Alternative education has become an integral program, in one form or another throughout most school districts in the United States. Alternative education is a very complex and controversial issue that is best understood through the stories of former alternative education students looking back on their lived experiences. Children in the alternative education program studied here were generally those who did not fit into a general education program due to behavior problems or lack of academic success.
The purpose of the study was to investigate alternative education primarily through in-depth interviews and case studies of 18 previous alternative education students who were voluntary participants and secondarily through interviews of current alternative education professional staff. The main research question was: In what ways has the study program been meeting the needs of students in the alternative education program, and in what ways may it be improved? The sub questions were the following: (a) Which aspects of this alternative education program are effective or ineffective and why, according to former participants? and (b) Which strategies utilized in the alternative education program may be useful in general education classrooms, according to the participants?
Results revealed that the majority of students viewed the alternative education experience as positive if there was a patient, supportive, caring adult in their school life. The study program was effective in meeting the needs of the students through low student-to-teacher ratios, highly structured classrooms, school and community mentors, and high quality academic instruction. However, more of the following is needed: funding for some students who need services outside the school, initial and continuing education for staff to counter teacher burn-out and stereotyping of students, space to alleviate overcrowding, parent involvement, and leadership. Ten themes emerged from the data: anger, victim mentality, neglect, abandonment, apathy, self-doubt, bullying, academic struggles, unequal prospects, and most important—a relationship with a caring adult.
|Commitee:||Sherblom, Stephen, Weir, Graham|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Alternative education, Mentor programs, Parent involvement|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be