Back in the Seventh Grade - Again! Passing the EOG's Was Not Good Enough! A Qualitative Study About At-Risk Seventh Graders

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Title: Back in the Seventh Grade - Again! Passing the EOG's Was Not Good Enough! A Qualitative Study About At-Risk Seventh Graders
Author: Hicks, Gregory Eugene
Advisors: Dr. Kenneth H. Brinson, Jnr, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: The purpose of the research has been to examine why middle school students who consistently pass state-mandated tests do poorly in school and thus have to repeat their grade. This qualitative study involved twelve retained seventh grade students. Participants' school records were examined, and eight of their former and current teachers were also interviewed to develop a more complete picture of the students involved and to support data triangulation. Student participants were asked about family, friends, teachers, school life, and future plans and endeavors. Multiple case studies and focus groups were used to answer questions leading to thematic data analysis. Data analysis revealed that students who were retained had a large cadre of personal problems and concerns. From a compilation of the data, I defended the characteristics of a good middle school, a school designed and dedicated to address and meet the particular needs of young adolescents. Retention has had a significant impact on these youngsters and will be a major determinant of their future school success. Subjects of the study were candid about the importance of friendships and the value of maintaining those friendships as they move to the next grade. Students also identified their readily favorite and least favorite teachers. Teachers that cared were highly prized among study participants. Teachers who did not take time to help students individually and those who did not seem to care about the students' problems students were despised. Listening to the voices of students is the first step in designing an effective educational program that best meets their needs. The implication of this study is a model middle school that does just that.
Date: 2004-04-09
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Educational Administration and Supervision
URI: http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/resolver/1840.16/5510


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