Career Development and Adolescents Who are Hard of Hearing: Career Maturity, Career Decision-Making and Career Barriers Among High School Students in Regular Classes
Author(s)Punch, Renee J
Australian secondary students
career choices for hearing impaired
teaching the hearing impaired
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AbstractIn Australia, as in most English-speaking countries, increasing numbers of children with significant hearing loss are being educated in regular classes with the support of itinerant teachers of the deaf, rather than in segregated settings. These students primarily use their amplified residual hearing and communicate orally, and may be functionally defined as hard of hearing. This thesis reports on a study investigating the career development of hard of hearing high school students attending regular Year 10, 11, and 12 classes with itinerant teacher support in the Australian states of Queensland and New South Wales. The students had bilateral sensorineural hearing losses ranging from mild to profound. The study sought to identify and analyse the key factors that influence the career development of this population. The design of the study was informed by Social Cognitive Career Theory (Lent, Brown, & Hackett, 1994), with its emphasis on cognitive variables, personal agency, diversity, and contextual influences, and the developmental theory of Donald Super and its associated concept of career maturity (Super, 1980; Super, Savickas, & Super, 1996). The study also investigated the social participation of hard of hearing adolescents and the relationship among the students' perceptions of their social participation, their social self-concept, and their career decision-making. The research was conducted using a three-phase, mixed methods approach incorporating two major phases, one quantitative and one qualitative, preceded by a minor, preliminary phase. The preliminary, exploratory phase of the study was included in order to guide the design of the survey instrument, and in particular the section covering perceived career barriers, an area not discussed in the literature for this population. Interviews were conducted with four hard of hearing Year 12 school students and four hard of hearing first-year university students who were recent school-leavers. In phase two, sixty-five hard of hearing students were compared with a matched group of normally hearing peers on measures of career maturity, career indecision, perceived career barriers, social participation and three variables associated with Social Cognitive Career Theory: career decision-making self-efficacy, outcome expectations, and goals. In addition, predictors of career maturity were tested for both groups. Phase three comprised the collection and analysis of qualitative data from interviews with a proportion of the survey respondents to explore the quantitative results in greater depth. Twelve students with hearing losses ranging from moderate to profound participated in these interviews. Results of the quantitative analysis indicated that (a) the two groups did not differ on measures of career maturity or social participation, (b) the Social Cognitive Career Theory variables were less predictive of career behaviours for the hard of hearing students than for the normally hearing students, and (c) perceived career barriers related to hearing loss predicted lower scores on the measure of career development attitudes for the hard of hearing students. The quantitative data also showed that survey respondents reported high levels of anticipation of some hearing-related barriers to achieving their educational or career goals, particularly 'people not understanding my hearing loss.' The results of the qualitative analysis extended many of the quantitative findings, yielding information and insights inaccessible through traditional quantitative methods. The qualitative findings revealed ways in which students perceived potential barriers, how they felt about them, and ways in which their perceptions of barriers influenced their career choice and decision-making. In addition, the qualitative findings revealed a complex interaction among students' social participation with their peers, their experiences of other people's negative reactions, their self-consciousness about their hearing loss, their fears about mishearing people, and their career decision-making. In sum, the study identified potential career barriers as a key factor influencing the career development of this group of hard of hearing students, and clarified understanding of the way in which their social self-concept interacted with their career development. The study's findings contribute to current knowledge and understanding of the career development of adolescents with significant hearing loss who attend regular classes with itinerant teacher support in two states of Australia. The thesis discusses implications for theory and for practice that have arisen from the study, and sets out recommendations for ways in which the career development and transition of this population might be improved.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Education and Professional Studies
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An ethnographic exploration of counsellors' experiences of career councelling with studentsCronje, E.M.; Nieuwoudt, J.M.; Kodisang, Tshifhiwa Marylene (2017-03-15)The purpose of this ethnographic study is to explore the following:
1. The counsellors’ experience of the process of career counselling provided to students at a distance learning institution
2. My own experiences of doing counselling with Unisa students.
3. How Holland’s career theory, the social cognitive career theory and the chaos theory of careers could shape the process of career counselling.
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Attention is given to the development of career counsellors’ identity and self-confidence and how this impacts on the counsellors’ growth.
The recommendations of this study hold the promise of contributing to the counselling process at the DCCD.
