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Sample Article Review Paper on the Transformational Learning Experiences of Women

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Sample Article Review Paper on the Transformational Learning Experiences of Women

The Transformational Learning Experiences of Women

Overview

            This article discusses leadership development in the United Arab Emirates, particularly the transformational learning experiences of women. The paper summarizes the research study reported in the article and provides a critical review of its content. It starts with an explanation of how women learn and develop within the UAE. It develops by showing how transformational learning theory provides a valuable theoretical lens in guiding the study. The paper further shows how various in-depth and qualitative interviews were conducted among Emirati College students to examine how their experiences have changed women in the UAE through important influences such as classmates, activities, and support systems, as well as teaching methods. In addition, it looks at the struggles and challenges within the institution, such as new environments and difficulties in learning English. Moreover, it addresses internal processes like reflection and the discovery of new duties and relationships. Finally, the article gives implications for developing leadership programs.

Section 1: Introduction and Purpose

            According to (Madsen, 2010), private, public, and social sectors in various states spend huge sums of money in developing quality leaders, but the results turn out to be wanting. In addition, the development of quality leaders affects most organizations today. However, human resources management in contemporary institutions is focusing on leadership development (Madsen, 2010). This article points out how these efforts are in their infancy in nations such as the UAE, and how the country’s scholarly researches and its people, especially its women, are hard to find.

            This topic is important because women’s empowerment is unfolding more quickly due to the creation of a good environment in the UAE to enable women to be flexible in their approach to work and to choose career paths, balance the demands of home and office, and contribute to the development of the nation. According to Madsen (2010), the advantages of using women as agents of change within a society by taking a more perceptible role is not restricted to paid employment. Women play a vital economic role in every country across the world and keep nations moving forward. They have a voice, as well as a unique perspective, and a key role to play in social and economic development.

            The research was carried out among the Emirati College women students at the campus of ADWC in the UAE between November 2007 and May 2008. The researchers used in-depth 1-hour interviews with the assistance of a full-time faculty member and two administrators on that campus and targeted to interview eight students.

Section 2: Methodology

The researcher used the phenomenological research approach to design and conduct this qualitative interview project to gain a deeper understanding of the nature and meaning of the daily experiences. This approach was the most applicable to understand the transformational learning experiences of the students. It allowed each student the opportunity to use her own voice to describe her thoughts, perceptions, and experiences. Phenomenological and other types of qualitative research are obviously limited by the number of participants because of their exploratory nature, but they yield important information and critical insights that bring new understanding and emergence of knowledge.

The study used open-ended questions designed to extract all types of information about the students’ learning experiences and perceptions. The researcher came up with some similar follow-up questions to encourage the students, staff, faculty members and administrators to search deeper for additional answers and rich descriptions.

Section 3: Results and Findings

            Based on Madsen’s views, various steps were used to analyze the interviews. First, the researcher recorded all of the student interviews in full. Secondly, the researcher read and re-read each transcript and made some slight adjustments like cutting and pasting responses to appropriate questions when they were addressed in other parts of the interview. Further, the researcher re-read the interviews to identify key ideas and phrases about their experiences, and around 40 to 80 key phrases or ideas emerged from each interview. Moreover, all interview phrases or statements were grouped by topic, and a total of 12 primary themes or categories emerged from the interviews. All key ideas were grouped by theme so that results could be analyzed, and each category was analyzed to discover the detailed findings for the study. Finally, the analysis was then provided to four individuals (ADWC administrators and faculty) who were asked to offer additional perspective and insight that might be helpful in understanding the students’ experiences. The findings from the article related to teaching and learning methods, influential individuals, and other learning activities, which were analyzed. Limitations of space led to another article reporting about the student backgrounds, personal and their professional development.

            The research shows how the learning culture at ADWC is open. Several students pointed out that when the students first report at ADWC, they may find it difficult to learn subjects because of the differences between middle or high school and college. However, the environment and individuals within it are very supportive and interactive. Regarding the course-related teaching methods, pedagogies, and assignments for women, they believe they have most influenced their learning by use of four primary themes of presentations. The themes were increased their self confidence (to communicate with courage), learning English (to boost their communication skills and interact with business people), applied learning (whereby practical application of skills and practice were strongly encouraged like running a real business and learning professional skills), as well as reflection (how classwork relates with work after college, multicultural awareness in workplace, writing journals as a reflective work and training of people). The college has open-minded teachers who listen and support.

