The use of wilderness camping as a dropout prevention strategy

Goulding, Kirk (1983) The use of wilderness camping as a dropout prevention strategy. 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

This paper embodies the first two phases of a longitudinal study that the Terra Nova Integrated School Board has initiated to measure the efficacy of wilderness camping as a device to reduce, student dropout rates. These first two phases were: (1) develop a model to identify potential high school dropouts, and (2) devise a wilderness camping program to reverse the process of these students' inevitable withdrawal from school. The third phase will be-to monitor the effectiveness of the screening procedure and the effectiveness of the camping program as a dropout reduction device. -- A model to identify potential dropouts was developed by studying the literature on dropout students to find a commonality of recurring factors that cause a student to drop out of school. The most salient ones identified and used in this study were: -- 1. Extracurricular activities 2. Days absent 3. Grades failed 4. English grade point average 5. Mathematics grade point average 6. Science grade point average 7. Reading achievement. -- Male grade nine and ten students from Glovertown Regional High, Glover town and Gander Collegiate, Gander were chosen for this study. Their English, Mathematics, and Science teachers were given a questionnaire to nominate up to five students who had the worst performance on those variables associated with dropping out of school. Forty-seven students were judged to be potential dropouts. Of these, through the process of stratified random sampling, six from each of the two schools were randomly selected and assigned to an experimental group. The same procedure was used to determine the control group. -- To test the discriminating power of the model, the 47 potential dropout students were compared to 57 randomly selected male, grade nine and ten students on all seven variables. Also, the experimental group was compared to a control group on the same seven variables. The data analyses indicated that the potential dropout students were significantly different from the random sample students on all seven variables and that there was no significant difference between the experimental and control groups on any of the seven variables. -- The dropout prevention program departed from conventional approaches. It consisted of taking 12 potential dropouts on an eight day wilderness camping expedition to Terra Nova National Park, Newfoundland. They were accompanied by three school counsellors who attempted to reduce the dropout proneness of the campers by combining the uniqueness of the natural setting with routine camp activities, physical challenges, communal living experiences, and counselling techniques based on Adlerian psychology and Reality Therapy. -- The effectiveness of both the model and the camping expedition will be measured at the end of three years. In addition, the study will be replicated for a minimum of three more years. This will increase the sample size and the validity of the evaluation of the program.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/874
Item ID: 874
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 126-135
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1983
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School camps; High school dropouts

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