UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Telling tales : constructions of school experience as chronicled by senior alternate education students Leroy, Barbara A. 2001

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-ubc_2001-0233.pdf [ 7.25MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0053885.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0053885-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0053885-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0053885-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0053885-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0053885-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0053885-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0053885-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0053885.ris

Full Text

TELLING TALES: CONSTRUCTIONS OF SCHOOL EXPERIENCE AS CHRONICLED BY SENIOR ALTERNATE EDUCATION STUDENTS by B A R B A R A A. L E R O Y B.A. , St. Thomas University, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL F U L F I L L M E N T OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology, and Special Education) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH C O L U M B I A March, 2001 ©Barbara A. Leroy, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) Abstract Grounded Theory methodology was employed to investigate the experience of school from kindergarten through grade twelve for seven students currently enrolled in a senior Alternate Education Program. The conceptual model generated from interviews, documentary evidence, follow-up participant checks and collaborative analysis indicated the core elements of the Alternate School setting, including a caring interpersonal relationship with the teacher and a nurturing environment, were fiindamental to the academic success of all participants. Noteworthy in the model was the contrast presented between a turbulent regular .education experience and the rejuvenating qualities of the Alternate Education classroom. Means of integrating these Alternate School factors within the regular education system and the larger community are discussed. i l l TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii EPIGRAPH viii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF TABLES vi LIST OF FIGURES vii CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION 1 The Problem , 1 Significance of the Study 4 Purpose 7 Definitions 7 Limitations..... 9 Delimitations 10 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW 11 I. The Behavior Disordered Child 11 Classification 11 Prevalence of Behavior Disorders 12 Identification 14 II. Alternate Education 15 History 15 Prograrnming/Instructional Practices 16 What Works 17 Academics 17 Attitudes of Students Toward School 18 Attitudes of Students Toward Teachers 19 Attitudes of Teachers Toward Students 20 Drop-Out/Drop-Back Phenomenon 21 Elementary School Experience 21 Costs to Individual 22 Costs to Society 23 Summary 24 CHAPTER 3. METHOD 26 Grounded Theory Methodology 26 Participants 29 Incentive 30 Data Sources 30 Interview Setting 31 Data Analysis 31 Establishing Confidence in Results 34 Member Check Feedback , 36 CHAPTER 4. RESULTS 37 Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation 37 Historical Factors 40 Trauma In The Regular School System 40 Instability at Home 45 i v Phenomenon 49 Alternate School Programming 49 Intervening Conditions 50 Personality o f the Alternate Education Teacher 50 The Alternate Education Classroom Environment ....52 Context ; 54 Acceptance 54 Flexibil i ty '. 55 Compassion 55 Respect 56 Safety 56 Participant Strategies 57 Bonding to Alternate School Program 57 Minimizat ion of the Historical Factors 58 Outcomes... 61 Academic Success .61 Age Appropriate Routines 62 Hope for the Future 63 Disconfirming Evidence / Sampling Bias 64 Summary 66 C H A P T E R 5. D I S C U S S I O N 68 Introduction '. 68 The Dynamic Rejuvenation Model 69 Resiliency 69 Protective Factors 70 Resilient Schools 71 School History 72 Underachievement 72 Truancy ; 73 Timetabling 74 Substance Abuse 75 Conflicted Teacher-Student Relationships 76 Grade Retention / Bul lying 78 Difficulties A t Home 79 Parental Importance 79 Single Mothers and Poverty 80 Conflicted Parent-Child Relationships 81 Family Relocation 82 Rejuvenating Factors 82 The Good News 82 Alternate Education Teacher 83 Alternate Education Classroom 85 Exemplary Schools 89 Strengths and Limitations 90 Conclusion '. • 92 R E F E R E N C E S 94 V APPENDIX A: Alternate Education Intake Forms 104 APPENDIX B: Informed Consent Form 108 APPENDIX C: Participant Biographies 110 APPENDIX D: Serni-Structured Interview Format (First Interview) 119 APPENDIX E: Semi-Structured Interview Format (Second Interview) 120 APPENDIX F: District Counsellor Availability 121 APPENDIX G: Coding of Data 122 APPENDIX H : Events in School History 156 L I S T O F T A B L E S Table 1: Descriptive Data o f Participants L I S T O F F I G U R E S Figure 1: Theoretical Mode l o f Dynamic Rejuvenation M y task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word, to make you hear, to make you feel..... it is before all, to make you see .... and perhaps also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask." Joseph Conrad (1897) 1 CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION The Problem Alternate Education Programs are special education classrooms designed for the at-risk secondary student experiencing academic and behavioral difficulties. As noted in the British Columbia Alternate Education newsletter, associations at both the district and provincial levels employ the term Alternate Education exclusively (Mayer, 1998), whereas official Ministry of Education documents refer to the identical sources as Rehabilitative Programs (Province of British Columbia, 1995). Until very recently, the number of Alternate Education Programs throughout the province had increased annually. Since 1989, registration in these classrooms in British Columbia has more than doubled (Mayer, 1998). A dozen years ago, when the author began teaching Alternate Education in the British Columbia school district of Delta, there were four Alternate Education Programs. Today there are ten. Because classrooms quickly fill to capacity, waitlists are customary and new applicants must devise auxiliary arrangements until a space becomes available. Under various titles, Alternate Education Programs have been operational from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada for more than thirty-five years (Gallagher, 1993; Winzer, 1990). Admission criteria have included students of average through superior ability who had difficulties with mainstream school and who were willing to regularly attend. Contra-indicators included students who were "mentally retarded, physically handicapped, or pupils with serious emotional or psychiatric disturbances" (Csapo & Gittens, 1979, p. 15). Who are these young people? What is contained in their school history that 2 culminated in a conscious decision to formally apply to an Alternate Program? Certainly one could piece together fragments from official permanent record cards, school counsellor files, or applications to various special programs, and thus create some form of individual profile. It would contain snippets of information but lack meaning. To breathe some life into this educational biography would require the involvement and contribution of the student. Quantitative research outlining risk factors associated with school alienation and failure are abundant (Karp, 1988; Macdonald, 1989; Radwanski, 1987). In reporting on the dropout phenomenon in secondary schools for the Ontario Ministry of Education, Karp (1988) noted academic frustration, curriculum irrelevancy, and desire for income as the major factors influencing a student's decision to withdraw from school. Macdonald's (1989) document Early School Leavers: Current Issues and Concerns reviews the literature and notes the social, economic, and personal losses of Grades 8 through 12 students who leave school in the province of Saskatchewan. In Radwanski's (1987) major study on the Relevance of Education where he described school dropouts as "strikingly articulate and thoughtful" (p. 65), he notes most students in regular education classes felt rejected by the school system before they rejected it. His voluminous report suggests that early school leavers and "psychological dropouts" (p. 7), students in general and basic streams of study, account for 48% of all pupils in school. With this level of dissatisfaction, Radwanski's conclusion is not the traditional response - "What's wrong with the clients (students) - how can we get them to stay?' Rather he asks, "What's wrong with this product (school) - how can it be improved?" (p. 8). In concurring with Radwanski, Gagne (1996) believes conventional schooling is problematic for many 3 young people, and a new model of delivery is essential for students who are at-risk. Profile '93 (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 1994) is a publication that provides a comprehensive survey of participation in school, intellectual achievement, and attitudes and opinions of regular education students. In 1993, survey results indicate that more than 50% of the senior students registered in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador report that school is a place where they feel bored. Males had a more negative attitude than females toward their schooling experience. In measuring the relevance of curriculum, only 8.9% of mainstream students agreed or strongly agreed with the statement"/ learn the things I need to know." Qualitative studies from the perspective of the student in both Alternate and regular education are scant (Gallagher, 1993) but consideration of the student's experience is essential as it is this experience that influences the interaction of the student with peers, with family, with school, with community (Quirouette, Saint - Denis & Huot, 1990). In his research, Student Perception of Alternate Education Programs, Gallagher interviewed students in secondary school Alternate Programs to determine their perception of the support received in these classrooms. Gallagher (1993) writes that by listening to the "unheard voice" of students in Canadian Alternate Schools, educators and school boards will be better equipped to implement school programs that work for all students. Also by increasing our understanding of young people in Alternate Programs, the effectiveness of the program itself as an intervention strategy may be revealed to educators and researchers. Unlike Gallagher (1993), who reported on student's perception of their Alternate Education school experience, this exploratory study will attempt to investigate the 4 experience of schooling from kindergarten through grade 12 for students currently registered in a senior Alternate Education Program, and to develop a conceptual model for understanding this experience. It is hoped the theoretical model will offer suggestions to broadly improve regular education programming, and generate hypotheses for further research. While acknowledging that during the 1990's Alternate Programs have steadily increased in number, recent cutbacks in educational spending are significant and are beginning to impact this area of special education. Budgets are tight and Alternate Programs are expensive to operate. It is the author's hope that the conclusions and implications generated from this research by students who have attended both the traditional and the Alternate Education classroom, will serve to enhance programming for regular education. Significance of the Study In researching the relationships between student perceptions and teacher organization in secondary school Alternate Programs, Woudzia (1989) surveyed students and instructors and concluded that Alternate Education at the secondary level in Canada is characterized by much organizational and curricular variation. Inconsistent terminology both provincially and nationally is documented by Shatz (1994) in a national survey of programs for behaviorally disordered children and youth. She concludes that the scarcity of professional literature throughout Canada at the district level in the area of behavior disorders may be partially due to the confusion generated by discrepant definitions of both clientele and programming. Csapo (1989), a frequently cited Canadian researcher in the area of Alternate Education, notes that a compounding consideration regarding consistency is that 5 provincial and territorial Departments or Ministries of Education in Canada enact and enforce legislation within their own jurisdictions. Lacking a federal presence in education, half of these educational subdivisions, for the alternate or rehabilitative pupil, label the child emotionally disturbed or severely emotionally disturbed. Official education documents in Saskatchewan employ the term socially-emotionally handicapped while in corresponding guidelines for British Columbia, the descriptor is children with behavior or severe behavior problems. The Yukon employs the expression emotionally handicapped; New Brunswick, emotionally disturbed and/or behavior disordered, while Quebec utilizes the phrase pupils with difficulties in learning and adaptation and socio-emotional problems. This onerous difficulty of definition has vast implications for diagnosis, program delivery, and educational evaluation (Csapo, 1981; Macdonald, 1989). Lending support to Csapo's concern, Dworet and Rathgeber (1990), in a descriptive study examining an extensive list of variables related to Alternate Education programming, note the ten political jurisdictions with official definitions of the behaviorally disordered student provide eight different denotations. In the area of the behavior-disordered child, Canadian researchers are under-represented in the psychological and educational literature. As examples, Csapo and Gittens (1970) surveyed British Columbia Alternate Schools, Csapo and Stevens (1983) evaluated Alternate Programs in the same province, Winzer, Rogow and David (1987) reviewed Canadian children with emotional disturbances, and lastly, Morris, Pawlovich and McCall (1991) studied dropout prevention strategies in Canada, and referenced extremely low levels of Canadian content. While establishing the existence of programs 6 for behaviorally disordered students in Canada, Shatz's (1994) national survey also identified current practices and availability of written descriptions for district programs. Results reveal a "paucity"(p. 4) in the current literature, particularly studies from Canadian researchers focussing on Canadian children with behavior problems. Noteworthy absences in research are district level delivery of Alternate programming in Canada and Canadian journals specifically directed to Behavior Disordered or Alternate Education student. Neither currently exists as published and available resources. Moreover the Shatz (1994) bibliography supports her own claim. Analysis of the 119 references listed results in 15 studies (13%) from Canadian contributors. Shatz concludes studies in the area of the behaviorally disordered child in Canadian schools are sparse and recommends research attention be directed to this omission. Consequently much of the literature reviewed for this thesis has its source in government-sponsored reports and graduate student theses. As well, in the latter half of this decade with severe economic cutbacks affecting educational spending, fewer dollars have been available for provincial research. Based on this brief overview, one might conclude that the research literature in the area of behavior disorders is highly skewed in the direction of international studies, particularly studies from the United States. Levin (1991), in his paper Second Chance Measures in Canadian Education presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association in Chicago, notes Canadians are often better informed about educational matters south of the border than about concerns within areas of their own country. Neighbourly feelings aside, as a Canadian, I question the validity and 7 generalizability of educational research conducted in a foreign country as being representative of Canadian theory and practice. The overriding conclusion of the Shatz (1994) survey is the need to establish a Canadian research base in the area of school district programming for behaviorally disordered students. Raddysh (1992), after analyzing extensive interview data in her research comparing school bonding of graduates and dropouts, calls for studies that focus at the elementary school level to pinpoint the critical processes that make and break connection to school. Purpose It is within this educational milieu, one of minimal national, and far less provincial and district research that the author will conduct a study, primarily focussed on Canadian content, in the area of behavior disordered adolescents in the school district of Delta, British Columbia. This qualitative research, employing grounded theory methodology, will investigate the experience of school for students enrolled in a senior Alternate Education program and develop a conceptual model for understanding their experience. The literature does not indicate that previous researchers have attempted this type of study with this population of students. Overall results may indicate particular aspects of schooling, for example, grade transition, curriculum, a particular teacher or teaching style, self-concept, or disciplinary practices, that are problematic or facilitating for the behaviorally disordered student. Definitions In an attempt to avoid vagueness and confusion in terminology, specific educational definitions will be employed throughout this thesis. 8 Behavior Disorder: There is no universally accepted definition of the complex phenomenon entitled Behavior Disorder (Csapo, 1989; Shatz, 1994). Shatz's national snapshot of educational programming for behavior disordered children found that 56% of Canadian schools had adopted a written definition of behavioral disorder. Almost 47% of these districts modeled their provincial definition while the remaining 53% employed locally developed definitions. In the Province of British Columbia, behavior disorder is a "generic term which refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders. They reflect dysfunctional interactions between the student and one or more elements of the environment, including the classroom, school, family, peers, and community" (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995, section E, p. 21). Alternate Education Program: An educational program designed to meet the particular social, emotional and/or behavioral needs of students, aged 13-18, who have applied for special programming due to a behavior disorder. These young people exhibit, over a lengthy period of time, chronic and frequent behaviors that differ significantly from age appropriate expectations, and that interfere with their own learning and/or that of other students. Most students who apply to an Alternate Education Program are "at risk" for dropping out of school. Interventions are required to break the cycle of poor attendance patterns, school failure, and/or negative life experiences. Alternate Education Programs (Rehabilitation Programs) in the Province of British Columbia are funded and staffed through the Ministries of Education, Children and Families, and the Attorney General (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995). Community-Based Alternate Education Programs: These are self-contained 9 Alternate Education classrooms, generally for older students (age 15-18), located in community centres, downtown storefronts, local malls, or school portables separate from the regular school. These students require extensive counselling and academic support beyond what regular programming can provide. Participants in this research will be registered in community-based classrooms. School-Based Alternate Education Programs: These are Alternate Education classrooms, generally for younger students (age 13-14), located within a regular secondary school. The educational focus is preventative with the plan to eventually re-integrate to the regular classroom. School Dropout / Early School Leaver: Definitions appear to be as varied and diversified as the learners themselves (Macdonald, 1989), but Radwanski (1987) covers all bases succinctly with, "Any student who leaves school before having obtained his or her secondary school graduation diploma" (p. 67). Most applicants waitlisted for Alternate Programs could be considered a member of this group. Limitations Because this design involves senior Alternate Education students (grade 11 and 12), it is limited to that group of participants. Their experience in school may not generalize to other groups of students. Also participants are students in the Delta School District of British Columbia. With the population of this municipality at 100 000, results may not be applicable to inner city or more rural candidates within the same educational category. Delimitations While acknowledging that various other personal histories of family and community impact one's education, this study is focussed on the experience of being school. 