A study of the differences in perceptions between potential and non-potential school dropouts on select aspects of school life

O'Reilly, Joan Mary (1988) A study of the differences in perceptions between potential and non-potential school dropouts on select aspects of school life. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The vast amount of research that has been conducted on the problem of students dropping out of school shows that the causes and solutions are multifaceted. This situation demands extensive research in all dimensions of the problem and in particular in areas that would suggest a proactive approach to the problem. While in the past numerous studies have concentrated on causes external to the school, recently there have been calls for schools to examine internal influences on the dropping out process. It is the conviction of this research and supported in the literature that schools can prevent students from dropping out of school. Such prevention, however, requires early insights into the reality of school for students, especially for those who are showing signs of alienation from the school. The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in perceptions on selected aspects of school life, among sixth and seventh grade students classified as potential and non-potential school dropouts. -- Four research questions were posed in this study. These questions focused on the determination of significant differences between the two groups on perceptions of four aspects of school life, broadly defined as teachers, school discipline, school work, and school success. These four aspects were more specifically broken down into eleven school related variables. These variables were identified as: teacher attitudes, teacher behaviours, teacher expectations, effectiveness of school discipline, fairness of school discipline, interest of school work, relevance of school work, difficulty of school work, satisfaction with school work, expectations for school success, and opportunities for school success. Data were gathered by means of a Student Checklist which required both a frequency and an intensity response from students on perceptions. By statistical analysis, it was determined that significant differences existed in the frequency of perceptions between potential and non-potential school dropouts on all variables. It was also determined that significant differences occurred in intensity of perceptions but only on several variables, specifically, fairness of school discipline, difficulty of school work, and expectations for school success. -- The fact that potential school dropouts in this study hold more negative perceptions of school long before they decide to drop out has implications for the prevention of dropping out for schools. Knowledge that students who have been identified to be at risk of dropping out hold significantly more negative perceptions of school than other students, could stimulate educators to re-examine their responses to those students in an effort to strengthen their bonds with the school.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/4320
Item ID: 4320
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 145-157.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1988
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Dropouts; Dropout behavior, Prediction of

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