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ERIC Number: ED552543
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 180
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2679-9491-2
Moving from Middle to High School: Making Sense of the Freshman Transition
Dudley, Rachel E.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Northeastern University
Educators have noticed students moving from eighth grade middle school programs to ninth grade high school environments encounter difficulties during the first year of the transition. Students who do not successfully transition to high school run the risk of repeating ninth grade, falling behind their peers and possibly dropping out of high school. The purpose of this study was to better understand how students make meaning of their freshman year to develop better programming to assist students during this vulnerable point in their academic career. This study was guided by a theoretical framework consisting of critical education theory and self-efficacy theory. Using an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach, four ninth-grade students were interviewed three times each over the course of the second half of their freshman year to better understand how students make meaning of the experience. The interviews were transcribed and the data were analyzed in multiple cycles to determine the findings. Analysis included making initial notes, developing emergent themes, finding connections across emergent themes, moving to the next case and then finding patterns across cases. These patterns were the super-ordinate themes that helped explain how students make meaning of their experiences during the freshman year. Students spoke of anticipating high school, adjusting expectations, navigating landscapes, overcoming academic difficulties, participating actively, planning for the future, and reflecting on the year. Each student who participated had unique experiences, but they also had commonalities that connected their experiences as they moved through the first year of high school. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Grade 8; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Elementary Education; Secondary Education; Grade 9; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A