11 CHAPTER 2. LITERATURE REVIEW I. The Behavior Disordered Child In our schools, the dysfunctional interaction (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995) between the student classified as Behavior Disordered and the educational environment is generally manifest by difficulties coping with the school structure, instructional methods, and/or the curriculum in the regular classroom. Many early school leavers, although not categorized as Behavior Disordered students, meet this criterion (Levin, 1991; Radwanski, 1987). Classification Leading authors of books on exceptional children in Canada classify behavior disorders, although imprecisely, into two major categories. The first of these disorders is that of attention; the second, conduct (Csapo, 1989; Winzer, Rogow & David, 1987). Disorders of attention include attention deficit disorder (ADD) and attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity (ADHD). Identifying features of attention disorders often include implusivity, mood swings, low frustration tolerance, temper outbursts, low self-esteem, and lack of response to discipline. Attention disorders occur ten times more frequently with boys than with girls. (Csapo, 1989; Winzer et al, 1987). Conduct disorder refers to repetitive and persistent behaviors that violate social norms. Four types of conduct disordered children include: • the under-socialized child who fails to establish affection, empathy, or emotional bonds with others. • the socialized child who demonstrates social attachment but violates others 12 without feelings of guilt or remorse, o the aggressive child who engages in physical violence and theft. • the non-aggressive child who passively violates societal norms through truancy, lying, or running away from home. Associated features with all subtypes in the conduct disordered category include difficulties at home, school, or in the community, low academic achievement, precocious sexual activity, involvement in drinking and drug use, and/or poor frustration tolerance (Csapo, 1989; Winzer, et al., 1987). Employing this classification with untraceable, coded data provided by the five senior Alternate Education teachers whose students comprise the participant bank of this study resulted in the following analysis. The number of students registered in these programs for the 1998-1999 school year totaled 104 pupils. Of this population, 2% were in the attention disorders category, 80% in the conduct disorders category, and 17% had characteristics of both. Prevalence of Behavior Disorders With Canadian provinces and territories possessing diverse criteria for defining behavior disorders, prevalence of this disorder is difficult to measure (Dworet & Rathgeber, 1990). Although attempts to clarify terminology have proved to be unsuccessful (Shatz, 1994), the Ontario Child Health Study (Offord, Boyle, Fleming, Blum and Grant, 1989), considered the most comprehensive study of child psychiatric disorders in Canada, reported an 18.1% incidence of behavior disorders. After accounting for comorbidity, the authors suggest that at least 6% of the student population exhibit 13 significant behavioral problems. Differing sharply with these conclusions are findings that analyzed data from the ten provinces and two territories, examining prevalence (among other variables) of behavior disorders in Canadian children (Dworet & Rathgeber, 1990), which suggest the average occurrence across Canada is .49%. In the Province of British Columbia, the Ministry of Education has designated students with behavior disorders into two distinct groupings. The first is Students with Moderate Behavior Disorders that the Ministry notes may comprise one to two percent of the student population. Prevalence of the second category, Students with Severe Behavior Disorders, is not noted in the document (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995). Both categories, moderate and severe, include students who demonstrate unacceptable classroom behavior or negative psychological states or behaviors related to social problems that are frequent and severe enough to disrupt classroom learning. These behaviors, whether external or internal, must present over an extended period of time, in more than one setting, and with more than one person. When a series of educational supports and interventions have not provided a measured behavioral improvement, the student may be identified as having a behavior disorder. Students in the Severe Behavior Disorders category must meet the previously noted criteria plus exhibit behaviors serious enough to warrant intensive interventions by other agencies beyond the school. Co-ordinated planning among the Ministry of Education, the Ministry for Children and Families, and the Ministry of the Attorney General provides these students with a cross-ministry community response plan (British Columbia Ministry of Education, 1995). In comparing prevalence of this disorder in the Canadian literature with results in the United States, the U.S. Department of Education has traditionally estimated that 14 children with behavior disorders account for 2% of the school age population (Hewafd & Orlansky, 1992. p. 228). Unlike Canada where education is mandated provincially and territorially, education in the United States may be influenced federally through special initiatives or Acts of Congress. Identification Teachers identify behavior disordered children because of their disruptive behaviors, minimal academic progress, lack of socialization skills, and limited tolerance (Csapo, 1989). The factors rated the most influential in determining student eligibility to Alternate Programs are concerned with the student's overt behavior, the discrepancy between the student's behavior and normative standards, and the intervention strategies already attempted (Shatz, 1994). In Delta, completion of application forms for consideration by the District Alternate Education intake committee is required (Appendix A). This application includes the Student Form, the Parent Form, and the Advocate Form The student and parent forms provide personal perspectives on school and related issues. The advocate, generally a school counsellor, is requested to provide recent standardized test scores. Specific to the Delta District are assessment results for the Canada QUIET (Wormeli & Carter, 1990), and The Teacher Report Form (TRF) of The Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (Achenbach, 1991). The Canada QUIET (QUick Individual Educational Test), a Canadian standardized academic achievement test for students in grades 1 through 12, provides a valid and reliable test of spelling, arithmetic, word identification, and reading 15 comprehension (Wormeli & Carter, 1990). The Teacher Report Form (TRF) of the Achenbach, one component of a multiaxial base assessment series, is designed to obtain teacher reports of student's adaptive functioning and problems in a standardized format. The TRF requests teachers' ratings of performance in academic subjects, 4 adaptive characteristics, 118 specific problem items, and 2 open-ended problem items. Syndromes profiled with the TRF are withdrawn, somatic complaints, anxious / depressed, social problems, thought problems, attention problems, delinquent behavior, and aggressive behavior (Achenbach, 1991). II. Alternate Education History Responding to recommendations in the 1960 Chant Report (Csapo & Gittens, 1979), Alternate Education programs were initially designed for students experiencing multiple academic failure, attendance difficulties, social / emotional / behavior problems, and/or substance abuse. These were students identified as being at-risk for dropping out of school. Until the mid 70's most Alternate or Rehabilitative classrooms were implemented in provincial catchment centres. In 1974 (Csapo & Gittens, 1979), a Ministry of Education decision provided funding for behavior disordered children in then-own communities resulting in individual school districts assuming responsibility for Alternate or Rehabilitative programming. A British Columbia survey of Rehabilitative Education (Csapo & Gittens, 1979) in 1978 identified 105 programs at the junior and senior levels of school with enrollment figures equivalent to 0.9% of all secondary students in the province. Survey results indicated that 72% of the existing programs had wait lists. 16 Programming/instructional Practices Across Canada, some form of programming for behaviorally disordered students is available through all levels of schooling from primary to high school completion (Shatz, 1994). The majority of school districts employ a variety of service delivery options - a cascade or continuum of services model. Respondents in the Shatz (1994) study, Canadian directors or co-ordinators of Special Education Services, indicate that in programs for the behaviorally disordered student, there is a shift away from academic and vocational goals and a subsequent move to the social and affective domains. In her article, The Argument for Alternate Schools for At-Risk Youth, Gagne (1996) believes Alternate Education represents a choice for students who do not function well in the regular school environment. Programs stress personal - emotional development and academic remediation. Alternate Education classrooms are considerably more flexible than their mainstream counterparts. Class size is smaller and independent learning is encouraged (Gallagher, 1993). The Urban School in Toronto, as noted in Gallagher's research, features many of the day-to-day operational characteristics of Canadian Alternate Schools. Students and staff are on a first name basis. Class size of up to fifteen students encourages discussion and interaction. Generally students and staff vote on decisions pertaining to school including programming, and one teacher is responsible for the instruction of all core subject areas. This structure is mirrored in a major recommendation from the Radwanski (1987) report on the Relevance of Education. To promote sustained student / teacher contact, he suggests that in large urban high schools students remain together in a stable class grouping for core subjects and that one teacher provide instruction in at least two subject areas. What Works Characteristics of Alternate Programs with high completion rates include attentive teachers, individualized academic assistance, highly structured programming and explicit student expectations (Radwanski, 1987). Reiterated by Morris, Pawlovich and McCall (1991), the most effective Alternate Schools were those that provided students with a caring environment, personalized teaching, a high degree of structure and clear attainable goals. Of importance in the Gagne (1996) study were small class size and a separate location from the main school. Keys to student success were individualization and flexibility (Levin, 1991), as well as a minimum of formality (Gagne, 1996). Specific areas of strength within programs as noted in the Shatz Canadian national survey were the quality of staff; their training, knowledge, commitment, and attitude were repeatedly cited as major contributors to program effectiveness. Teachers play an essential role in program design and implementation (Shatz, 1994). Academics As determined from interviews with Alternate Education students, Gallagher (1993) concludes that curriculum content was perceived as less important than interpersonal relationships. Only 27% of Canadian school districts indicated that they have a written curriculum that guides Alternate Education teachers in curriculum planning (Shatz, 1994). Academic success was fueled by the dynamics of trust, respect, and care in student / teacher interaction. A supportive environment was critical to academic success in Alternate Education Programs. 18 In the school district of Delta, students enrolled in senior Alternate Education Programs receive academic instruction in the core subject areas. Students write Ministry examinations beside their regular education peers and secure provincial requirements prior to graduation. Attitudes of Students Toward School Some Alternate Education students expressed critical comments of their regular school experience (Gallagher, 1993). They felt the size of the regular high school created an impersonal environment where students in difficulty "got lost in the shuffle" (p.54). These youngsters perceive that no one in the bureaucratic hierarchy of large schools cares for them personally, that discipline is arbitrary or unfair and rather than a teacher assisting them with a learning problem, the student is scorned or rejected (Radwanski, 1987). As noted earlier, Radwanski's report on the Relevance of Education in Ontario schools suggests that early school leavers and "psychological dropouts" (p.7), students in general and basic streams of study, account for 48% of all pupils in school. Winzer, Rogow and David (1987) note secondary education is more oriented toward subjects than students. Alternate Education students sought an emotional attachment to peers and a personal greeting from their teachers, both of which were unattainable in a large high school. Without these needs being met, students had a weak bond with school and developed countereducationally productive strategies such as skipping classes or displaying a "bad attitude". (Gallagher, 1993, p. 55). As measured by Woudzia (1989), students in Alternate Schools perceived their programs as "informal, comfortably paced, democratic, not difficult, and non-competitive (p. 104). 19 Attitudes of Students Toward Teachers Many Alternate Education students need to consider their teacher as a friend (Gallagher, 1993). Often if a teacher is "cool" (p.56), the student will work very hard to progress academically. One might conclude these young people lack intrinsic motivation as their sustained efforts are for the teacher they like, rather than for their own educational progress. These are students who, in regular programming, would refuse to perform any academic task requested by a teacher they did not personally care for. Students in Alternate Schools generally need to feel accepted by and important to the classroom teacher. This need is not inconsistent with that of early school leavers who said, "The teachers weren't there for me. I was an A student, but I didn't like their attitude. They didn't care" (Radwanski, 1987, p. 65), or "I'm not smart so the school system ignored me" (Karp, 1988, p. 11). Many early school leavers felt that particular teachers disliked them and disciplined them unfairly (Raddysh, 1992). She concludes that attention to the student/teacher relationship is essential in the development of a positive attitude toward school and learning. In the document, The Learners of British Columbia (Marx & Grieve, 1988), pupils prefer teachers who are consistent and explicit about their expectations of students, both behaviorally and academically. They feel a better chance for success in structured settings where conduct and requirements for favorable achievement are known, enforced and understood. Distinct qualities of the teacher identified by Alternate Education students as being essential include "understanding, patience, resourcefulness, caring, flexibility, compassion, availability, friendliness, and firmness" (Gallagher, 1993 p. 74). 20 Attitudes of Teachers Toward Students The influence of a caring teacher appears fundamental in reducing a student's feelings of alienation to school (Karp, 1988; Thomson, 1992). Effective Alternate Education programs included teachers who extended their role as educator and created strong, mutual, interpersonal bonds with their students (Gallagher, 1993). Gallagher interviewed students enrolled in an Alternate Education classroom to determine their perception of that setting. Results indicated the pupils in the Alternate Program believed their teachers cared for them with what was beyond an academic concern. Educators may underrate the importance of teacher influence over the child's development of self. After analyzing more than 2000 submissions from educators and the public, visiting classrooms and public agencies, and reading hundreds of books, articles and reports, Marx and Grieve (1988), as chief investigators of a British Columbia Royal Commission on Education, concluded that "the way students see themselves, how they relate to the schooling experience, and their hopes for successful achievement and productive futures are grounded in the way they perceive themselves as learners" (p. 56). The dominant sculptor of this perception is the classroom teacher. A prominent theme in Radwanski's (1987) report on school dropouts is the feeling of alienation in the teacher / student relationship. Therefore a major recommendation in his report highlights initiatives to establish a caring, supportive and motivating relationship for every student with at least one staff member. "When all is said and done, there is only one way to reduce alienation: replace impersonal relationships with personal ones" (p. 109). Karp (1988) suggests that a method be established by school districts to employ educators who "not only teach but also reach" (p. 48). Means must be discovered to hire academically capable people who 21 are equally effective in personal connectedness and communication skills. Macdonald (1989) concludes that educators must renew their commitment to the goal of educating all children. Drop-Out/Drop-Back Phenomenon Much of the research on early school leavers is quantitative and delineates the many reasons given by dropouts for leaving school (Karp, 1988; Macdonald, 1989; Radwanski, 1987). Little is known, however, about the individual experience that culminated in that decision (Raddysh, 1992). Gallagher (1993) writes that many Alternate Education students had responded to their regular school experience in a malevolent manner. Punitive measures, for absenteeism and missed assignments, such as going to the school office, detentions, suspensions, and being requested to leave school, resulted in students feeling unwanted and often dropping out. Students might return and get caught again in the same downward spiral of negativity*, hostility, and rejection. Radwanski (1987) notes poor academic performance is the best single predictor of who leaves school before graduation. Low academic performance is a common thread connecting every student in an Alternate Program Class time involved in disruptive and aggressive activities is time away from the instructional process. As the student's grades decline, feelings of frustration and failure intensify. Elementary School Experience Children with disorders of attention or conduct often display academic difficulties early in their school careers (Macdonald, 1989; Raddysh, 1992; Winzer Rogow & David, 22 1987). Raddysh (1992) writes that, although the actual withdrawal from school generally occurs in adolescence, the shaping of that decision begins on the first day of kindergarten or even before the child enters school. Rather than a single act, dropping out is viewed as a developmental process that results from poor bonding with school. Bonding develops over time, as does non attachment to school. "Students do not decide to drop out in a minute" (p. 35). Feelings about school at the Grade 7 level indicate that at-risk students become detached from school prior to that point. Several students in the Raddysh study mentioned Grade 6 as a critical year for them. Results from Karp's (1988) study indicated that 12% of kindergarten teachers and 16% of grade 1 teachers believed that potential, long term, troubled students could be identified by age five or six. The elementary school is the site that casts the cornerstones of skills, attitudes and behaviors required to ignite the motivation for high school completion (Macdonald, 1989). A recommendation in her report lists proactive measures directed to elementary students experiencing academic or behavioral