Success in the protean career : a predictive study of professional artists and tertiary arts graduatesBridgstock, Ruth Sarah (Queensland University of Technology, 2007)In the shift to a globalised creative economy where innovation and creativity are increasingly prized, many studies have documented direct and indirect social and economic benefits of the arts. In addition, arts workers have been argued to possess capabilities which are of great benefit both within and outside the arts, including (in addition to creativity) problem solving abilities, emotional intelligence, and team working skills (ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, 2007). However, the labour force characteristics of professional artists in Australia and elsewhere belie their importance. The average earnings of workers in the arts sector are consistently less than other workers with similar educational backgrounds, and their rates of unemployment and underemployment are much higher (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2005; Caves, 2000; Throsby & Hollister, 2003). Graduating students in the arts appear to experience similar employment challenges and exhibit similar patterns of work to artists in general. Many eventually obtain work unrelated to the arts or go back to university to complete further tertiary study in fields unrelated to arts (Graduate Careers Council of Australia, 2005a). Recent developments in career development theory have involved discussion of the rise of boundaryless careers amongst knowledge workers. Boundaryless careers are characterised by non-linear career progression occurring outside the bounds of a single organisation or field (Arthur & Rousseau, 1996a, 1996b). The protean career is an extreme form of the boundaryless career, where the careerist also possesses strong internal career motivations and criteria for success (Baruch, 2004; Hall, 2004; Hall & Mirvis, 1996). It involves a psychological contract with one's self rather than an organisation or organisations. The boundaryless and protean career literature suggests competencies and dispositions for career self-management and career success, but to date there has been minimal empirical work investigating the predictive value of these competencies and dispositions to career success in the boundaryless or protean career. This program of research employed competencies and dispositions from boundaryless and protean career theory to predict career success in professional artists and tertiary arts graduates. These competencies and dispositions were placed into context using individual and contextual career development influences suggested by the Systems Theory Framework of career development (McMahon & Patton, 1995; Patton & McMahon, 1999, 2006a). Four substantive studies were conducted, using online surveys with professional artists and tertiary arts students / graduates, which were preceded by a pilot study for measure development. A largely quantitative approach to the program of research was preferred, in the interests of generalisability of findings. However, at the time of data collection, there were no quantitative measures available which addressed the constructs of interest. Brief scales of Career Management Competence based on the Australian Blueprint for Career Development (Haines, Scott, & Lincoln, 2003), Protean Career Success Orientation based on the underlying dispositions for career success suggested by protean career theory, and Career Development Influences based on the Systems Theory Framework of career development (McMahon & Patton, 1995; Patton & McMahon, 1999, 2006a) were constructed and validated via a process of pilot testing and exploratory factor analyses. This process was followed by confirmatory factor analyses with data collected from two samples: 310 professional artists, and 218 graduating arts students who participated at time 1 (i.e., at the point of undergraduate course completion in October, 2005). Confirmatory factor analyses via Structural Equation Modelling conducted in Study 1 revealed that the scales would benefit from some respecification, and so modifications were made to the measures to enhance their validity and reliability. The three scales modified and validated in Study 1 were then used in Studies 3 and 4 as potential predictors of career success for the two groups of artists under investigation, along with relevant sociodemographic variables. The aim of the Study 2 was to explore the construct of career success in the two groups of artists studied. Each participant responded to an open-ended question asking them to define career success. The responses for professional artists were content analysed using emergent coding with two coders. The codebook was later applied to the arts students' definitions. The majority of the themes could be grouped into four main categories: internal definitions; financial recognition definitions; contribution definitions; and non-financial recognition definitions. Only one third of the definition themes in the professional artists' and arts graduates' definitions of career success were categorised as relating to financial recognition. Responses within the financial recognition category also indicated that many of the artists aspired only to a regular subsistence level of arts income (although a small number of the arts graduates did aspire to fame and fortune). The second section of the study investigated the statistical relationships between the five different measures of career success for each career success definitional category and overall. The professional artists' and arts graduates' surveys contained several measures of career success, including total earnings over the previous 12 months, arts earnings over the previous 12 months, 1-6 self-rated total employability, 1-6 self-rated arts employability, and 1-6 self-rated self-defined career success. All of the measures were found to be statistically related to one another, but a very strong statistical relationship was identified between each employability measure and its corresponding earnings measure for both of the samples. Consequently, it was decided to include only the earnings measures (earnings from arts, and earnings overall) and the self-defined career success rating measure in the later studies. Study 3 used the career development constructs validated in Study 1, sociodemographic variables, and the career success measures explored in Study 2 via Classification and Regression Tree (CART - Breiman, Friedman, Olshen, & Stone, 1984) style decision trees with v-fold crossvalidation pruning using the 1 SE rule. CART decision trees are a nonparametric analysis technique which can be used as an alternative to OLS or hierarchical regression in the case of data which violates parametric statistical assumptions. The three optimal decision trees for total earnings, arts earnings and self defined career success ratings explained a large proportion of the variance in their respective target variables (R2 between 0.49 and 0.68). The Career building subscale of the Career Management Competence scale, pertaining to the ability to manage the external aspects of a career, was the most consistent predictor of all three career success measures (and was the strongest predictor for two of the three trees), indicating the importance of the artists' abilities to secure work and build the external aspects of a career. Other important predictors included the Self management subscale of the Career Management Competence scale, Protean Career Success Orientation, length of time working in the arts, and the positive role of interpersonal influences, skills and abilities, and interests and beliefs from the Career Development Influences scale. Slightly different patterns of predictors were found for the three different career success measures. Study 4 also involved the career development constructs validated in Study 1, sociodemographic variables, and the career success measures explored in Study 2 via CART style decision trees. This study used a prospective repeated measures design where the data for the attribute variables were gathered at the point of undergraduate course completion, and the target variables were measured one year later. Data from a total of 122 arts students were used, as 122 of the 218 students who responded to the survey at time 1 (October 2005) also responded at time 2 (October 2006). The resulting optimal decision trees had R2 values of between 0.33 and 0.46. The values were lower than those for the professional artists' decision trees, and the trees themselves were smaller, but the R2 values nonetheless indicated that the arts students' trees possessed satisfactory explanatory power. The arts graduates' Career building scores at time 1 were strongly predictive of all three career success measures at time 2, a similar finding to the professional artists' trees. A further similarity between the trees for the two samples was the strong statistical relationship between Career building, Self management, and Protean Career Success Orientation. However, the most important variable in the total earnings tree was arts discipline category. Technical / design arts graduates consistently earned more overall than arts graduates from other disciplines. Other key predictors in the arts graduates' trees were work experience in arts prior to course completion, positive interpersonal influences, and the positive influence of skills and abilities and interests and beliefs on career development. The research program findings represent significant contributions to existing knowledge about artists' career development and success, and also the transition from higher education to the world of work, with specific reference to arts and creative industries programs. It also has implications for theory relating to career success and protean / boundaryless careers.