School-to-Work Transitions for Youth With Disabilities: A Review of Outcomes and Practices

L. A. Phelps, C. Hanley-Maxwell

These authors report two main findings about improving the school-to-work transition for youth with disabilities. First, the general expectations for educational achievement by youth, including those with disabilities, are changing markedly as we approach the 21st century. The resulting uncertainty regarding valued knowledge and competence creates new dilemmas for both defining and assessing student learning for youth with disabilities. Addressing these dilemmas is especially critical for these youth who have not fared well in terms of postschool outcomes-employment, earnings, and further education. Second, the review of educational practices linked to positive learning outcomes for youth with disabilities aligns with two components of school-to-work: (1) integrating academic and vocational learning, and (2) providing expanded opportunities for work experience. These authors call for a collaborative search for teaching and learning experiences that will produce high-quality postschool outcomes for all youth with disabilities. This article is reprinted from the Summer 1997 issue of Review of Educational Research.

MDS-1237 / October 1998


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