difficulty. Costs to Individual After analyzing interview data studying the topic of invalidation experienced by dropouts during their time in school, Thomson (1990) concluded there are many personal consequences for the early school leaver. In the short term, day-to-day contact with peers and school activities, both academic and extracurricular are absent. In the longer term, unemployment and idle time often result in low feelings of self worth. Young people who do not graduate from high school are likely to be caught permanently in a pattern of low paying work and high unemployment rates (Morris, Pawlovich & McCall , 1991). In a comprehensive study which highlights the personal and fiscal suffering of 23 school dropouts, both early school leavers and employers were interviewed (Karp, 1988). Results are consistent with the view that high school graduation is important in the workplace. Two out of three dropouts considered a diploma important when looking for work. Employers compared dropouts unfavorably in all the areas considered. Early school leavers were viewed as less confident, less ambitious, less motivated, less dependable, and less creative than graduates. Also they were judged to have poorer problem solving skills, poorer decision making skills, less self-discipline, a lower level of general knowledge, less commitment to work, and poor ability to work with others. Thus, characteristics differentiating graduates and dropouts contain both cognitive and social components. Costs to Society Ultimately, a highly educated public serves the common good (Marx & Grieve, 1988). The conclusion of a major study by the Conference Board of Canada, Dropping Out: The Cost to Canada (laFleur, 1992), undertaken to measure the economic costs of students dropping out of secondary school, is that education, as an investment vehicle, has a higher rate of return than almost any other investment opportunity. Just as high school graduation can be viewed as an economic benefit, failure to graduate can be seen as an economic liability. The Alternate School as an educational strategy serves the needs of all society (Gallagher, 1993). Low educational attainment often translates to unemployment and poverty (Thomson, 1990), while a greater number of high school graduates financially assists federal and provincial governments in lower crime rates, reduced welfare, and a general shrinking of social problems (Levin, 1991). Levin's paper concludes with a pessimistic belief that regular education may never learn the lessons of 24 Alternate Education programming. He feels distress that educators are familiar with the route that fosters student achievement and belonging, yet are unprepared to implement the model for general practice. Any initiative, Alternate Education being an important one, that encourages students to complete high school can have a major positive impact on the future economic well being and prosperity of both the individual student and Canada as a whole (laFleur, 1992). Summary Research on the behavior-disordered adolescent, particularly the Canadian variety, is sparse. Classification, definition, and prevalence of students with this condition vary between school districts, within a political subdivision, and across the nation. Nonetheless it is agreed that these students consistently, over an extensive period of time, demonstrate unacceptable and inappropriate school related behaviors that are not associated with a specific subject, classroom, or teacher. The vehicle responsible for educating these youngsters, the Alternate Education classroom, is noteworthy in the contrast it presents to the regular education counterpart. Alternate Education programming and personnel exemplify compassion, flexibility, and friendliness; intangible qualities that may be lacking, but fundamental, in large main stream schools. Young people experiencing school failure or low levels of educational attainment, which may be close to fifty percent of our student population according to Radwanski (1987), is primarily a personal loss but the economic well being of the entire nation suffers. As an educational intervention, the Alternate Education classroom serves to level the playing field by increasing academic achievement while thus decreasing subsequent 25 unemployment and poverty. Much of the literature reviewed in this chapter is of a quantitative nature delineating the pervasive problems associated with the behaviorally disordered student and the at-risk population. Qualitative studies focussed on student perception of Alternate Programming are rare. One exception is Gallagher (1993) who interviewed participants to gain an understanding of their current Alternate School programs. In contrast, the participants in this study are students in a senior Alternate School classroom and will be interviewed about their total (kindergarten through their current grade of 11 or 12) school experience. Because Alternate Programs are available only at the high school level, most of the school experience for the participants in this study is in mainstream school. It is anticipated components of both regular and special education will be evident in the results. 26 CHAPTER 3. METHOD Grounded Theory Methodology The purpose of the current research was to investigate, employing grounded theory methodology, the experience of school for students with academic and behavioral problems, to develop a conceptual model for understanding their experience, and to generate hypotheses for subsequent research. Although there are various types of qualitative research, most share the goal of understanding the participant from the participant's point of view. Rather than assembling pieces of a puzzle whose picture is known, qualitative researchers develop a picture that gains shape through the contribution of the participant. Qualitative investigators do not see themselves as collectors of the facts regarding human behavior, but rather as seekers attempting to better understand the human experience and the subjective meaning people assign this experience (Bogdan & Biklen, 1992). The ultimate goal of many qualitative studies is to make general statements about phenomena by discovering patterns in the data (Schumacher & McMillan, 1993). The findings of the qualitative study are descriptive, often supported by quotations and case studies (Weiss, 1994), with large amounts of information sometimes displayed in matrices or networks (Miles & Huberman, 1994). A specific type of qualitative research, grounded theory, documented initially by authors Glaser and Strauss (1967), is a sophisticated methodology for discovering theory that is grounded in data systematically gathered and analyzed, which is then supported by illustrative narrative segments. Currently the grounded theory perspective is the most widely used qualitative interpretive framework in the social sciences (Denzin & Lincoln, 27 1998). The theory is developed during the research through a continuous interweaving of analysis and data collection. The investigator examines new data upon its arrival and begins to code, categorize, conceptualize, and write preliminary thoughts about the study from the onset. Due to the evolving comparison of incoming data with analyzed data, grounded theory is often referred to in the literature as the "constant comparative method of analysis" (Strauss & Corbin, 1990, p. 62). The goal of the grounded theory method is to produce a theory that documents an explanation for behavior that is relevant and problematic to the participants (Strauss, 1987). Because the resultant theory generally revolves around one theme, the investigator was consciously seeking this nucleus from the onset of data gathering. Initial hypotheses regarding this category were many, varied, and provisional. Coding and memo writing (Glaser 1978; Strauss, 1987) followed each data gathering session. Coding represents the processes whereby the participant's transcript was fractured, conceptualized, and reconstructed. Initial coding, termed open coding, involved the data source being examined microscopically word by word, phrase by phrase, in an effort to sort, categorize, compare and contrast the content. Open coding, as the first step in conceptualizing the data, attributed a name to each idea or event, a name that represented a phenomenon (Strauss & Corbin, 1990). The language of the participants influenced the development of code and category levels which were identified with verbatim participant excerpts according to the concepts indicated known as in vivo codes (Glaser, 1978). As coding become more focussed, analysis moved to a second degree process termed axial coding. Even though the researcher had not yet decided on which conceptual 28 issues were central to the study, axial coding is a process that promotes connections between categories and its subcategories through the implementation of the grounded theory paradigm model. "Each category (phenomenon) is developed in terms of the causal conditions that give rise to it, the specific dimensional location of this phenomenon in terms of its properties, the context, the action/interactional strategies used to handle, manage, respond to this phenomenon in light of that context, and the consequences of any action / interaction that is taken" (Strauss & Corbin; 1990, p. 114). Although open and axial coding are distinct procedures, the constant comparative analysis alternates between the two modalities. The analytic model proceeded to more complex refinement with selective coding where all categories and subcategories were systematically linked with the core (Glaser, 1978; Strauss, 1987). Categories were repeatedly dismantled and reconstructed in varying respects until the investigator believed the quintessence of the participant's experience was being tapped. As data collection continued, additional incidents expanded the categories and enlarged the theory until the dimensions of each category were exhausted. This was the point of "theoretical saturation" where more data collecting did not add to the existing theory. No new concepts emerged from the last two interviews so a decision was made to cease data collection. While coding the data, a simultaneous and ongoing process of writing research memos occurred as is the practice of the grounded theory method (Glaser, 1978). Theoretical memos are the actual written notes of ideas about coding and their relationships as they creatively emerge from the investigator during analysis. Memoing was a continuous process that began with the first coding of data and continued through 29 the writing of the report. Analytic memos tracking the researcher's hunches and hypotheses about the data were kept and frequently reread, as well as self-reflective memos which documented the author's personal reaction to the participant's story. This memoing represented the accountability of insights, speculations, and discussions related to the theoretical coding. The information in the memos provided the content behind the categories and were the major themes of the theory (Strauss, 1987). As with coding, memoing was always grounded in the actual data. Participants Participants were students who had experienced academic and behavioral difficulties with school and who were currently registered in a senior Alternate Education classroom in Delta, British Columbia. Names were drawn randomly from a pool of volunteers. Participants were in Grade 11 or 12 and ranged in age from 17 through 19 years. Because I teach a grade 10 Alternate Program in the same school district, some volunteers may have been former students. No potential participants were students in my class currently. The researcher visited each of the five separate senior Alternate Education classrooms in the district and presented an overview of the study. At the time of recruitment there were a total of 83 students registered in these classrooms. Students were informed that the researcher would attempt to investigate their school experience from kindergarten through grade 11 or 12 in the hope of improving school programming for all pupils. This was followed by a question and answer session. Each student was given an Informed Consent Form (Appendix B). To be considered for this study, students had to have the consent form signed by a parent or guardian and returned to the researcher. 30 Twenty-four students agreed to be potential participants. Of the seven names drawn to be in the study, two students had been in my grade 10 Alternate program two years before. Descriptive data of the participants are contained in chapter 4, Table 1. Biographies are in Appendix C. Incentive An incentive was offered to those students who participated in the study if requested. Names were entered into a draw for a discman stereo system. The approximate retail cost for this system is $100.00. Data Sources In establishing the theoretical model, interview transcripts were the primary source of data, the data collection method favored by qualitative researchers (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998). Formats for the first and second interviews are outlined in Appendices D and E. When participants were contacted to schedule the interview, they were encouraged to bring one or more tangible samples from their school history. While contributing to the data set, this documentary evidence, often a progress report or yearbook, assisted in bridging the researcher's understanding of the personal meaning attached to the school experience. Field notes and documentary evidence were recorded at the end of each interview Before the first interview commenced, participants were informed of confidentiality restrictions on all data collected. Clearly articulated was the fact that as a district teacher, the researcher would not share the interview content or documentary evidence with the classroom teacher. Students were told that they could terminate the 31 interview at any time. Anonymity was ensured by the participant choosing a pseudonym. Also the researcher discussed the potential emotional consequences of the interview and assured the availability of a district counsellor (Appendix F). Following this first interview, the researcher recorded brief identifying features of the events recalled by the participant on index cards, which were categorized by the student into an order that was personally meaningful during the follow up interview. In addition to this task, the researcher discussed the tentative analysis of the theoretical model as developed from the initial interview data and invited feedback. Guba and Lincoln (1989) believe this member check with the interviewee is the single most crucial technique for establishing credibility in a qualitative study. With time for reflection between the two interviews, the participant sometimes recalled significant school events that were forgotten in the initial interview. Researcher memo ing, both theoretical and self reflective, completed the data set. Interview Setting Participants chose a variety of interview settings. Some were comfortable in my classroom. Others preferred their home or a coffee shop. Interviews were scheduled during the summer break and early fall at a time mutually agreed upon by the participant and the researcher, and each lasted about one and a half hours. Occasionally transportation was problematic, so the researcher drove some participants to and from the interview site. Insurance for this had been established. Data Analysis Data analysis, the process of bringing order, structure, and meaning to the 32 collected data (Marshall & Rossman, 1989), commenced with the first interview. Although computer software was available and frequently recommended for qualitative analysis (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994), this novice researcher, after considerable debate, decided to analyze the data manually. The labor saving advantages of the software were superseded by the personal needs of the investigator which included a desire to possess a thorough working knowledge of the data in order to implement and understand each step of the analytic process involved in the grounded theory method. Immediately following data collection, audio taped interviews were transcribed verbatim into text. During initial open coding of each interview, the researcher underlined conceptually intriguing terms, a word, phrase, or sentence, and subscribed a name to the passage that is closest to the concept being narrated by the participant. Open coding was placed in the left margin of the transcript while the right margin was reserved for comments and clarifying remarks. Phrases and terms used repeatedly by participants, in vivo codes, were excellent leads in the coding process. Raw field notes, the researcher's reflections, commentary and emergent themes before and during data collection, were dated and linked to transcript information. Coded field notes were reread regularly. Memos were kept separate from data files. Following open coding, copies of transcript and field notes were manually manipulated with scissors, file folders, index cards, and preliminary data displays to develop clustering and a tentative coherence of the codes. Conditional categorization of the data occurred. This tentative analysis was then incorporated with the next wave of data collection. 33 Data reduction was continuous as analysis progressed to pattern coding where data summaries were grouped into a smaller number of sets, themes, or constructs. Visuals such as graphs and flow charts aided the analysis. As data collection continued, analysis ranged from the descriptive to the inferential in an attempt to define a conceptual framework that incorporated the uniformities and inconsistencies presented in the data The analysis terminated when the categories were saturated, that is when no significantly new explanations were evident and it appeared the inquiry has run its course (Strauss, 1987). Samples of data coding and memo ing are included in Appendix G. Open or "in vivo" codes are listed with the letter "O". This study includes 105 groups of participant quotes as open codes. For quick source referencing, each category quote has attached a number-letter-number identifying tag. The first number of this tag represents the first or second interview, followed by a letter, representing the first letter of the participant's name, and the second number of the series noting the page number in the transcript. For example, (2C47) would be located on page 47 of Claire's second interview. Quotes that tended to convey a similar message or meaning were grouped together. An example in Appendix G is open code number 104 (0-104). The participant quote heading for this category is, "You could totally feel the rejection." Among many suggestions, this category might have been titled "feelings of rejection" or "feelings" or "rejection." In this first level of coding, I chose to maintain a readily traceable connection to the participant. As viewed in Appendix G, related quotes in this category are listed from O (open)-104 -1 through O (open)-104 - 49. Units of meaning were then attributed to this data through Axial ("A") codes. As an example open code 0-104 - 6 reads, "I dreaded going to school 34 and facing people." Of the 134 axial codes listed in Appendix G, the above quote is categorized with (A-7) acceptance, (A-28) class tone, (A-33) critical events, (A-40) disconnection, (A-44) dissatisfaction, (A-55) family relocation, (A-74) interpersonal discomfort, (A-80) loss, (A-100) problematic social environment, (A-l 13) secrecy, (A-127) transitions and (A-128) trust. Also documented are broad strokes in the Selective Coding where the core components of the emerging theoretical model are examined. Included are prominent themes, a rudimentary narrative analysis and, from the second interview, the participant card-sort feedback. Al l levels of coding were incorporated to determine the resultant theoretical model. Establishing Confidence in Results In any scientific inquiry, the reader needs to be assured that the results are credible, confirmable, representative, and reasonable. Assuring reader confidence is particularly necessary when a lone investigator, as in this case, is defining the problem, collecting the data, performing the analysis, and writing the conclusions (Miles & Huberman, 1994). To this end, the investigator in the current research employed a variety of strategies. Credibility of the study's results will increase with adequate time in the field (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994). Participants in this study were interviewed twice. The second interview gave students an opportunity to correct errors in analysis and to offer additional information relevant to the study. Member checks are the crux of a researcher's believability (Guba & Lincoln, 1989). Debriefing tentative and emerging analysis with an independent peer, a second reader, an informed individual with no contractual obligations to the study, is an additional means for increasing credibility 35 (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Miles & Huberman, 1994). During the reconceptualization process, three senior Alternate Education teachers in the Delta district and the counsellor responsible for district Alternate Schools were consulted. The developing analytic framework was presented and feedback received. Their decades of expertise with this population of student proved an invaluable resource. So that the reader is assured of a study's dependability, interpretations and results of the data must be rooted in the data itself. A traceable paper audit was established where all study materials from the raw field notes through the final results were retrievable (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998; Guba & Lincoln, 1989). As is the procedure of the grounded theory method, the author in this study provided brief verbatim transcript passages to support theoretical conclusions. Data was explicitly coded and conclusions can be readily tracked to the source in a logical and coherent fashion (see Appendix B). Another measure to assess data quality is checking for representativeness by reviewing researcher biases and weighing negative evidence (Miles & Huberman, 1994). In this study biases were mmimized by the participant choosing the interview site, by the researcher informing the participants of the purpose of the study and through feedback obtained during the second interview. Looking for negative evidence or noting data that didn't fit the analysis were additional resources to test and confirm findings. Discrepant information was addressed and alternative solutions checked. In this study, interview transcripts, participant checks, documentary evidence presented by the students, researcher memoing, and collaborative analysis provided the database. 