            Further, the institution develops interpersonal skills. The research shows that influential friends are helpful and trustworthy, provide meaningful feedback, and are open and encouraging. Colleagues and peers provide support for these learners as well. The ADWC administrators and staff as well as work supervisors are influential because of their advice, encouragement and motivational abilities. The students explained that the college offers some extra-curricular activities, but they wished it would offer more. They believe that the offerings have definitely increased for the last few years. The college offers some formal programs that provide some leadership experiences for the students. One is the peer tutoring program and student council on campus, which provides opportunities for learning and development, student representative, field trips, sports, as well as attending conferences.

Section 4: Evaluation and Reflections

            The article primarily explores the trans-formational learning experiences of Emirati women attending college in the UAE to understand how these women were transformed through their college learning experiences so that implications could be suggested for the effective design of future leadership programs that would successfully transform the women of Emirati in general. The article emphasizes that learning that transforms individuals is learning that changes individuals, and developing leadership can be a transforming process. According to the article, there is lack of initial evidence that the students’ transformational experiences have helped them develop actual leadership competencies. However, it supports the notion that the students interviewed at ADWC have had striking transformational learning experiences while attending college. Moreover, the article shows that although the research was conducted in a college setting, the hope is that it will provide at least some foundational ideas for practitioners on how to design effective leadership programs for Emirati women. It suggests extension and deepening of research on the transformational learning experiences of Emirati women in workplace settings and clarification of this line of inquiry into other settings.

            Since findings cannot be generalized across all female college students in the UAE, the article provide some insight into the learning experiences and preferences of Emirati women. There will most definitely be future opportunities for practitioners to design and implement leadership development initiatives for Emirati women and findings from the article can provide some important initial implications for designing programs that will effectively meet the developmental needs of these women. Understanding how at least some Emirati women are transformed by their learning experiences gives ideas and strategies that may be helpful for developing programs that would be most successful within the UAE. Therefore, leadership development programs should be designed to assist participants to learn and strengthen basic competencies and skills. Effective leadership initiatives for women in the UAE will be designed as long-term programs because many basic skills need to be introduced and developed throughout the length of the program.

4.1 Critical Review

Checklist for Article Review

Use the following scale to rate each section. If you give less than a 5 you need to explain why. Use page numbers and sentences to explain your answers.

5= Excellent, 4= Very Good 3= Good, 2= Weak, 1=Poor

Criteria                     

YES

NO

Score

Evidence/ Comments (Explain your answer. If you give less than a 5 you must explain your score).

Introduction:

Is there a statement of the problem?

   

5

 

What is the topic of the article?

     

The Transformational Learning Experiences of Women in UAE.

Is the background information on the problem presented?

   

5

 

Is the significance of the problem discussed?

   

5

 

When necessary, are variables or terms directly defined?

   

5

 

Literature Review:

The review has relevant studies that provide an overview of the topic

   

5

 

The review examines studies that provide support to the purpose, questions and/or hypotheses.

   

5

 

The review has a section summarizing the major findings relevant to the study?

   

5

 

Is the review well organized? Does it flow logically?

   

5

 

Are the articles current?

   

5

 

Methods and Procedures

What is the research design?

     

Phenomenological

The study provides a rationale for the research method/design selection.

   

5

 

Are there Procedures for data analysis and interpretation?

   

5

 

The study describes the participants and context / setting with enough detail.

   

5

 

Are the size and major characteristics of the sample studied described?

   

5

 

Do instruments and their administration meet guidelines for protecting human subjects

   

5

 

The study describes the type(s) of data to be collected and procedures for data collection.

   

5

 

Results

Was information given in text, tables, or both?

     

Texts

Do the results answer the research question or prove/disprove the hypothesis?

   

5

 

Discussion

Implications for your work environment or your teaching practices and/or policies

   

5

 

Does the discussion tie back to the literature review?

   

5

 

Limitations of research study discussed.

   

5

 

Are specific implications made for practice, policy and future research?

   

5

 

 

4.2 Reflections

            The article observes the requirements of a research paper. It gives clear background information, states the study problem, research questions, and the importance of the study. Further, it examines varied literature about the transformational learning experiences of women. Moreover, it states the methodology used in collection of data and the study findings. Finally, it gives conclusions and recommendations for further studies.

References

Madsen, S. R. (2010). Leadership Development in the United Arab Emirates: The Transformational Learning Experiences of Women: Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 17(1), 100 –110.

 

 

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