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ERIC Number: ED514247
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 115
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-9473-4
Breaking out of the Box: A Grounded Theory Study of Urban High School Students
Libert, Rodney Andre
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Fielding Graduate University
I conducted a grounded theory (GT) study at a southern New England high school to investigate why many students are failing. What emerged is a process that explains why many students are succeeding in spite of the many obstacles they face. Most of the students in the substantive unit are immigrants or children of immigrants. Many of these immigrant students are in the process of assimilating into American culture and a new and very different education system. After approximately 3 years of observations and taking field notes, I then conducted interviews, coded and analyzed data, and returned to observations, field notes, school data, and interviews. The emergent, grounded theory of breaking out of the box is a process students employ to attain success in the face of the vicious cycle of poverty. Students are actively engaged in an emotional process that leads them from social and academic ignorance to knowledge and achievement on the journey to success. From the initiating stage, significant adults play important roles in the students' desires to escape their cultures of inequality and poverty. The journey is a treacherous one, with students navigating around what they believe to be purposely positioned obstacles and maneuvering their way to success. Many of the behaviors seen in teenagers are because of not knowing the facts, not knowing where to get advice, and not knowing whom to trust. They all need a trusting adult to "walk" with them throughout the process of breaking out of the box. Once they are able to identify an adult--in many cases a teacher, counselor, coach, relative or pastor--they begin the journey to what would be their individual successes. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A