36 Member Check Feedback Peer reviewers included three senior class teachers and the district counsellor for Delta Alternate Schools. They reviewed the model and selective coding individually at various times in the analysis and once two teachers provided feedback as a team. Although all five senior class teachers were invited, two were unavailable due to the summer break. The peer reviewers recorifirmed many of the findings provided by the participants. Senior Alternate Education teachers viewed themselves as surrogate parents in that they provided many of the boundaries, expectations, and roles not learned at home. In removing fear of violence from the classroom, with explicit expectations to show up and participate in class, and by modeling appropriate affect, these instructors were what one teacher referred to as the "rekindling agent." This was supported by a colleague stating, "normalcy for these kids is based on what happens at school, not at home." Another teacher commented that Alternate Education gets "that monkey off their back. They complete grade 12 and they perceive themselves as more like their peers." The peer reviewers noted the hope these young people had for the future and provided some cautionary commentary. Although formal research results are not available, anecdotal reports based on former grads returning to visit or contact through another family member, it was concluded that post secondary success with Alternate Education graduates is rare. These educators believe the conditions necessary for success in Alternate Programs, a personal connection with the teacher and a caring, accepting environment, are an exceptional find in post secondary institutions. They report most graduates, although i l l prepared, move directly into the work force. 37 CHAPTER 4. RESULTS Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation In response to the researcher's request for information relating to the school history of the participant and the ensuing analysis of the data, there emerged a grounded theory that is represented in the phrase "Dynamic Rejuvenation.'''' Participant stories were strikingly similar. Prior to their application to an Alternate School, all students suffered a prolonged alienation from regular school, which was demonstrated through excessive absenteeism and substance abuse. As well, in every family, although the father may have been physically present, the mother was the sole wage earner. The Alternate School experience provided a conduit that allowed these young people to sustain a journey from a place of emotional pain and confusion to one of healing and calm. Their passage had and continues to be, one of continual movement, a dynamic process, that has transformed their view of self and world, a rejuvenation. In establishing the theoretical model of Dynamic Rejuvenation, seven participants out of twenty-four potential candidates were interviewed. Due to recruitment of students late in the school year and interviews scheduled over the summer and fall, some students, by that date, had completed their requirements for high school graduation. Descriptive data in Table 1 identifies each participant by pseudonym, gender, age, educational attainment, and duration in an Alternate Education placement. As noted earlier, biographies of each participant are contained in Appendix C. 38 Table 1: Descriptive Data of Participants PARTICIPANT GENDER A G E EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT DURATION IN A L T E R N A T E P L A C E M E N T GRADE 11 GRADE 12 RECENT GRADUATE Claire F 17 2 years Elissa F 17 V 2.5 years Hans M 17 • 2 years Keith M 19 S .5 years Lynne F 17 • 2 years Marie F 19 2 years Telesile F 17 • 1 year All participants, with one exception, were punctual and obliging in reference to j both interviews. Although it was scheduled three times, Telesile failed to attend the second interview, so I was unable to obtain her critique of the theoretical model. With minor deviations as reported in this chapter, participants, during the second interview, indicated the proposed analytic framework, captured their experience. Participant responses such as, "That's amazing. I understand what you're saying." and "How did you know to put it like that? It makes so much sense" support the paradigm model. At the heart of the theory of Dynamic Rejuvenation, the core catalyst propelling profound change, is the experience of being in an Alternate Education classroom As noted in Table 1, this experience ranged in length from a half through two and a half years. The grounded theory paradigm model (Strauss & Corbin, 1990) of Dynamic Rejuvenation is conceptualized in Figure 1. 39 Figure 1: Theoretical Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation HISTORICAL P H E N O M E N O N S T R A T E G I E S FACTORS Alternate • Bonding to Alternate • Trauma in Education School Program Regular School W W • Minimization of • Instability at Programming Historical Factors home INTERVENING CONDITIONS Personality of Alternate Education Teacher Alternate Education Classroom Environment C O N T E X T Acceptance Flexibility Compassion Respect Safety O U T C O M E S Academic Success Age Appropriate Routines Hope for the Future A pair of inexorably linked and overlapping Historical Factors precipitated an educational and personal crisis prompting the students to apply for Alternate Education Programming. The first of these factors was Trauma in the Regular School System. The second was Instability at Home. Specific Intervening Conditions noted in the analysis were the Personality of the Alternate Education Teacher and the Alternate Education Classroom Environment. Furthermore, in the experience of these students, the Conditions of the Alternate School provided a context oi Acceptance, Flexibility, Compassion, Respect, and Safety. In managing the weighty situation that prompted their Alternate Education placement, participants noted specific Strategies. Broadly, these were a Positive Bonding to the Alternate School Program and a Minimization of the Historical Factors that had led to the personal crisis. The resultant Outcomes for all participants were Successful Academic Pursuits, Age Appropriate Routines, and Hope For The Future. 40 Historical Factors Trauma In The Regular School System In the initial interview, students were asked to recall events in their school history. A frequency count documenting these events over the school years is contained in Appendix H. Facilitating incidents described by participants such as "It made me feel so proud," "I really enjoyed that," "It was wonderful," "I loved / liked it," or "It's / they're the best" are represented with a positive sign. In contrast, a negative sign on the chart in Appendix H references events such as "It was so hard," "It really sucked," "I hated / didn't like it," 'T was tortured," or "It was so upsetting." Of particular note with these participants is the reversal of facilitating and detrimental events between junior high and high school, as this was the transition period from regular school programming to Alternate School. Although participants had not noted many specific events in their primary and intermediate school years to support the notion of a contentious school experience, events noted in the "other" column (Appendix H) generally indicated global reflectors that shaded their entire school history. Even though Claire spent grade 8 and grade 9 dealing drugs from the churchyard adjacent to her school, during her elementary years she attended school regularly and completed assignments. "I tried hard but I always struggled with school. Everything was horrible except gym and art. I never enjoyed school much." Keith, the only participant to fail an elementary level grade, repeated grade 1, "My grade 1 teacher.... she is the teacher I didn't like the most." The grade retention may have contributed to his pointed determination and insatiable physical energy directed to successful completion of high school. This despite his assessment, "School is your typical 41 math, science ... I didn't like it at all." Elissa forthrightly noted, "I'm not a big fan of regular school at all. There's nothing good to say about it. Nothing at all. It did nothing for me", and Marie repeated several times, "I always had a hard time with regular school." Some participants (4/7) noted frequent family moves. Claire and Marie attended more than a dozen schools in various provinces. "I was always nervous, timid, and shy at a new school" (Claire). "The transitions were always so hard. I got so many new teachers. It got to the point where I dreaded going to school and facing people" (Marie). Telesile recalls four homes and four different schools in primary but has lived in the same area now for a decade. Economic circumstances forced Keith's family to move to a "rough neighborhood" and a "tough school" while he was in grade 8. "You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way." Repeated by student after student were disclosures of perceived emotional and psychological abuse in the classroom. Although an occasional event, "My grade 3 teacher was nice. She'd come to my lacrosse games. She got into your personal life which I really liked" (Hans), or teacher "Mrs. S respected everyone's feelings" (Marie), in the elementary classroom is worthy of admiration, these instances are rare and in most cases (5/7) absent in the experience of these young people. Marie recalls being "forced" to stand in front of the class for oral presentations. "Some teachers were so mean. I would be shaking uncontrollably and crying and still I would be forced to continue to the point where I was traumatized. I remember that to this day. I was tortured." Keith vividly recalls his grade 1 teacher. "She failed me. She had her favs. I still remember." After a visit some twelve years later on a field trip, he inadvertently saw the same teacher, "She 42 looks exactly the same." Overall he believes "The teachers like to threaten us" (Keith). Lynne, a high achiever, described an event in grade 9. "My French teacher would always yell at me. Anyone who yells at me, then I automatically ... I hated them. She'd get upset with me in front of the class and embarrass me." Claire was frequently removed from the classroom. "I had my seat in the office." Hans believed most of his teachers did not care for him but he particularly noted his grade 8 English teacher. "She would talk down to me. One day I walked into class and she said I would be a nothing. I might as well go kill myself. She said this in front of the other students." (Hans). A year-long bewildering set of circumstances was imposed on Elissa and her grade 7 classmates following an episode where one student attempted to pour a toxic substance into the teacher's coffee. This ordeal is detailed in Elissa's biography (Appendix C). "My grade 7 year was really mixed up. There were district counsellors in our room every day and we had a lot of different substitutes, but they'd all leave at lunchtime crying or the principal would have to come in. We didn't learn anything all year. It was a mistake. It was really strange" (Elissa). Classroom routines, relevancy of the curriculum and personality of the teacher in regular programming frequently proved problematic for these participants. "I like doing different things. Having your whole school laid out... you do this at this time. It gets to be too much of a routine. You don't look forward to anything (Claire). "I love to sing but I don't like choir. I don't like structured singing" (Telesile). "I like to play sports but not organized" (Marie). "The teaching style in regular school is too different from my personality" (Hans). "My grade 8 French teacher ... we just clashed so much. It wasn't the subject. It was her. It was so much harder with her" (Lynne). "So that's what school is. Like we don't like it, but you have to do it" (Keith). What Hans found difficult in his 43 early school years was "the teaching style in regular school and my grade 8 English teacher ... her personality. She hated me and I hated her.... a personality clash. Most of the regular teachers are not laid back." "I wasn't fond of any of my teachers in elementary school" (Elissa). Following her precipitous descent from honor roll to a minimal pass in grade 9, Lynne was disappointed her school counsellor "did not ask ... is there anything I can do to help. He could have tried to help me out instead of trying to straighten me out" (Lynne). Most participants (5/7) articulated a general disdain for curriculum requirements but Marie and Keith particularly targeted this area. "I've always known I wanted to be a lawyer. People said, I'll change my mind, I'll change my mind. I haven't. And I've always had to take courses that are irrelevant for what I want to do. You usually have a pretty good idea of what you want to get into. Little kids want to be a princess or a fireman but by a certain age, you know" (Marie). "I don't really like socials ... why learn about what has happened. Let's learn about things that are going to happen, things that affect our lives right now" (Keith). While analyzing the skewed number of problematic school events (Appendix H) occurring in the junior high school years, it became evident these young people were in an educational crisis. For most of the participants (4/7), grades 8 and 9 were a blur of drugs, parties, and absenteeism. "I was using and selling drugs at the church beside the school in grade 8. We were the druggies. That's when school really started to go downhill. I just started failing and after two weeks in grade 10,1 dropped out" (Claire). Hans believed his difficulties were launched with his dad's accident while he was in grade 7 and by "grade 81 started to really not care. Then I pretty much gave up. I met new friends and started smoking pot. I missed classes and failed all my courses except 44 one" (Hans). After her grade 7 exposure to district counsellors and the ensuing behavioral intervention, Elissa "was mad. There was no need to drag the whole class down. In grade 8 and 9,1 drank and did drugs and partied. It's like the school forgot about me. When I dropped out in grade 101 was just.... I'd had enough" (Elissa). Lynne delayed her "goofing off" until grade 9. "I got in with the wrong crowd ..; drugs, skipping, and partying on weeknights. When I got my grade 9 report card, I remember crying because it was so bad" (Lynne). Rather than identifying a critical period, Marie, Keith, and Telesile described a long established lack of connection with school. Marie, from grade 1 recalls being taunted in the classroom and physically assaulted in the schoolyard. "I had a hard time because I've been to so many schools. The transition was always so hard. I got so many new teachers. By the time I was 14,1 didn't want to do it anymore so I dropped out and forgot about it for a couple of years. I didn't care anymore." (Marie). Keith, who for years was fueled with a resolve to graduate, by grade 12 was faltering, "It's like, God, I'm not going to make it." He did not drop out of school but "I felt like quitting lots of times. Gym....that's what made me come to school. Without gym I wouldn't have graduated" (Keith). He acknowledges he and his friends "started to drink early." Telesile experienced a detachment and aloofness with regular programming that commenced in grade 4. She remarked that her teacher had some unresolved emotional issues that he brought into the classroom, but of significance, as well was the introduction of letter grades that year. "I was getting C s and it was really an eye opener. I had always been top of the class, excelling and then all of a sudden ... boom... you know" (Telesile). In grade 10, Telesile began to experience "sleep problems and depression" This, in addition 45 to her already marginal attendance, resulted in her failing all grade 11 courses and "I was on the verge of not corning back" (Telesile). Instability at Home As previously stated, the focus of this study was the experience of being in school while other personal histories were exempt. However, very early in the interviews, participants divulged unsolicited information about home and family. Recognizing the study's focus, I would unobtrusively redirect the inquiry to school events. While I was attempting this diversion with Claire in interview #3, she poignantly and philosophically declared, "Well, it's all relevant you know." I could not exclude students' histories of home. The participants would not allow it. There are no pretty pictures here. I felt acute admiration for the trust these young people exhibited with their candid portrayal of the difficult, longstanding, and continuing circumstances that are the substance of their everyday lives. Incorporating the experience of family was crucial in my quest to understand the experience of school for these young people. Early in the analysis I had titled this historical factor Trauma at Home. Most participants (5/6) in the second interview supported this assessment, but Marie considered the term "trauma sounds too abusive and my home was more, let's say, unstable." Claire believed "trauma" existed for her both at school and at home, but considered the home situation more chronic. "At school, it wasn't solid bad all the time. This week you get a school suspension, next week you fail a test," whereas "At home it was more constant Every day. Every day. Every morning getting up to an argument" (Claire). Of particular note with all participants was the role of father. Most (5/7) fathers were absent but Lynne and Hans were members of what one might term "intact" 46 families....mom, dad, and the children all living under the same roof. Lynne's mother had "a bit to do with" the breakdown of her father's first marriage when his children from that relationship were toddlers. In grade 9 and into grade 10, Lynne went through "a period, not like depression but... I call it my dark stage".... that coincided with her chronically depressed and alcoholic father having "six or seven or eight beers in the morning and he'd be all lovey dovey." During her lifetime, Lynne's father has not been employed and has refused, except for a brief period, to utilize prescription drugs for his psychological difficulties. "Dad's depression is completely obvious. While on medication he smiled. He laughed. You know my dad never does that. He never laughs" (Lynne). Hans and his father had a healthy relationship and shared a number of interests before his dad's industrial site accident when Hans was in grade 7. "That was five years ago. He has been unemployed since and in constant pain. I would say that's when my problems with school started" (Hans). The remaining participants (5/7) have lived most of their lives with their mothers in single parent families. During her preschool years, Claire's parents managed a foster home with the Ministry of Social Services (currently the Ministry for Children and Families) and "my dad actually had an affair with one of the girls there." By her kindergarten year, Claire's parents had divorced and her father moved away without financial provision for Claire and her two siblings. During recent brief visits to his home, Claire continued to feel abandoned by her father. "He considered hitting rock bottom was to have a family, so where do I stand?"