This article discusses the disproportionality of African American students in special education. The author notes that African American students are more likely to be identified as being mentally retarded, labeled as having learning disabilities, and having behavioral or emotional disorders as compared to their white counterparts. Therefore, African Americans are more likely to end up in special education than their Hispanic and white peers (Young, 2011). The author argues that despite many unaddressed issues concerning the validity of the system used to classify students as disabled, many leaners are continually being placed under special education using this questionable criterion. Therefore, there is a need to study the underlying conditions that contribute to the disproportionately high numbers of African American students in special education.
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Literature Review and Theoretical Framework
The author gave an elaborate literature review concerning the topic under study. A wide range of references was used to support the claims made throughout the article, which makes it reliable, as such backing of arguments eliminates the possibility of subjectivity or personal thoughts. With over 30 scholarly references and other reliable sources, the article contains useful information concerning the subject topic. However, the author used some outdated references in the article, which could affect the reliability and credibility of the results. In the theoretical framework, the author wanted to assess the various factors that contribute to the disproportionate overrepresentation of African Americans in special education.
Study Design and Methods
The qualitative study design was chosen for this study with the aim of collecting views from both teachers and school administrators concerning what they think contributes to the high numbers of African American students in special education. Data was collected using surveys whereby the participants were required to answer eight questions concerning the topic under study. Student participants were also recruited, specifically to address the issue of the kind of relationships that teachers have with learners from different backgrounds. Thematic data analysis was used to identify common themes in the responses from the participants. This form of study design and methodology was befitting to this kind of a study as the researcher sought to gather views from teachers, students, and school administrators.
Results and Discussion
The results of this study were well presented using charts, tables, and histograms for easy understanding. The author presented results independently from the various questions that were asked, including diversity of classrooms, socio-economic effect on education, field experience in urban education, and teacher classroom management styles, among other related issues. The discussion section is comprehensive as the author sought to connect the results with the objectives of the study and draw conclusions based on the available data.
Overall, the article is well written with the various sections labeled clearly for easy understanding of what is being said. Some of the strengths of this article include the use of simple language and clear formatting, which allows the reader to follow and connect concepts. In addition, the author used extensive references for the credibility of the arguments made therein. However, the author did not give limitations of the study, which is a major weakness. Similarly, some of the references used are outdated, and this aspect is inappropriate in academic research. The clinical relevance of this article is that health practitioners could use the information given herein to understand the various aspects that contribute to the disproportionate representation of African Americans in special education, which could help significantly when handling such learners in the continuum of care.
Young, M. (2011). Disproportionality of African American students in special education. Web.