Succeeding in School: A Qualitative Analysis

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Title: Succeeding in School: A Qualitative Analysis
Author: Zyromski, Brett
Advisors: Marc A. Grimmett, Committee Member
Rupert Nacoste, Committee Member
Edwin R. Gerler Jr., Committee Co-Chair
Sylvia C. Nassar-McMillan, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: This preliminary, exploratory qualitative study examined data from a previous application of the web-based Succeeding in School Program. The ten week school counseling classroom guidance program was originally paper-and-pencil but recently has been converted online to create a web-based intervention. Previous paper-and-pencil interventions using the program suggested positive increases in students' attitudes towards school, increases in positive classroom behavior and increases in language arts grades (Gerler & Anderson, 1986; Gerler & Drew, 1990), as well as significant increases in students' awareness of how to achieve school success (Gerler & Herndon, 1993). Participants in the web-based application of the Succeeding in School Program were 77 fourth and 62 fifth grade students attending an elementary school (K-6) in southeastern North Carolina. Ages ranged from 10-11 years old for the fourth graders and 11-12 years old for the fifth graders. The main goal of this study was to illuminate perspectives of the participants by identifying themes from students' responses to each lesson of the online Succeeding in School Program. Resulting themes were related to past quantitative results of the paper-and-pencil version of the program. Student submissions were tabulated by response length, sentence structure, and web slang. The current phenomenological examination of the data found themes identifying family and friends as students' role models, themes related to goal setting and themes related to students' need to change their mindset, focus, and work ethic to achieve success. Other themes spoke to students' fear of various types of tests and poor academic results. Students also expressed fearing corporal and other punishment. Themes illuminated students' responsibilities at home and at school, as well as academic skills students' gained in assorted academic subjects. Students' responded to prompts within the Succeeding in School Program with emotions such as happiness, joy, fear, anger, pride, nervousness, and embarrassment. Implications of these and other emergent themes, as well as statistical information related to sentence lengths and sentence structure of students' submissions, were discussed and future research directions were presented.
Date: 2007-04-25
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Counselor Education

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