Bright Students in a Wasteland: The At-Risk Gifted, A Qualitative Study of Fourteen Gifted Dropouts

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Title: Bright Students in a Wasteland: The At-Risk Gifted, A Qualitative Study of Fourteen Gifted Dropouts
Author: Carper, Ann
Advisors: Dr. Paul Bitting, Committee Member
Abstract: The purpose of the research has been to examine the perspectives of school from fourteen academically gifted students who dropped out of high school. The application of this research would be for schools to analyze the implications these perspectives provide to design and implement strategies to enable students to finish high school. The research involves interviewing the fourteen participants and analyzing the text of the interviews to determine common themes concerning barriers to successful completion of high school. The major themes that emerged from this study were health problems, dysfunctional families, poor decisions regarding peer relations, school issues and the feeling of isolation or disconnection from school. Several of the students had severe health problems or pregnancy and had difficulty reentering school after lengthy absences. Some of the students frequently skipped school and were involved in substance abuse. All of the students described being bored in classes, feeling that they could not fit in socially in large schools, were bothered by cliques and favoritism, and had not established a relationship with any adult in the school. Twelve of the fourteen lived with a single parent, and several of the parents had health, substance abuse or psychological problems. It is important to examine from the words of the students themselves how these factors interact to prevent the completion of high school. Schools may gain from their stories implications to support students with similar problems, and to improve the school culture to provide motivation for students to stay in school.
Date: 2003-01-07
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/3836


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