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ERIC Number: ED518886
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 144
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-2021-5
Can You Hear Us Now? Understanding Student Experiences in an Alternative School Environment
Bedka-Strain, Kathy
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Hofstra University
In recent years, the number of students enrolled in alternative schools who are at-risk for academic failure has significantly increased. Students with disabilities, primarily students with emotional and behavioral disabilities and learning disabilities, are increasingly educated in alternative settings. Placement of students in alternative schools means they have been unsuccessful in other less restrictive settings. Many times, students who are at-risk have self-defeating attitudes and perceptions toward school and themselves, facing difficulties such as academic failure, apathy, aggressive behaviors, higher dropout rates, substance abuse problems and incarceration. Students at-risk comprise 80% of all students who drop out of school and are disproportionately represented in the juvenile system. Clearly, an in-depth look into this complex dilemma is necessary to meet higher educational standards and improve even larger societal problems associated with students who struggle in and out of school. The findings of this qualitative case study revealed three main themes about how participants perceive their experiences in this alternative setting. According to the participants, their identity, the concept of fairness, and learning environment played a significant role in shaping their school experiences. These experiences of being treated unfairly, believing they are bad, stupid and responsible for their failures in school seemed to have a negative impact on their self-efficacy beliefs. The significance of these findings revealed that, although this alternative school does provide more flexibility and smaller class size, the school structures are not meeting the needs of this struggling population. In addition, this setting may serve to limit opportunities for social interaction and other types of learning. [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: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A