(Claire). Marie's father was a logger and her mother's futile attempts to keep the family together resulted in Marie's substantial number of school transitions. "He's just one of those people who can't settle down." The 47 many versions of their breakup given to Marie when she was 10 are inconsistent but she believes it was likely "because there is such a difference in their morals. When I was younger (than 10) I'd say, dad* can I have ten bucks to go buy some beer. He'd give it to me. He was a bit different. My mom would say no." Again financial support for the family disappeared after the divorce. Of all participants, Keith kept the family cards closest to his chest but acknowledged that his parent's marriage fell apart when he was in grade 8, and the resultant economic concerns caused his mom to move to a lower socioeconomic neighborhood. His mother became responsible for all aspects of care for the four children. Although sketchy on details, Keith emphatically stated, "I know I will never be like my dad. I'm the opposite of him. I wouldn't do the things he did." Elissa's parents divorced when she was in kindergarten and although her father may have been willing to contribute to the family finances, the ensuing dozen years have not eased the couple's hostility. "My dad wouldn't go to my valedictory cause mom would be there. If my mom and dad see each other on the street, they turn around and walk the other way. They're angry"(Elissa). Yet, to me, the most disheartening story of family was that of Telesile. The other participants, while suffering an estranged, defiant or distant relationship with their father, occasionally sustained a more empathic and sensitive connection with their mothers. Telesile's paternity is a mystery. "I don't know my dad." Her mother claimed the man in the photograph holding an infant Telesile is her father, but contradictory revelations from her maternal grandmother during her grade 10 year contributed to Telesile's "sleep problems and depression. I was choked." Telesile and her alcoholic mother have a tense but quiet relationship. "We don't talk. We don't have meals together. She goes to the bar 48 with her nice little drunk boyfriend" (Telesile). While other participants had siblings, Telesile was an only child. A low level of family income was a constant reality in the lives of these participants. While most mothers (5/7) lacked postsecondary education, the mothers of Lynne and Claire had university degrees. Nonetheless the impacts of poverty were lived by all students. "There was the cool rich group who looked down upon my group ... the not so cool not so rich doing drugs group and I didn't like that. I got sick of that" (Lynne). Claire's mother currently earns a professional salary as a teacher but "when my dad left she subbed for years with only a teaching diploma and we had a very tough time moneywise" (Claire). Hans' mother is employed as a library assistant and "money is pretty tight. Before my dad's accident, I would often get a new jacket or runners. Now it's a birthday gift or Christmas or not at all" (Hans). It is the belief of most participants (4/7) that frequent family moves were generally the result of an inability to pay the rent. Lynne recalled students laughing at her in the school hallway about her clothing and Marie believes "teachers discriminated against me because of social assistance." Lynne, an honors student, would like to apply to an out of province university. "It sounds nice but I wouldn't have enough money to be that far away." Three participants, Telesile, Keith, and Lynne made no mention of their parents involvement in their education. Elissa remarked her parents did not know what went on at school. "In grade 10 when my school counsellor phoned my mother to report I had dropped out, she was not aware of any problems. I had missed two years of school and she didn't have a clue" (Elissa). Even though her mother is an elementary school teacher, Claire notes, "My mother has never played a part in my education. She has never been to 49 anything at school." Hans does not mention a parent / school connection directly but confirms his parents were the only reason he didn't drop out of school. Marie's mother became involved with the school on several occasions, all of which were grievances that Marie was not able to manage independently. For example, in grade 5 or 6 Marie and her friend were enjoying a water fight in the school hallway and as "punishment" Marie was assigned garbage duty. 'Ticking up garbage is mean and cruel. It is not relevant to what you did. It is absolutely disgusting. Mom came in and told the principal she is not picking up garbage" (Marie). Marie was no longer required to collect garbage. Phenomenon A l t e r n a t e S c h o o l P r o g r a m m i n g In the first interview Keith remarked, "Life's not easy. First there's the hard part. Then it's easy." Perhaps, for these participants the "easy part" of their lives was launched with Alternate Education programming. All participants claimed that Alternate Education was a necessary and essential academic intervention. Keith was sinking in "irrelevant" grade 12 curriculum when the Alternate Education option guided him through a successful secondary school graduation. Lynne, following a disastrous grade 9 year confirmed, "I absolutely would not have continued in regular school. Who knows where I'd be?" Unmanageable personal problems in Telesile's life forced her to recognize, "I was not going to continue in regular school" and Hans was snared in a frustrating whorl of animosity and academic failure. An honors graduate, Elissa, believes "If I hadn't come to an Alternate Program, I would have remained out of school." She reiterated Lynne's exact words, "who knows where I'd be. Being in the senior Alternate Program is probably the best thing that has ever happened to me" (Elissa). Marie, who had dropped 50 out of school for more than two years prior to an Alternate School placement, asserted, "I can tell you it's a fact I wouldn't have graduated without the Alternate. There's no way I would have gone back to regular school. I mean maybe I could have done it by correspondence over a longer period of time but to actually be in the classroom" (Marie). For Claire, the Alternate program was a temporary shelter from a domestic storm. Of all participants, she is the only student who has requested a return to regular school. "Being rebellious, blowing up at teachers, getting kicked out of class, had to do with my homelife. The stress at home was a lot to deal with" (Claire). After her two years in an Alternate setting she concluded, "Most things in my life are pretty great right now. I'm good at rugby. I joined soccer and my boyfriend ... I love him. I ended the school year pretty good" (Claire). After several months in regular school Claire said she visits her former Alternate Education teacher "at least two or three times a week." Intervening Conditions Personality of the Alternate Education Teacher Most students reported the Alternate Education teacher modeled an appropriate and authentic moral code. By providing safe and explicit boundaries, they behaved as a healthy parent might. "My teacher would not tolerate any kind of bugging unless it was just fun, but absolutely nothing vulgar. They gave you a structure of what kind of humor is tasteful and what is not" (Marie). When Elissa was queried about why she skipped almost every class in junior high school and when accepted into an Alternate Program maintained perfect attendance, she replied, "The teacher in Alternate School gave me a kick in the ass pretty much. There was a lot more.... not pressure but motivation." She 51 was responding to the explicit attendance limits set by her teacher. "My teacher told me to show up every day. Nobody told me that before" (Elissa). Following the bitter disappointment with her academic performance in grade 9, Lynne was resolved to relinquish the "wrong crowd" and considered Alternate Education. "I've had two Alternate Education teachers and they never looked at me like a child. I was never scolded or anything like that... you know, if I didn't get something done on time, it wasn't so bad" (Lynne). Flexibility was a characteristic of the teacher mentioned by most participants. Marie, whose toddler was cared for in the school's Parenting Teen Program, appreciated that her teacher was very accepting of her child. "One day, my baby had a fever and she wasn't allowed to be in the daycare with a fever. My Alternate Education teacher actually allowed me to bring her to class because we had a speaker corning in to talk about grad and he knew how important grad was to me. What teacher in regular school would let me bring a baby with a fever to class?" (Marie). Keith had difficulty keeping up with the pace in regular school and appreciated "getting more help from the Alternate teacher ... like if you ask for it, it's no problem My teacher was a good teacher. I liked him a lot. He was a good guy." Most students talked about fun in regards to both teacher and programming. "My teacher is a great person, a great teacher and a real funny guy. He made school fun. He's the best teacher I've ever had" (Hans). "If I weren't 19,1 would purposely have failed so I could go back" (Marie). A caring relationship with the teacher was important to the participants. "Mrs. is wonderful. She is the sweetest person" (Lynne). Elissa's teacher was "really really 52 easygoing. She was a great teacher. She gets involved and knows what's going on in your life. She is more like a friend ... an easy person to talk to." Telesile needed the personal connection to one teacher, "In Alternate, I had one teacher instead of eight different teachers and it's so much better" even if the attention isn't always appropriate. "I'm always talking. The teacher is always telling me....Telesile, shhhh." Telesile is aware this attention is essential to her academic success and expressed regret at the many times she was ignored in the regular classroom. The Alternate Education Classroom Environment A l l participants noted fewer students in the classes, individual interaction, and self-paced instruction as essential features of the Alternate Education classroom Every participant believed the classes in regular programming were too large and greatly valued the one-to-one instruction that was a characteristic of their Alternate School environment. " A major problem for me in regular school was I needed more help so that was what was good in the Alternate. If I didn't understand something, the teacher would come over and explain it to me" (Claire). "In Alternate I wasn't with too many people which is good" (Lynne). "I just didn't like being in a big class with all those people ... the teacher standing there teaching you stuff and i f you don't understand it, they still don't really explain it to you (Elissa). The "biggie" in Alternate programs for Elissa was the choice to work on her own. Telesile noted that it is difficult for a regular school teacher to notice a youngster's despair because they have so many students. At least that was her experience. "In grade 10,1 missed half my school year and when I would get there, teachers would ignore my hand up, so I'd pack my things and leave. The classes in regular school are too big" (Telesile). Class size was mentioned several times by Keith. "In regular school, 53 teachers get frustrated when there's thirty kids. Not everyone is shutting up and they just kind of lose it and get ticked off. When there's only fifteen kids like in Alternate, it's easier to calm the place down" (Keith). For Elissa and Lynne, a plus for Alternate education was the choice of working independently, on their own, at their own pace. The majority of students (6/7) had no desire to return to regular programming although that is a viable educational option. "I would much rather have done my entire school years in a situation like this. It's a smaller class. There is more one to one interaction. The whole tone in the classroom is mellower, happier, and more vibrant than anywhere else" (Marie). Flexibility, a key feature in the personality of the Alternate Education teacher, was also abundantly appreciated in the classroom environment. "It's those spontaneous activities where everyone (including staff) just says screw this and goes out to play hockey. That's when it was good" (Claire). Telesile, a child expressing confusion over her paternity and experiencing daily conflicts with her mother, described her Alternate Education classroom, "I love it. You are with the same people every day so it's kind of like you are a little family. It is so amazing. It is not so structured and I can go at my own pace." Claire appreciated the fun particularly associated with physical activities and doing "different things ... not just every single day the same thing." Keith commented on the myth that Alternate Schools house the pariahs of the education system. "It's not so. You can pick a handful of bad kids in Alternate and in regular." Lynne affirmed this position, "Some people say Alternate classes are for stupid people but that's not so. It has a bad reputation but it is unfounded ... not based on fact." Although some literature reviewed for this thesis indicates Alternate Education 54 curriculum is modified (Gagne, 1996; Gallagher, 1993), the senior class courses in Delta's Alternate Schools, as previously mentioned, are strictly academic. "Alternate is not easier. It's just put in a different way" (Keith). Context As a component of the first interview, participants were asked the question, "What suggestions might you have regarding what is effective and ineffective in schools?' (Appendix D). Results tend to indicate that recommendations for features generally reflect the facilitating aspects associated with the Alternate Programming while descriptions of ineffective features were closely aligned with the problematic events chronicled in regular school, frequently in grades 8 and 9 (Appendix H). One series of remarks is antithetical to the other. In this section, the contextual variables of acceptance, flexibility, compassion, respect arid safety are briefly considered. Many other examples are contained within the mtervening conditions and strategies sections of the theoretical model. Acceptance For these participants, being accepted into a personal relationship with their teacher was absent in regular school and abundantly evident in the Alternate classroom. "What works especially well is when a teacher spends extra time and helps" (Lynne). Teacher involvement was important to these students. "Some people might not like a teacher knowing their personal business, but I enjoyed it" (Hans). Elissa made this same point almost verbatim, "Teachers in regular school need to get more involved. They need to try to get to know the kids more ... to just talk to them... like just go up and talk to them. They need to take a more personal interest." She continued, "It would have made a 55 difference if my teachers in regular had just tried to get to know me better. My Alternate teacher gets involved. She knows what is going on in your life. Everybody just talks to her." (Elissa). Flexibi l i ty Flexibility was generally absent from the grade 8 and 9 years in mainstream school. In contrast, "The spontaneous times were the best times. That's what our Alternate teacher does very well. Regular school is such a routine" (Claire). Lynne notes what she considers to be ineffective in public school "No enthusiasm, definitely, from some teachers. Some teachers really like their jobs, and others, you can tell they'd rather be doing anything else. It's about half-and-half. My Alternate teacher would do projects with us. She really gets into things and learns with us" (Lynne). A suggestion from Keith in regards to class schedules was, "I work better in the afternoon. At 8 a.m., I'm still zoned out." He would prefer to see more flexibility with high school timetabling. Maybe some classes could be scheduled for afternoon and early evening. Compassion Marie believed her years of school difficulties contributed to her "giving the Alternate Education teacher a hard time in the beginning." However the teacher "showed persistence to break through the ice" that surrounded her. Her fear regarding class presentations was diminished when she was told it was her decision to present to the class or privately to staff only. As noted earlier, her baby was a welcome visitor to the classroom. These students hungered to be caught and disciplined in their junior high years. "Counsellors or people who are in charge of taking care of kids welfare could have been 56 more aware" (Claire). Regarding her two plus years of drug transactions, she concluded, "They could have been more on the ball." Elissa wishes her teachers had picked up on "me not going to class. It's like they just forgot about me." Elissa agreed she needed firmer guidelines and to be told "to cut out the nonsense" when she pronounced explicitly her withdrawal from school. However her counsellor "didn't encourage me to go back or to do anything" (Elissa). Elissa recognized she needed a personal relationship with her teacher. "When someone helps you or acts like they care, that is meariingful.'' For Elissa that connection was missing in her regular school years, "I didn't fit in at all." Respect Lynne remarked "In regular I was with pushy teachers and my counsellor could have quit being an adult" while her Alternate teachers "never treated me like a child" (Lynne). In contrast to 'things being done to" Elissa in regular school Alternate Education offered more involvement in decision making. "We had more choices about scheduling and we'd make up our own rules." Safety Emotional and physical safety was an important component of the Alternate School experience. "You get a little leeway in Alternate. You can say when a teacher is pissing you off. You can just say leave me alone. In regular school I'd get suspended for saying that" (Hans). As well, regarding safety, Marie recalled violence in the schoolyard. "There were fights and teachers wouldn't do anything. I've seen kids need help and nobody does anything," compared to her experience in Alternate School "If things even looked like they were tecoming nasty the Alternate teacher would stop it. We could tease our teacher and say things that we would get expelled for in regular school" (Marie). In 57 junior high school, Hans felt that teachers would bring their bad day into the classroom and "the teachers who really hated me, on their bad days they'd be total assholes." Alternate programming was more lenient. "If I swore or said fuck, it's not so rigid." Participant Strategies In viewing the Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation globally, there seemed a propensity for students to move their energy toward what they could control and away from that which they could not. In the model, this took the form of attachment to their senior Alternate Education Program and less emphasis on the historical factors, their regular school experience and their home. Bonding to Alternate School Program Through a variety of attitudes and behaviors, these participants developed a connection with their Alternate School Program that had been absent in their regular school. Simplistically, yet fundamentally, the students attended school regularly, developed friendships with their classmates, and completed the academic requirements. Keith, in Alternate Education for only one term, acknowledged grade 12 programming was more than he could manage and decided to "cut a deal with reality." He was determined not to repeat another grade. "I remember being in grade 