ERIC Number: ED336852
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
The Meanings of "At-Risk", Whose Meanings Count, and Why: Experts, Reformers, Policymakers and Teachers.
Ways of identifying at-risk students are examined in this paper, which compares the perceptions of four groups--educational researchers, national reform groups, student and local policymakers, and teachers. The comparison is placed within the social and historical contexts of the development of educational policies for at-risk students in the late 1980s. Semantic discourse and critical policy analyses of ERIC documents and interviews were used to examine sources of the "at risk" label, reasons for its rapid diffusion, and how policymakers defined it. A conclusion is that policymakers consulted researchers, who used an epidemiological model, for advice on how to identify students. However, consideration of teachers' views of at-risk students based on a social constructivist model is advocated as a starting point for reform. The recommendation is made to abandon the "at risk" label that predicts and predetermines student failure. (101 references) (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revision of paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 3-7, 1991).