Current Volume

Education Thinking, ISSN  2778-777X – Volume 4, Issue 1 – 2024

Volume in progressEducation Thinking follows the rolling publication model: articles are published on an ongoing basis all over the year, as soon as they are ready. The articles listed are final and citable.

literature review

To Fill the Gap: A Systematic Literature Review of Group Play-Based Intervention to Address Anxiety in Young Children with Autism

Choy, S. W.-W., Mc Guckin, C., Twomey, M., Lynam, A., & Fitzgerald, G.

While anxiety conditions in children often manifest early in life, frequently before the age of five, and there is evidence that autism spectrum conditions (ASC) co-occur in this population, there is limited availability of interventions designed to meet the unique needs of children with both anxiety conditions and ASC. The current article examines non-pharmacological group/peer-mediated interventions for managing anxiety among children with ASC. More specifically, it focuses on the effectiveness of group play-based interventions that can alleviate anxiety in children with ASC aged 2-12 years.

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In doing so, this article addresses a critical gap in the existing literature and explores evidence-based strategies tailored to this specific population. Effective interventions are identified to address the needs of children of this age group. This research contributes significantly to the body of knowledge in the fields of early intervention and well-being studies.
A Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA)-guided comprehensive Systematic Literature Review (SLR) was conducted by searching seven prominent databases and utilising Covidence management software. The databases searched were: Academic Search Complete, ERIC, PsycInfo, Medline, Web of Science (core collection), Embase, and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: A & I, specifically focusing on studies published in the most recent 15 years from 1996 to 2021. The review included studies concerning autistic children aged 2 to 12 years that aimed at reducing anxiety as their primary outcome. It was carried out systematically and transparently, with each step of the process clearly explained, and the rationale for the five reviewers’ choices and assumptions and decisions given.
The initial search yielded 7,300 studies, eventually narrowing down to 81 full-text articles selected for critical review. Among these, 44 proved relevant. 28 out of 35 studies that focused on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) displayed efficacy in reducing anxiety among children. Five out of eight studies centred around play-based approaches also showed effectiveness. One study employing Lego®-based therapy exhibited partial effectiveness in addressing childhood anxiety among autistic children. Among the 44 studies, four specifically centred on children aged 4 to 6 years with both anxiety and autism, and showed that group CBT effectively reduced anxiety.
This review identified nine evidence-based strategies. These, along with recommendations for future research to address anxiety in children with ASC, are analysed through the lens of an inclusive framework and early intervention theory.

Pages 5–34 /Publication date: 01/03/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

focus note

A Tool for Specifying the Dynamics of School-to-Work Transitions, Social Reproduction, and Social Trajectories: The AGIC Calculator

Guy Tchibozo

One of the best-known criticisms of traditional education systems concerns their deterministic impact on the social trajectory of learners, which maintains and reinforces social inequality. However, previous analysis (Tchibozo, 2004) has shown that the effect of schools on learners’ education-to-work transitions can be not only deterministic, but also random or chaotic. A new tool, the AGIC Calculator, has recently been developed to enable educators, guidance counsellors, policy makers and researchers to specify in a practical way the dynamics of learners’ school-to-work transitions

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and to analyse more precisely social reproduction, and more generally to precisely analyse the dynamics of any type of social trajectory. This note outlines the main points of the problem and the value of the AGIC Calculator for guidance counselling, education policy and research in this field.

Pages 35–38/Publication date: 05/03/2024/View HTML full textDownload full-text PDF

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