ERIC Number: ED478207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Learning Theory and Its Application to At-Risk Programs for Elementary School Children.
Statler, Judy K.; Petersen, George J.
Synthesizing research on effective at-risk/dropout prevention programs and the learning theory articulated in the American Psychological Association (APA) Learner-Centered Principles, this study examined the essential components present in an exemplary at-risk/dropout prevention program for kindergarten through sixth grade students. The perceptions of district-level and building-level administrators, at-risk coordinators, at-risk teachers, regular classroom teachers, and parents of at-risk students were investigated regarding the programs ability to reduce at-risk behaviors. In all, 25 people were interviewed. Findings of this qualitative case study suggest three major themes that were essential to the effectiveness of the at-risk program: (1) shared assumptions about mission; (2) student-centered focus; and (3) commitment to creation of a nurturing environment. The findings further suggest that 11 subthemes supported the major themes. Analysis of the findings revealed that features within each of the three broad areas clearly reflected the four domains of the APA learner-centered principles, although not every subtheme incorporated the concepts of all four domains. Participants indicated that their program effectively reduced three major at-risk behaviors through improved attendance, academics, and self-esteem. Parents described impressive changes in improved self-esteem, but other respondents identified changes in all three areas. (Contains 2 tables and 53 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Chicago, IL, April 21-25, 2003).