5 and thinking man I could be in grade 6" (Keith). Claire, the former drug dealer "tried really hard. If I didn't understand something in Alternate School the teacher would come over and explain it to me." Hans, as well, reported "My grades and attendance have improved this year in Alternate." Elissa was a "lot more motivated in Alternate School" and in her grade 10 program, as noted, she attended every day, an event in stark contrast to her junior high 58 years. Telesile concluded, as Claire had that, "School is a lot more positive than home." Al l students agreed doing group activities such as a sport outing or cooking for a special occasion drew the group together. Even a class discussion on bullying where "70% of us said we were bugged in elementary school" (Marie), provided an opportunity to decrease the isolation and embarrassment that had been felt by these students. Lynne, determined to return to honors standing, "worked very hard and showed up every day." Minimization of the Historical Factors Some events contained in the participant's school histories prior to Alternate Education placement have been detailed. They remain clearly in memory as bewildering arid disorienting episodes. Marie's experience of being "forced" to present formally in front of the class continues, "To this day I still cannot stand doing it" (Marie). It seemed there was a tendency for students to dismiss or rnmimize difficult episodes in the educational domain. Keith who failed grade 1 recalled, "Our grade 1 class had a lot of energy. Maybe we triggered her off a bit", as well as "I had problems getting help in regular school, but not every class." Claire, who had "her seat in the office", was frequently suspended and sent home countless other times said, "I've never enjoyed school much but it's never been bad. I can't remember that much about it really." School transitions were frequent in Telesile's primary school years, "I don't remember them so they don't affect me." Lynne, while considering school behavior during her dark stage, said, "I just don't like thinking about it. I'm embarrassed that I ever acted like that." Nonetheless, for all participants, Alternate Education programming proved a pivotal stage in their academic careers. For Lynne and Elissa the change was "immediate" whereas for Marie, trust took time to develop, "I gave the Alternate Education teacher a hard time in 59 the rjeginning." However the debilitating difficulties at home continue. Keith and Marie, both age 19, lack any apparent hostility or contempt for their families of origin. "My parents had their problems. Who doesn't? Even if they're not together you can't use that as an excuse. You've got to make the best out of the life you've got. I don't like blarning anyone" (Keith). Marie acknowledges her parents had different "morals" but getting on in life is "getting used to such things." Both seem resigned to the fact that this is the way their families are although both vehemently retort they will not repeat the pattern. Attempts to change the familial status quo are not revealed even if they are considered. Rather, for this pair of participants, the process of physically distancing themselves from their family of origin is ongoing. Marie has maintained her own living arrangements apart from her mother and siblings since she quit school at age 14. Keith, the eldest of four children, has lived with his grandparents for several years and chooses not to visit his nuclear family on weekends even though the distance is but a short bus ride. Lynne declared, "I love my parents to death. They're what I live for," although her "dark stage is never" discussed. "No-one really wants to remember it. Neither do 1.1 mean I was horrible, but it is resolved" (Lynne). When Lynne was discussing her father's perpetual unemployment, she said, "I mean he is really wonderful about it. He actually does stuff around the house. He keeps busy." Acknowledging that depression and alcoholism have affected both sides of her family, Lynne clarified. "Not my mom though. She is the happiest person in the world but her sister and my grandma's sister and my grandma ...she's an alcoholic but you'd never know. She does it at home so no-one knows. They're all pleasant around me. I have the most wonderful family" (Lynne). 60 Hans and Claire developed strategies for dealing with the anger they feel about the situation at home. Recently Hans spent several days in jail for uttering a threat to his disabled father. He said, "I am so fucking mad right now I could kill you. I wish you were dead." The father charged Hans who then was unable to return home until he agreed to be medicated for his anger. Hans, as evidenced by his muscled frame, works out several hours each day. A second strategy for him to relieve stress is smoking marijuana. "I smoke pot every day. I don't really see it as substance abuse. Who does it hurt? It gives me enjoyment. It's the alcohol out there that kills people" (Hans). Claire frequently feels like "going up to my mom and popping her one but I usually punch the wall instead". In managing this relationship, Claire had gone numb. "I've just stopped caring," and has relocated her energy toward a continued healthy relationship with her boyfriend of 18 months. Elissa's parents persist in being "angry". She finds their conflict "annoying. It's hard to deal with both of them" One means to "deal with" her parents involved Elissa's move to her father's home during her Alternate programming after living with her mother and sister since the divorce twelve years ago. "My mother didn't talk to me for six months and then I wrote a letter expkining what my life was like and how I was feeling and she wrote me back." Elissa finds her father "a lot easier to live with." Like Claire, she has focused her energy on the friendship and emotional connection with her longtime boyfriend. Telesile remains secretive with her many friends about her mom's alcoholism and the abuse she suffered as a child from one of mother's former boyfriends. Whether her dad is the man in the photograph or someone else she stated, "Really, I don't know either 61 of those men so what's the difference?" Telesile regulates her anxiety with uproarious laughter (twelve lengthy episodes in the first interview), hasty maturation, "I've always been mature for my age," and abundant friendships, "I am friends with everyone in high school." Outcomes Academic Success A desire to fit in at school and to obtain good grades were powerful motivators for these young people throughout their school years as demonstrated by the documentary evidence presented in the first interview. When the interview was scheduled, each participant was requested to bring a tangible item that might assist the investigator in understanding their experience of school. The submissions speak to the resilient spirit of these participants who had been, within the public education domain, identified according to their deficits. Most students (4/7) shared an achievement; for example, an outstanding report card, grad photographs, a most improved student award or an athletics prize, and expressed immense pride for their accomplishments. Hans and Marie brought school yearbooks and spoke warmly of memories with former friends. Telesile apologized for forgetting to bring something adding that likely she would have brought a pen because "you can't get very far at school without a pen." In Telesile's chaotic household, a tangible item may have been impossible to track. Although generally unacknowledged by these students, this evidence might indicate being accepted as part of the student body and high academic achievement in the regular school system were highly valued. A l l participants were successful in meeting their course requirements for the past 62 school year. Marie finished her grade 12 courses and obtained her Dogwood Certificate. This certificate signifies the completion of the academic secondary school requirements for the Province pf British Columbia. In addition she was awarded two Passport to Education Stamps, which are monies earned by the top third of the province's high school students to provide financial assistance for post secondary education. Telesile's grades improved, "I've got A's and B's. It's so much better." Both Lynne and Elissa, who appreciated the option of working independently in Alternate Programming, are a half-year ahead of their peers. Lynne completed grade 11 with "an honor roll report card and an achievement award." Achievement awards are presented to students who maintain an A average throughout the school year. Elissa delightfully proclaimed, "Going to the senior Alternate Program was probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I graduated on the honor roll." Claire asserted, "My report card this year is the best I've ever had. I've never gotten A's and B's before." Both Hans and Keith improved their attendance and their grades. Hans believes he can complete his graduation requirements in one more year. For Keith high school graduation represented the culmination of his competitive spirit. "I wanted to win and I did. A grad of '99.1 won. I got the last laugh. I got even by winning ... by proving them wrong" (Keith). Age Appropr ia te Routines Although the familial environment is disturbing, this group of seven appeared extraordinarily normal in their day-to-day routines apart from home and school. Claire was employed at two jobs; one at a cafe, the other at a retail outlet. "My boss is awesome. I formed a good relationship with all the people I work with." Also Claire schedules regular workouts individually and on district teams as she intends to apply for a rugby 63 scholarship in her grad year. Hans attends the gym every day and his dedication is obvious. He is a highly social person and time with friends is an important activity. Elissa has enrolled in post secondary studies but while waiting for her start date she has attended programs at the local Youth and Employment Center. Lynne, since she was 15, has maintained part-time work at a local drugstore. "Mom is the only one pulling in money. That's why I went and got a job so I could buy my own stuff (Lynne). Marie's routines are compounded with the care of her two-year-old daughter. Yet she manages well on her own and lives independently. Understandably, since the birth of her baby, her life style is focussed on childcare and education. It is a busy time for Marie and both she and young Julia are happy. Telesile would like to be working part time in the community but has not been successful to date. She makes pocket money caring for children and had a nanny position for the summer months. Keith loves 'Running. I love getting energy. I can play sports for hours and not get tired. I'm competitive." Keith enjoyed school teams but nothing compares to his love of hockey. "I'm not a bang and crash player but I like to score and win." Keith continues to score goals on community teams, is a capable musician playing guitar and drums and is employed part-time with a landscaping firm. Hope for the Future Each participant has a healthy view of their future. Postsecondary costs may impede or delay plans and wishes but the group is looking forward to tomorrow. Marie's plans are incorporated with what she believes is best for her daughter. Her major post secondary goal, dating back to elementary school, is to study law. Due to the expenses of parenting, she will delay this in the short term and will enroll in a horticultural program. Plans for registration and childcare have already been formalized. 64 Telesile will graduate next year. It is difficult for her to look much beyond that time frame, but she is devoted to completing secondary school. Telesile has faith that things will work out for her. Like Telesile, Keith finds it difficult to look top far into the future. Immediate plans are to procure the necessary courses and documentation to become a security guard. "I'm going to take it one day at a time. I don't look to the future but I think about it. But not too many years ahead ... maybe one or two but not nine or ten" (Keith). Lynne intends to apply for scholarships and attend a local university. I'm excited about going to university. The courses I can do. There's just so many of them and it really excites me ... really really neat stuff' (Lynne). Elissa, in the short term, has been accepted into a hairdressing apprenticeship at a fashionable downtown salon. Longer-term plans include a career in nursing "because I like helping people. Helping people means something" (Elissa). Although "this is the first year I've had goals," Claire resolved to maintain her academic standing so she will be able to apply for a rugby scholarship to assist her postsecondary expenses. Hans first career choice, "I'd like to be a pilot but I'm too heavy" has been replaced with a desire to become a firefighter. To that end he steadfastly maintains his body building and physical fitness regimen. Disconfirming Evidence / Sampling Bias To this researcher, the consistency of experience across participants is surprising. After a dozen years teaching a junior Alternate Program, this degree of homogeneous results was unanticipated. During the development of the model, negative evidence was sought from all participants. When questioned about some beneficial aspects of their regular school experience to balance the difficult events, all students were able to document specific 65 memories. Some included are "I thought it was great learning other languages" (Marie), "My grade 5 teacher was really nice" (Telesile), and "My grade 2 teacher would come to my lacrosse games"(Hans). Seeking disconfirming evidence about the Alternate Education classroom was difficult. Several participants noted a restricted curriculum where only core subjects were offered. An excerpt from Marie's second interview when she was sorting her index cards (school events) into a meaningful order reads as follows: Participant: Al l the Alternate events are good events. (2M12) Interviewer : Yes. I see you have events from your regular school over here. There are 6 events that you said were positive and 10 events you said were negative. And then when you talk about the Alternate School, it didn't seem there was any of it that was in any way negative. Participant: No. Interviewer : Is there anything else you might want to say about your Alternate School experience? Participant: Not really. Interviewer : Does anything else come up while we're talking about this or perhaps after you left last time .... Things that you may have neglected to say about the Alternate School? Participant: No. Not really. I can tell you it's a fact I wouldn't have graduated without the Alternate. There's no way. I had anticipated that at least some feedback about Alternate Programming would be conflicted. Were these participants attempting to please the researcher by providing data that an Alternate Education teacher might be happy to hear? A theoretical sampling concern arose. This included data, as reviewed in Chapter 2, from the senior class teachers which indicated only 2% of the student body were classified in the attention 66 disorders category. The percentage of students in my grade 9 and 10 Alternate Program would approach 70% in this category. Because senior programs in this district register students for two years, they contain 50% fewer placements than junior programs, and other students, like Keith for example, are accepted from the regular high school. An interesting descriptive study might track grade 10 graduates with difficulties of attention. If these students with attention problems generally do not continue in an Alternate Program and it appears they do not, where do they go? Is there a selective intake process where applicants with attention problems are essentially shut out from senior programs? Do junior class Alternate Education teachers fail to recommend this population to the senior programs? Does this inconsistency occur in other districts? I have no doubt that a replication of this study with junior Alternate Education students would produce very different results. Summary The theoretical model of Dynamic Rejuvenation detailed in this chapter is striking when the dramatic and disturbing historical factors are compared with the seemingly everyday conventional outcomes experienced by this group of participants. From the onset of problematic familial events, each participant experienced an unresolved loss of father. The participants spoke of the financial hardships incurred by their mothers as culminating in family relocation, interpersonal conflict, and poverty. Also for most participants, there were a considerable number of temporary father figures in the home. Although for some participants, the early education years were generally nondistinctive, by age 13 and 14 each of these young people was festering emotionally and sought refuge in the frenzied activities of drugging and partying. Hope for the present 67 and faith in the future were restored during their placement in an Alternate School program. These participants responded to the core elements of Alternate Schools, a personalized relationship and a nurturing environment by improving their attendance, successfully completing academic programs, and, most importantly, enjoyed doing it. They had fun, felt safe, and connected to others in their group as members of a wholesome family might. The participants have busy, active lives with a future rich in promise and possibility. 68 CHAPTER 5. DISCUSSION Introduction Educational critics are no fencesitters. On the one side, schools have never done so much for so many (Osborne, 1999; Young and Levin, 1998). Countless things are expected of schools, and in recent years many social problems have been placed on the educational doorstep. Street proofing youngsters, breakfast programs and AIDS education are but a few issues that schools did not create but are expected to address. Contrary to this view, Maclean and Janzen (1994) in their call for immediate and major revisions to community-school relations, curriculum and school climate, believe that business as usual in our Canadian schools is less than realistic. They concur with Levin (19991) who writes that schooling is a system built on failure. Des Dixon (1992), in a discussion of future schools, notes there is little in current school programming and nothing in present day school architecture to acknowledge school as a social hub for students. Regardless of the debate, the participants in this study felt alone, shunned, set apart or fearful during some or all of their regular school experience. As very young pupils, their home school would be aware that these children were generally from divorced families, that their mothers were the sole financial providers, and that these moms were not involved in school activities. Based on the data provided, it would appear these red flags were ignored. In this final chapter, a discussion of the Theory of Dynamic Rejuvenation as reported in the findings of chapter 4, will be presented. The model provides a conceptual framework that embodies the school experience, both regular and special education, for 69 students currently enrolled in a senior Alternate Education Program. A factor deliberately excluded in the preliminary plans for the research, the home environment, held a commanding role in the lives of these participants. The Dynamic Rejuvenation Model acknowledges the interactional influence of both home and school for all participants. Ultimately, according to these students, the regular school classroom must adjust its direction to mirror the essence of the Alternate School setting; a caring interpersonal relationship and an accepting, flexible environment. It is from this perspective that the following discussion is directed. The Dynamic Rejuvenation Model Resiliency In reflecting the experience of these participants, the Dynamic Rejuvenation Theory is spirited and energetic. It acknowledges that these young people had endured, over many years, a multitude of stressors that had seriously impeded their ability to lead fulfilling lives. The educational intervention of Alternate Education Programming proved a unanimously cathartic event as all students realized a personal transformation. As such, the model of Dynamic Rejuvenation is a strength-based model (Walsh, 1998) in which participants not only survived adversity but have actively taken charge of their lives. The young people in this study agreed they endured multiple challenges in their regular school experience and continued chaos in their lives at home. As