ERIC Number: ED344718
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992
Reference Count: N/A
From Dropout to High Achiever: An Understanding of Academic Excellence through the Ethnography of High and Low Achieving Secondary School Students.
This paper, a follow-up to a previous review of literature on academic excellence that synthesized information from the United States and Mexico, describes an ethnographic study of high-achieving and low-achieving Hispanic secondary school students from Calexico, California and Mexicali, Baja California Mexico. Five students for each group were randomly selected from 10 high-achieving and 10 low-achieving sophomore students at Calexico High School. Data were collected through interviews with students, families, and teachers, and through classroom observation. Friends of the students were also identified. Low achievers tend to dislike school and homework, exhibit distracting behavior during classes, have low attendance and habitual tardiness, and copy work from other students. The families of low-achieving students offer them limited support. These students are often forced to obtain employment as soon as possible. Friends have an adverse influence on low achievers' academic performance. High achievers intelligently question their teachers and peers. Successful teachers of high achievers gain students' confidence through listening to students, respecting students, and seriously answering questions. Successful teachers also instruct through the use of practical examples to make the class fulfilling and interesting. The families of high achievers support them through involvement in school meetings, participation in school activities and reaction to report cards. High achievers recognize that their friends have a major role in supporting their academic endeavors and realize the value of constantly taking a leadership role. High achievers come from economically, socially and culturally different groups. (LP)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco, CA.
Authoring Institution: San Diego State Univ., CA. Imperial Valley Campus. Inst. of Borders Studies.
Identifiers: California; Mexico
Note: For the related literature review, see ED 322 252.