The number of homeless students throughout the nation is increasing each year. The majority of these homeless students attend public schools. Many children who live in these situations experience trauma which can impact their ability to perform in school. Feelings of belonging and connectedness to school can serve as a protective factor for students and prevent risk-taking behaviors. This research study used a phenomenological design to understand the lived experiences of homeless, middle-level adolescents and their feelings of connectedness to school. Using an open-ended interview process, five participants who attended the same middle school shared their experiences that may or may not have made them feel connected to school. Themes that emerged from the interviews included challenges students experienced, students’ perceptions of staff, relationships with peers, school climate, pedagogy, and student advice to improve belonging or connectedness to school. The study supported findings of previous research in addition to providing insight into the lived experiences of the homeless, middle-level adolescents. Data from the research may provide administrators with information to adapt school practices and provide more opportunities for students to feel connected to school.
|Advisor:||Fowler, Gerald L.|
|Commitee:||Wright, Tiffany, Brunner, Rhonda|
|Department:||Educational Leadership and Special Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Belonging, Connectedness, Homeless students, Protective factors, Risk-taking behaviors, Trauma|
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