from the three categories mentioned) it was quite difficult to locate these variables.

The author tried to mention all the instruments utilised in this study. However, this was not done exclusively. For instance, instruments are mentioned to have been used but a clear description of some was not provided (Cardon, 2000, p. 49-57).

Findings

Given that this study was theoretically based, consistencies were found from analysis of evidence from the study. This was true for all the categories namely problem solving, building of knowledge and practical learning. However, it is instrumental to note that findings from the first category (problem solving) were not as consistent as the others were.

Nonetheless, it demonstrated the need for studying concepts such as processes, planning and materials. On the other hand, findings from the second category (construction of knowledge) were consistent in all the participants. In fact, it helped at-risk students to have a better understanding of concepts concerning processes, planning and materials.

In addition, findings from the third category (hands-on learning) were consistent with the theories. Students were observed to have a better understanding and acquisition of knowledge through hands on learning than through lectures or bookwork techniques. Moreover, a table was included to help trace consistency in students.

It is also important to note that further evaluation of evidences concerning theories found that only the second and third categories were consistent with the theories provided. Discrepancy was evidenced in two learners surveyed for technology education as well as three learners surveyed for transportation/power/energy course.

Possible reasons for this difference were found to be the varying levels of understanding foundations of concepts like processes, planning and materials. In essence, there was a clear relationship between theories on hands-on learning and construction of knowledge.

This link was found to be essential for success in problem solving undertakings. Moreover, it was found that students constructed new knowledge as they involved themselves in problem solving undertakings. Moreover, link between hands-on learning and problem solving was obvious in both literature and data.

Besides, importance of life skills was also emphasised during the study. In essence, this study demonstrated that students would remain in school if they underwent technology education (Cardon, 2000, p. 49-57).

Conclusion

This study was aimed at examining the relationship between at-risk students and technology education. It was also aimed at addressing two main research questions. One of these included the reason why at-risk students wanted to enroll in courses related to technology education.

The second was on how these students respondent to the programme. It can be noted that studies conducted utilised purposeful sampling for better quality of result. In addition, it utilised participant observation, interviews, and evidence documentation to ascertain data.

Results were impressive since at-risk students responded positively to the study questions. It is also important to note that this qualitative paper was designed in form of a case study.

Reference

Cardon, P. (2000). At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study. The Journal of Technology Studies, 26(1), 49-57. Retrieved from

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"“At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study” by Philip Cardon Critical Analysis." IvyPanda, 25 Sept. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-at-risk-students-and-technology-education-a-qualitative-study-by-philip-cardon-article/.

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IvyPanda. "“At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study” by Philip Cardon Critical Analysis." September 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-at-risk-students-and-technology-education-a-qualitative-study-by-philip-cardon-article/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "“At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study” by Philip Cardon Critical Analysis." September 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-analysis-at-risk-students-and-technology-education-a-qualitative-study-by-philip-cardon-article/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) '“At-Risk Students and Technology Education: A Qualitative Study” by Philip Cardon Critical Analysis'. 25 September.

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