ERIC Number: ED330910
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar-29
Reference Count: N/A
Traditional High School Dropouts: A Qualitative Study at an Alternative High School.
Kaczynski, Daniel J.
This qualitative research study was conducted at one alternative high school to examine why traditional high school dropouts attend alternative schools. Data were gathered over three stages of research during a 2-year period. Sources of data included 105 hours of site observations, student interviews, and the review of site documents. The data revealed that the students at the alternative high school had established a significant level of informal control. Four major assertions were supported by the data: (1) students experienced greater freedom than they had previously experienced at a traditional high school; (2) student choice had a positive impact on the effectiveness of the alternative school; (3) students monitored and adjusted individual student behavior in relation to acceptable group behavior; and (4) students enjoyed the experiences of success while attending the alternative school. Based on findings of the study, it is recommended that alternative schools be supported while traditional schools are being reformed; that the effectiveness of alternative and traditional schools be improved by listening to the needs of dropouts; that alternative school advisory committees be trained in listening to such needs; that efforts by alternative school faculty in advocating for the needs of dropouts be supported; that traditional school faculty and administrators be trained in listening to and understanding the needs of potential dropouts; and that community social policymakers be involved in understanding the issues surrounding the high school dropout problem. (NB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, March 27-31, 1989). Summary of a dissertation.