ERIC Number: ED337529
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
An Understanding of Academic Excellence through the Ethnography of High and Low Achieving Secondary School Students.
An ethnographic study is presented, which attempts to gain a better understanding of the gap between California high school students who are at-risk, who eventually drop out, and who are academically successful. Focus is on families, teacher student relationships, peer influence, and social context. A sample of 10 high achieving and 10 low achieving high school sophomores is used. All of the students are of Hispanic origin and attended Calexico (California) High School. The study involves two interviews at the student's houses (one with the student and one with the student's parents), two classroom observations, and interviews with teachers and friends. Findings indicate that high achievers asked questions and developed successful relationships with teachers they trusted who taught using practical examples. These students' families supported them by their involvement in and concern about education. In addition, successful students allowed friends to support their academic needs and often took a leadership role in explaining concepts to peers. Low achievers disdained school, disregarded homework, disrupted class, copied homework, and often missed classes. Their families offered limited support and were beset with economic problems. Friends of these students had an adverse influence on academic achievement. (JB)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Achievement Need, Comparative Analysis, Dropouts, Ethnography, Family Influence, Field Studies, Grade 10, High Achievement, High Risk Students, High School Students, High Schools, Hispanic American Students, Hispanic Americans, Interpersonal Relationship, Low Achievement, Peer Influence, Student Attitudes, Teacher Student Relationship, Urban Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers; Researchers; Practitioners
Sponsor: S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Calexico Unified School District CA