Post-compulsory Participation of Students with Disabilities: The Importance of Perceived Personal Control
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Abbott-Chapman, JA and Easthope, G and O'Connor, P, Post-compulsory Participation of Students with Disabilities: The Importance of Perceived Personal Control, The Australian Educational Researcher, 22, (1) pp. 67-83. ISSN 0311-6999 (1995) [Refereed Article]
• Health was not an important issue for students with disabilities, and was unrelated to their academic performance. • A positive relationship between social network measures and perceived health was not found for the students with disabilities, but it was found for able-bodied students. • At an experiential level through qualitative findings, the importance of self help and support groups was demonstrated, along with institutional responsiveness. • An apparently paradoxical relationship was found between the severity of disability and the normalised honours score (the more severe the disability the higher the score) which appears to demonstrate the high motivation or 'stickability' of students with disabilities who have persisted with studies at the post-compulsory level. • In terms of academic achievement as measured by the Normalised Honours Score and controlling for student load, the students with sensory and physical disabilities performed on a par with able bodied students in the control group. Differences were explained more by campus of study than by disability of the students. • Perceived Personal Control has the highest correlation with the Normalised Honours Score as a measure of student achievement. Those students who feel mastery and control over their education perform better, whether disabled or able bodied. The task of teachers and educators is to encourage in students high expectations for themselves, whether those students are disadvantaged or advantaged and whether they have disabilities or are able bodied, and a sense of mastery and control, in enabling them to reach their educational goals. © 1995 Australian Association for Research in Education.
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