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ERIC Number: ED460241
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Oct
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Stories from the Strays: What Dropouts Can Teach Us about School.
Gallagher, Carole J.
This study explored the phenomenon of dropping out of high school from the perspective of those who strayed. The voices of four recent dropouts were audiotaped and examined through an interpretive ecological lens designed to explore dropping out within the context of the school community. Informants were asked to describe their school histories, highlighting special grades, events, or teachers; identify factors leading to their decision to withdraw; and discuss present circumstances and future plans. The researcher reviewed cumulative student achievement records to ascertain the official account of each informant's school history. Informants agreed that the traditional school setting itself had become an obstacle and that a change of environment initiated by dropping out positively impacted their emotional wellbeing. Respondents resented being expected to do what everyone else did and wondered if they could have created their own schedule with flexible attendance arrangements for the times when they felt particularly incapacitated. All respondents agreed that a diploma was an important status symbol, but they did not necessarily consider it a prerequisite for a good job or a connected life. Informants' comments highlighted the ways in which school communities were not welcoming of cultural diversity. (Contains 31 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A