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ERIC Number: ED530938
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 235
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1094-9773-1
Public Alternative School Practice: Creating Spaces for Reengagement and Reconnection
Lohmann, Jane Sloan
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Harvard University
This embedded case study collects and analyzes the perspectives of both youth and adults at one public alternative high school for youth at risk of school failure and aims to investigate the program practices and structures that promote school engagement and connectedness. Informed by bodies of literature from the fields of school engagement, school connectedness, and public alternative schools for high-risk youth, I define school engagement as the nature and quality of student participation with regard to the school's purpose, student attendance, and academic engagement; and school connectedness as the experiences that youth and adults associate with belonging and agency. The study focuses on the individual, the school and their intersections, as well as both the interpersonal and academic dimensions of the school experience. The five primary findings reflect the programs and practices that support engagement and connectedness at one public alternative high school. These include: (a) schools must incorporate a clearly defined purpose and articulated target population; (b) strong caring, respectful and reciprocal relationships are an essential component of supporting students' renewed relationships to learning and schooling; (c) students and adults must have opportunities for human to human connection, and both adults and youth benefit from flexible roles; (d) the concept of "easy" does not necessarily connote simple; rather, it describes the participants' experience of an environment that supports increased engagement, connectedness and success; and (e) high expectations and high support cannot be mutually exclusive, though the two can be difficult to maintain equally given the external (demands on schools) and internal (student needs) pressures. [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: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A