The purpose of the study by Bardick, Bernes, Magnusson and Witko of the University of Lethbridge was to establish the career planning needs of students in junior and senior high school, the role parents’ play in it and the level to which they (parents) can be involved. Participants included 765 junior high school parents and 337 senior high school parents. Thus, 69% of the participants were junior high school parents while 31% were senior high school parents. The intervention consisted of random sampling, open-ended questionnaires and data analysis using quantitative and qualitative methods. The results showed that parents believed that career planning was important and they recognized that they played a major part in assisting their children to select and plan for a career. Based on the results, it appears that teachers might want to consider implementing a career-planning curriculum that will assist in familiarizing them with various careers at an early age.
Problem/ area explored
I agree with the researcher that a parent’s contribution to the child’s career planning is very important. Career planning is crucial to the development of the child’s future career goals and ambitions and the parent should play an active and supportive role in ensuring that the child chooses a career that enables him to utilize his full potential. A parent is best suited to assist the child in evaluating and selecting career options because he knows the child’s skills, interests, talents and abilities.
Research question(s)/ purpose/ hypothesis(es)
The researcher has stated the research hypothesis clearly. A good hypothesis is supposed to outline the major issues that the paper is going to discuss. In the abstract, the researcher states that the research is going to examine the career planning needs of junior and senior high students in southern Alberta and the parents’ perceptions on how prepared they thought their children were. In addition, it will examine how they would be able to help them in career planning and the gaps that they identified in the available career planning services. The hypothesis also states the findings of the study, and thus fulfills its objectives of stating the problem, the process and the findings (Bardick et al., 2005).
The participants in this study were 765 junior high parents and 337 senior high parents. Thus, the ratio of junior high parents to senior high parents was 2.24:1. This ratio is quite high; the researcher should have used an equal number of parents for both segments of high school. This error might result in a flaw in the research’s findings (Bardick et al., 2005). The researcher should also have explained whether he interviewed mostly mothers or mostly fathers.
The research instrument used was an open-ended questionnaire that was administered to the parents. The questionnaire’s reliability was enhanced by the fact that in the first question, it gave the respondents the ability to rate their answer from 0-4, that is from the highest variable to the lowest variable. The fact that it is open-ended allows the respondents to explain their answers, and thus the respondents not only answer yes or no, but they also articulate their thoughts on the subject in question. The table that gauges the parent’s perception of their children’s preparedness for career planning was designed specifically for the study.
Was it clear to you why each instrument was used? Explain
It was clear to me why each of the instruments was used, the open-ended questionnaire was used to obtain the respondents response to the subject while the table was used to assess what the parents thought about how prepared their children were for career planning.
Did you have any concerns regarding instrument development or usage?
I did not have any concerns about the instrument development or usage. However, the researcher should have used a diagram to illustrate his findings in a clearer way.
Design and Procedures
The design of the study is understandable because the researcher breaks down the research into segments and explains the respondents’ response to each of the questions. He separates the junior high parents’ answers from the senior high parents’ answers. This enables the reader to understand the research information better. The researcher should however have used diagrams such as pie charts and bar graphs to illustrate his findings. The research design is too theoretic.
Given the information from the authors, could you replicate the study?
Yes. I would be able to replicate the study, but would balance the ratio between junior high and senior high parents. I would also diagrammatize the study in order to enhance its visual appeal and make it easier to understand.
Is there anything about the design that does not seem appropriate or clear?
It is not clear to me why the researcher focused solely on providing the research information and failed to provide evidence through illustrations.
All the data that is stated in the hypothesis has been reported in the findings. This includes; the career planning needs of junior and senior high students in southern Alberta, the parents’ perceptions on how prepared they thought their children were, how they will help them in career planning and the gaps that they identified in the available career planning services. Moreover, the results are well outlined and arranged. For each research question, the writer creates a heading for it and then proceeds to give his findings in paragraphs (Bardick et al., 2005).
The results are clear answers to the outlined research questions. For each of the four questions the researcher asks, he provides the results in a clear manner. In addition, there is no allusion to other situations and settings that are unsupported in the research. The research ends with a works cited page that clearly outlines the sources of his research answer.
Bardick, A. D., Bernes, K.B., Magnusson, K.C. & Witko, K. D. (2005). Parents’ Perceptions of Their Role in Children’s Career Planning. New York, NY: The H.W. Wilson Company.