is evident from the Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation these traumatic episodes are threads in the tapestry of their lives but they are not the frame from which their lives are now defined. Also universal support was achieved in acknowledging that the staff and emotional climate in the Alternate School setting represented the protective factors that allowed these young 70 people to move from the personal and educational crises evident prior to their Alternate School placement to the successful outcomes noted in the model. It was a turning point (Katz, 1997) experience in the lives of each participant that significantly improved the quality of their lives. Protect ive F a c t o r s Protective factors refer to conditions that can improve resistance to environmental risks and contribute to successful outcomes, adaptation and child resiliency (Landy, and Tarn, 1998). Typically, protective factors fall into three categories. The first, that of personal characteristics within the child, may include intelligence, social competence or personality. In this study, all participants had an inner determination to change the course of their lives when they applied to Alternate School Programming. A second protective variable included warm parenting and family connections that provide the child with a secure adult relationship. For all participants, this bond was absent with father while rapport with mother, other than for one student, varied from disdain through ill will to animosity (Landy and Tarn, 1998). Hostile parenting is a consistent risk factor in child development (Lipman, Boyle, Dooley and OfFord, 1998). And lastly, protection is afforded the child in a social environment or community that reinforces and supports the productive efforts made by the child. Although the relationship between risk and protective factors and the development of child resiliency is not a straight forward linear relationship (Landy and Tarn 1998), the current study suggests that individual characteristics and the reinforcement and support experienced in the Alternate School setting interacted to propel each participant toward the beneficial outcomes specified in the Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation. Specifically, for this group of participants, these 71 included academic success, age appropriate routines and hope for the future. As defined by Krovetz (1999), this movement from a place of emotional pain and confusion to one of healing and calm as exemplified in the model embodies the concept of resiliency. He believes the core of resiliency is the ability to manage and recover from difficult or traumatic times, while recognizing the pain and suffering endured. Resilience is strength under adversity, the inner drive to withstand the odds (Katz, 1997) and to rebound with more resourcefulness. It is an active process of endurance, self-righting and growth in response to crisis and challenge (Walsh, 1998). Resilient Schools Establishing a school that promotes resilience, similar to these Alternate Education classrooms described by the current participants, requires a committed staff who care deeply for every child, believe each student is inherently able, and value meaningful individual participation. Whether in a learning environment, a family or a community, these represent the key components required to cope successfully with adversity. Large schools where staff are unable to know each student or demonstrate beliefs that indicate some students are incapable of learning are obstacles to the creation of a resilient school community. Even though every person has good days and bad, well-known and well-respected students do not fall between the cracks (Gaskell, 1995; Krovetz, 1999). . Radwanski's (1987) extensive review of Ontario's system of education, seemingly ignored by educators if frequency of citations is an indication, offers recommendations regarding the development of public schools in the Alternate Education image. As reviewed in Chapter 4 all students in this study reported their academic 72 success was partially due to a reduced student teacher ratio and several spoke fondly when referencing their Alternate Education classmates and staff to a family. Radwanski, reflecting the Dynamic Rejuvenation Model, suggests that all high schools be required to assign every student to a teacher who will be responsible for monitoring all courses, for identifying academic and personal difficulties, and for initiating interventions. As well, Radwanski writes that students should remain as a class group for most subjects and a teacher would provide instruction in at least two subject areas. These ideas would result in students being well known by at least one teacher and might perhaps, if implemented, have eliminated or reduced the alienation felt by these participants. School History Underachievement With the exception of Lynne in the present study, all participants had difficulty consistently meeting adequate academic standards in elementary school. If these schools practiced interventions, the pupils were unaware of them. Underachievement, a major contributor to subsequent school dropout (MacLean and Janzen, 1994; Radwanski, 1987), has pervasive and long-term implications for the student and the economy of the nation (La Fleur, 1992). A study from Concordia University (Chambers, Abrami, Massue, and Morrison, 1998) implemented "The Success For A l l " (SFA) program, an intervention rooted in the belief that every child can and must succeed in the early grades. It was designed to assist disadvantaged children by restructuring elementary schooling for students at risk and providing family support to ensure these children avoid academic failure. Although the program was expensive to implement, results indicated the early intervention program significantly improved the reading achievement of disadvantaged, 73 at-risk children. As reflected in the data of this study, family involvement was acknowledged as a necessary perquisite. Osborne (1999) writes that much of the educational debate over the past decade has focussed on the high school largely because of concerns related to jobs and the economy, but concludes this might be putting the cart before the horse. He believes resources would be more productively spent with preventive measures in early childhood. More than two decades ago, British Columbia researchers (Csapo and Gittens, 1978) in a provincial survey of Rehabilitation (Alternate) Programs, supported the call for intervention in the early grades to prevent dropping out in secondary school. Truancy An accompanying difficulty with underachievement, occurring in early secondary school, is truancy. Each participant in this study experienced excessive and unexcused absenteeism. University of Guelph researchers, Corville-Smith, Ryan, Adams and Dalicandra (1998), would consider this a predicament requiring immediate intervention. Results of their study reveal a number of statistically significant differences between the absentee student and the regular attender, suggesting that the absentee students, as compared to regular attenders are less likely to perceive school experiences favorably, are more likely to perceive parental discipline as lax or inconsistent, are more likely to feel inferior academically, are more likely to experience family conflict, and are less likely to be socially competent in their classroom interactions. These findings highlight the interdependence of home and school as exemplified by the participants in this study. The importance placed on the relationship these participants had with their Alternate Education teacher could indicate attendance interventions might be more effective if 74 initiated by the classroom teacher, not the parent phoning committee member, the school counsellor, or administrator. This recommendation would support Radwanski's proposition (1987) that educators need to have direct and personal relationships with their students. Timetabling In the interviews, when queried about what is effective and ineffective in schools, all participants noted the organizational differences between elementary school and high school. Regarding the latter, they spoke of the confusion of bells ringing for class change every fifty minutes, the difficulty organizing books for eight subjects, the bewilderment of understanding the disposition of eight teachers, the monotony of timetable routine, and the scarcity of individual attention in the classroom. They compared elementary school to a calm environment, while secondary school was likened to a state of frenzied agitation. Although students in the Raddysh (1992) study, comparing high school graduates with high school dropouts, noted grade 6 as a critical year, these participants responded to the secondary school transition (grade 8) with absenteeism and substance abuse. Osborne (1999) concludes that until the timetable is made flexible enough to accommodate different rates of learning, educators will inevitably continue to condemn a significant percentage of children to failure. While noting that the findings in a grounded theory study are applicable only to the participants, it is important to recall the conclusions of Levin (1991) and Radwanski (1987) as described in the literature review where almost half of high school pupils attending regular programming articulated similar dissatisfactions. Adjusting the timetable would support Radwanski's (1987) recommendations regarding substantive teacher-student contact. Also organizing a class 75 group or homeroom could be readily scheduled. One alternative for meeting these deficiencies for the participants is the implementation of the Copernican or horizontal timetable. It is the timetable I have employed for twelve years in my Alternate Education classroom. The Copernican Plan (Carroll, 1990) proposes to replace the traditional linear five day by eight course September through June schedule currently offered by most British Columbia secondary schools, with an academic year that is divided into four quarters and a school day that contains only two classes. Students study two full courses per ten week quarter term with classes running two and a half hours. Classes are rotated every week so that a morning class in one week is scheduled in the afternoon of the next. The Quarter System timetable could revolutionize Alternate programming. Because most high school Alternate classrooms are off campus, scheduling students for a fifty-minute class in the regular school is a logistical nightmare. However with the Copernican Plan, students could be readily integrated into half-day high interest courses. Classes in art, physical education, computer and the technical trades would provide our Alternate students with a more diverse curriculum. A lack of variety in programming was the only critical remark directed to Alternate Schools in the current research. Several students believed the Alternate School course selection was too limited. Generally only core subjects were offered. Also partial integration would be efficient in that more students could be placed in Alternate classes, thus reducing waitlists for programs. Substance Abuse Excessive use of illicit drugs was a defining behavioral characteristic for each participant in this study. Their described their introduction to secondary school as chaotic 76 and responded with absenteeism and substance abuse. Much of the transaction and ingestion of these substances occurred in close proximity to the schoolyard. These participants claimed the school did not intervene in what they depict as an "in your face" activity. It is a naive person who believes drug use, anywhere in this country, is not a problem. Street drugs are rampant in our schools. As educators, we are briefed on what drugs are consumed, given checklists to identify the culprits and attempt to logically reason why adolescents would engage in such risky behavior. The why is relatively straightforward. Ecstasy is ecstatic and just saying no is not. In my view, to do or to not do drugs is a choice children should not be able to make. To a limited extent, I agree with the rigid stance offered by Williams (1999), a former British Columbia attorney-general, who believes in treating the addicts because they are sick and severely punishing the traffickers with fifteen years in a maximum security prison without right of parole. A longer-term solution might be in the decriminalization of some drugs and severe penalties for others (Bula, 2000). If drugs were legal and controlled for adult consumption only, then the number of traffickers, like the former prohibition bootleggers, and the profits would be substantially reduced. Without the dollars supporting it, hallway and schoolyard transactions as described by these participants, might diminish as well. The billions of tax-free illegal dollars currently supporting the abuse of our children in the drug trade could be claimed and redirected to education and prevention. Conflicted Teacher-Student Relationships In reference to their regular school experience, all participants in this study noted a student-teacher conflict. Most of these participants felt a specific teacher or counsellor, 77 at some point in their regular schooling, disliked them intensely. They endured the overwhelming emotions of fear, anger, inadequacy, powerlessness and humiliation similar to subjects in Murphy's study "My Teacher Doesn't Like Me" (1999). Murphy investigated the student phenomenon of feeling discriminated against by a classroom teacher with seven subjects aged 35 to 51. Details of interactions experienced decades earlier were clearly remembered and the negative impact continued to be present in their lives. Morris, Pawlovich and McCall (1991), as authors of an extensive report commissioned by the Canadian Education Association, investigated the effectiveness of school drop-out prevention strategies. Both pupil and parent respondents, when asked what changes they would like to see in the school system, emphasized better teacher-pupil relationships, that in general teachers need to be more caring, humane and encouraging. It is interesting that one participant believed something as seemingly simple as a teacher talking to her about mundane events might have turned the tide. However feedback from a 12-year-old at-risk Edmonton boy (Ellis, 1997) about his views on classroom management came to the same conclusion. The boy, Terry, believes that teachers need to stand at their open classroom door when students arrive and talk to them about perhaps what they did last night or what they did over their lunch hour. Behavior like this, Terry writes, would stop the students from making fun of the teacher after school. In other words such teacher behavior was interpreted as respectful and would result in the teacher being treated respectfully. 78 Grade Retention / Bul ly ing Sometimes a single psychologically damaging event occurred within the educational realm and impacted a participant's school history and life in general. One student repeated first grade and was consumed until his graduation with insatiable energy to prove the educators wrong. The abundant literature on grade retention (Ziegler, 1992), telling a single story with unwavering clarity, supports promotion as a better alternate than retention in virtually all cases. As well, holding students back a year or more in the elementary grades increases the probability of dropping out in high school. School bullies repeatedly victimized another participant. The experience was vividly recalled as the incidents increased her isolation and helplessness when no one attempted to stop the abuse. Playground observation of Toronto school children (Craig & Pepler, 1997) resulted in data indicating incidents of bullying occurred once every seven minutes within one hundred and twenty feet of the school building and that adults intervened in only 4 percent of the episodes. Perhaps teachers would be surprised at this result as they might believe they regularly practice intervention. Because perceptions vary, it might be worthwhile for a teacher to request an independent opinion on this and perhaps other topics. The classroom as experienced by the student may be a very different place from that of the teacher. For example, teachers believe their most frequently employed style is discussion while students believe it is the lecture method (Osborne, 1999). One antidote to counteract the debilitating impacts of the regular school experience for these participants is to find a way for each student to be well known by at least one teacher thus facilitating a trusting relationship (Osborne, 1999). This advice 79 paraphrases Radwanski's (1987) proposition for school reform noted earlier where students remain as a class group and that teachers provide instruction to that group in more than one subject area. Difficulties At Home Parental Importance Although the intention of this study was to analyze the experience of school from the perspective of the student in a Senior Alternate Education Program, it was evident from the initial stages of data gathering that the experience of family was unyieldingly coupled with their educational experience and deserves prominent consideration. The importance of family is consistent with the viewpoint of the Canadian youngsters who voted online in an international preferendum regarding the Rights of The Child (UNICEF, 1999). With a list of forty rights ranging from the right to an education, the right to an identity, the right to a family, or the right to a safe and healthy life, children throughout the world were asked to click those rights that are most in need of protection in their community. An astounding 97 percent of Canadian children replied affirmatively to "The child has the right to live with his or her parents unless this is not in the child's best interests. The child has the right to maintain contact with both parents if separated from one or both of them." (p.l). Results of this vote indicate parental contact is more important than anything else, even food and shelter, which rated a 50 percent response. Most participants in this research lacked any measure of paternal involvement for many years. A recommendation for further study could include absent fathers as represented in this sample. Is this finding a solitary aberration, a consistency with other students in 80 Alternate Programs, or is there a trend in Canadian society where fathers are failing to provide financial, psychological, and emotional support for their children? More directly for this study are the educational implications for the children of absent fathers. An additional recommendation might be to sample a group of high academic achievers from single mother homes to reveal the factors associated with school success for that population of students. Single Mothers and Poverty The majority of participants in this study were children of divorced parents, who from an early age, were raised by their mothers. These mothers, generally lacking postsecondary education, secured the total family income for all participants. Family income is a strong predictor of how well children will do in school (Young and Levin, 1998). Development is sequential and early childhood experiences affect people's emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, and physical health throughout their lives (Hay and Wachtel, 1998). Early exposure to poverty may make it difficult or impossible for children to meet the goals of school readiness, while poor children of school age have consistently higher levels of psychiatric disorders, inadequate school performance, and social skills impairment. Child abuse occurs in families at all income levels but the families investigated by child welfare services are disproportionately poor. One result of lone mothers living in poverty is that the parent's capacity to provide the responsiveness and appropriate discipline essential for normal child development is seriously compromised. While poverty is statistically associated with low income in adulthood, the good news is that higher levels of education help people find and maintain decent jobs with incomes that allow them to raise their own children out of poverty 81 (McCormack, 1991, National Council of Welfare, 1999). Divorced families were considered by Haddad (1998) who examined, using logistic regression models, whether children aged 2 through 11 living in post divorce custody arrangements had more emotional or behavioral problems than children living with both parents. Results indicated children living in postdivorce / separation families were 13 percent more likely to have problems but custodial arrangements alone was a relatively weak predictor of childhood difficulties. Other variables, including a decrease in family income resulting in difficulties paying the rent or buying food, levels of parental education and number of siblings, appeared to be a stronger predictor of problem outcomes. In this small sample, most participants (6/7) had brothers or sisters. One participant was an only child and she failed to show for the second interview even though it was scheduled at a place and time specified by her three times. Various problematic characteristics, including her estranged relationship with her mother, her need to be friends with everyone at school, her inability to secure part-time employment tended to be of a higher magnitude than for other participants. Age of the child at the time of the divorce or separation was also a significant predictor of emotional or behavioral problems. Older children appeared to be better protected and exhibited fewer difficulties. In this sample, many families had divorced by the time the children were in kindergarten. Conflicted Parent-Child Relationships In their childhood and adolescence, more than half of the participants had repeated episodes of shouting and heated arguments with their mothers. Lipman, Boyle, Dooley and Offord (1998) examined the relationship between lone mother status, mother and family characteristics, and child difficulties through an analysis of data from 82 Canadian children aged 6 to 11. One noted variable, hostile parenting, was a consistent and significant predictor of child psychiatric, social and academic difficulties. Other personal variables investigated, social support, family dysfunction, maternal depression or punitive parenting, did not have the magnitude of association to problem outcomes as did hostile parenting. Fami ly Relocation Frequency of family relocation was a reality noted by most participants. Research investigating family moves and problem behavior in children (DeWit, Offord and Braun, 1998) suggest some evidence that young people who move frequently are more likely to have difficulties in school exhibit problematic behavior, and abuse substances. Compared with nonmovers, children who reported three or more moves were more likely to engage in unsettling behavior. Movers were less likely to encounter problems if they had high attachment to family and to school. Generally these participants spoke of family conflict and alienation from school. Rejuvenating Factors The Good News As based on the data in this study, the Model of Dynamic Rejuvenation conclusively supports Alternate Education schooling as a viable educational option for this group of students. Even though academic success was important, most had either dropped out or were at-risk for dropping out of school prior to their placement in an Alternate Education classroom. The rejuvenating factors of the Alternate Education experience as identified by the model, that of a compassionate teacher and an accepting environment, allowed these participants to believe their life story could be reconstructed. 83 In spite of difficult family circumstances and regular education ordeals, Alternate Education offered these young people a fresh start. Can we create schools for students in educational and personal crises as was evidenced by these participants prior to their application and placement in an Alternate Education classroom? Quite simply, a comprehensive and simplistic recommendation based on the data would be that existing Alternate Education Programs continue and, if possible, an expansion of programs in school districts with wait lists. A person with minimal knowledge of provincial government budgets would be aware that school districts have experienced severe financial cutbacks during the past decade. In the last fiscal year alone in Delta, 1.5 Alternate Programs were eliminated to meet budget restraints. Establishing and mamtaining Alternate Schools are expensive and cutting programs is shortsightedly seen as a quick financial fix. Alternate Education Teacher A teacher's influence is powerful (Osborne, 1999). "Teachers can lead students either to love or hate a subject and much more important, to love or hate learning itself. More than this, teachers can shape the way students see themselves" (p.77). In short, teachers are an important route to educational change. In Macdonald's (1989) review of the literature on school leavers, students in study after study described their most effective teachers as creative, encouraging, respectful, empathic and supportive. Similar qualities of personality, noted by the participant's in this study of their Alternate Education teacher, assisted the students in their transformation from frustration and despair to successful life fimctioning. Emerging from the relationship between the Alternate Education teacher and each participant in this study was a feeling of control 84 over one's own life and direction. Radwanski (1987) stresses that this sense of clearly conveyed caring on the part of teachers in special programs is a characteristic that would benefit all students. In a British Columbia Royal Commission on Education (Marx and Grieve, 1988), pupil respondents from both public and independent schools frequently reported that strong interpersonal skills, good communication skills and a sense of humor were associated with preferred teachers. Gallagher (1993), who interviewed Alternate Education students in the Toronto area to determine their perceptions of these programs, had similar results regarding teacher influence. The informal and friendly interaction of teacher and student in both the Gallagher and this current study promoted an attachment to school by making the student feel wanted and valued. In both studies, participants voiced objections to the impersonal relationship experienced in their regular school classroom. It was agreed by participants in both studies that the low student-teacher ratio was a major factor in the maintenance of the relationship. Specific personality qualities of the teacher noted in the Gallagher study, and reflected with the Dynamic Rejuvenation Model participants, included the ability to handle problems well, to let things "slip a bit" (p.74), to be available and consistent and to be "open" (p.75) to different types of students. It is an interesting aside that all teachers represented in Gallagher's (1993) study were also trained as school counsellors. A concomitant attribute of programs appreciated by participants, in both Gallagher's (1993) and this research study, was the choice to work at one's own rate. As well, students interviewed by Gagne (1996) from Contact Alternate School in Toronto noted the personalization and individualization of academic courses as an important 85 component of prograrriming. The ability to develop individualized curriculum, to simultaneously instruct and monitor a variety of courses and grade levels, and to provide ongoing assessment might be related to personality characteristics. A participant in the Gallagher study believed some instructors, by requiring a predefined structure and schedule in their classroom, might be unsuited for Alternate Education teaching. An interesting role reversal occurs in individualized programs requiring perhaps that teachers relinquish some power and control. This may also be a personality characteristic. In individualized instruction, there is a subtle shift in the responsibilities of teacher and student where ownership for the completion of academic material is given to the pupil. The teacher is removed from the traditional group leader role and becomes an academic facilitator or support person. In a descriptor from a participant in this study, working at one's own rate was a "biggie". Uncovering whatever it is about these Alternate Education teachers that results in troubled adolescents achieving greater satisfaction with school and improved academic performance deserves more exploration and research. Even among the few programs represented in the current study, there is enormous diversity in teacher personality. One male instructor valued physical activity and the participants from that program appreciated this quality. A second male emphasized artistic expression. His classroom overflows with student art and exudes a subsequent pride of ownership. Alternate Educat ion Classroom An interesting and unique result in this study is the importance these young people attributed to family. Another result, supported in the literature, is the scathing criticism directed to their regular school experience (Gallagher, 1993; Levin, 1991). By 86 both participants and peer reviewers, the experience of Alternate Education was referenced to family. Being a member of a healthy group had been absent from their home and regular education classroom. These students developed a sense of belonging and affiliation in the Alternate Education classroom and were involved in the day-to-day decisions. Having parents included in this Alternate Education family might strengthen the bonds to both home and school. A late educational intervention for at-risk youngsters such as Alternate Education Programming, as evidenced in this study, can have promising outcomes. Current special education cutbacks and wait lists for programs indicate this option is costly and becoming more limited. Early intervention by educators to increase connectedness with both the home and school might have improved the overall experience for these participants (Macdonald, 1989). Involving even reluctant parents early in the school years would seem a worthwhile endeavor. It makes sense that any educational intervention would be more effective with parental support (Morris, Pawlovich and McCall, 1991). These participants claimed their parents were uninvolved in their schooling. A question might be: Were these parents uninvited? In the twelve years that I have taught Grade 10 Alternate Education, I have consistently maintained and enjoyed extremely high levels of parental involvement. I believe unequivocally that my program would have a lower completion rate without parental support. In addition, the parents of the two participants who had been former students in my classroom, had frequent contact with me apart from scheduled educational assessments. In essence I follow the parental involvement model advocated by Maclean and Janzen (1994), which includes establishing a relationship with the parents when the student first enters the class by 87 welcoming them into the school. Ongoing involvement is essential and the participation by the parent must be meaningful and useful to all parties. Family - school interaction is a complex topic. While acknowledging that family is crucial to our students, a challenge for educators is how to promote parental involvement with the mothers and fathers of students who appear unattached to school, particularly for these participants during the troubled, truant years of adolescence. In the view of these young people, educators in the regular school system, have failed to intervene when it was necessary to do so. I believe it is the responsibility of the classroom teacher (Radwanski, 1987), as opposed to the counsellor or administrator, beginning in kindergarten, to persistently invite uninvolved parents into the education realm and to explain the many facets of involvement (MacLean & Janzen, 1994). If this cannot be arranged during regular school hours, teachers need to be responsive and flexible. It's not that we as teachers need to do more things, but perhaps do some things differently. I am not advocating that classroom teachers take on a therapeutic role. Strengths in the areas of interpersonal communication and listening are teachable skills and would benefit both the classroom and community. A suggestion might be to meet a small group of parents in the early evening and if the classroom is a perceived pillar of power (Lareau, 1996), schedule to meet over coffee at a small restaurant or cafe. This intervention might attract more paternal involvement as well as explicitly acknowledging that most parents work and are thus unavailable through the day. Family - school partnerships have been investigated extensively over the past decade and a half (Epstein, 1996) and the positive correlation between family 88 involvement and student achievement, particularly during the early school years, has been repeatedly supported. An interesting assertion, that pertains to the families in this study, is presented by Lareau (1996) who considers the viewpoint of Epstein and her colleagues to be seriously flawed. She contends that model of family - school involvement where schools and families are represented by two spheres that can be pushed together or pulled apart depending on the degree of family and school collaboration, tends to be embraced by middle class parents who perceive the schooling process as a shared responsibility. Lower socioeconomic parents, on the other hand, do not agree with this view and appear to turn over full responsibility for education to the school. Lareau's research found that middle class parents would often initiate calls to educators and felt it was within their right to raise questions and criticize teachers. In contrast, lower class parents did not presume similar rights or responsibilities and feared the "professional expertise" teachers possessed with their powers to suspend and fail their children or to single-handedly refer their children to social service agencies. Without question, the role of teacher in the classroom has expanded since the last generation. But while noting the many uninvolved parents of anxious, acting - out, aggressive, or muted children in our schools, I wonder if the expansion in regard to parental involvement has been productive. It may take a herculean effort to engage some parents, such as the parents of the participants in this study, often single mothers, who are stressed by the factors of family discord and poverty that have placed their children at risk. As well, it is requisite to engage parents in the early years of school. Parental involvement declines over the various levels of schooling but parents who have not been attached to school in the primary years rarely become involved later (Epstein, 1996). 89 Results studying secondary school parental involvement and school discipline by Deslandes and Royer (1997) seem to indicate that parents and schools come into contact mainly when secondary school students have behavioral or academic problems. Frequent communication by a parent with the high school generally indicated their adolescent was involved in some type of infraction. Exemplary Schools It would appear the rejuvenating factors defined in this model are not limited to Alternate Education students or to students at-risk. In the largest study of its kind in Canada, the National Report of the Exemplary Schools Project (Gaskell, 1995) identified secondary schools that had a reputation for success and analyzed practices in these schools. Twenty-one sites were selected including four Alternate Schools with the specified aim of improving secondary school student retention and achievement. Results indicated that in exemplary schools, teachers were the fundamental performers. The essential element in a successful school proved to be the teaching staff. Students interviewed for this project reported the quality of the social environment as the most frequently mentioned reason for a school being effective. For pupils, a successful school is a reflection of home, a place where all feel equal and safe and where teachers care. Students agreed the educators created the social environment. In case after case, this informal social curriculum proved as important to the students as their formal academic framework of studies An article by MacLean and Janzen (1994) reviewing selected studies and then-own work in Edmonton schools proposed a framework for keeping students in school. Through factor analysis of at-risk student responses, two categories of preventive 90 measures were established. Both categories are supported by every participant in the Dynamic Rejuvenation Model. The first of these clusters is under the umbrella of providing academic assistance to students. It included giving individual help at school, placing less emphasis on evaluation, providing a practical curriculum and showing concern about student progress. Secondly, the MacLean and Janzen (1994) analysis indicated a positive classroom climate encompassing a friendly school atmosphere and encouragement from teachers is essential for student achievement. As with the Dynamic Rejuvenation Model, the key to these preventive measures was flexibility. Strengths and Limitations Although every conscious effort was made to ensure the authenticity of participant input, there remain several validity issues in this study. Much of the database is derived from interviews with adolescent participants who had experienced difficulty with mainstream school. Their accuracy of memory, particularly early in their school years, may be incomplete or vague. These young people have described their subjective truth in remembering and describing the experiences through which they have lived. From their own point of view, each has constructed the story of their life; the past, the present and included a glimpse of the anticipated future. As in any narrative, selective memories emerge. For these participants, their stories revolved around the obstacles of home and school and their means to manage one, home, and overcome the other, school. As well, participants spoke extensively of their regular education teachers and their parents. These populations were not included in the study design, but might offer interesting insights in a future research project. A more serious dilemma regarding the objectivity of the findings is that two of the seven participants had been students in the 91 researcher's classroom two years prior to the study. Even though the recruitment process was identical for all potential participants, this validity issue could have been avoided had the researcher possessed more foresight in the planning stage of the study. A more effective study might exclude participants previously taught by the researcher. Also by interviewing more students, a story contrary to this theoretical model may have emerged and given Alternate Programming a more rounded scope. Results of this grounded theory study are applicable to these participants and are not generalizable to mainstream senior school students. Nor can the results represent the school experience of Alternate Education students generally. There may be students with a very different view of Alternate Programs and hearing their stories might offer an interesting comparison. One suggestion might be that I return to the senior Alternate Education classrooms in the district, review the positive outcomes of the model and invite additional participants with an opposing experience of this educational intervention to be included in the study. However, because the purpose of the study was to investigate the overall school experience of students currently enrolled in a senior Alternate Education Program, implementing this suggestion might compromise the credibility of the study. To maintain a balance in the data I would then be required to request participants who had an opposing experience in their regular school years, who have a wage earning father present in the home or interview those from two parent families and compare their experience with the current sample. The base broadens and moves beyond the original research question. Nonetheless for this group of participants, the Alternate Education experience was 92 a powerful and profound agent in their lives. The Dynamic Rejuvenation Model, based on their memories and perceptions, strongly supports Alternate Education programming as a promising educational intervention for some students. Strengths of this work include the rich descriptions of Alternate Programming as presented in the data. The study may clarify to the reader some of the processes involved in this area of special education. As well, the importance these participants assign home and family may have implications for school counselling particularly in the primary school years. Conclusion As a teacher involved in Alternate Programming for many years, it was extremely rewarding to listen to first hand accounts of metamorphosis, particularly with people so young, and to know that some of the change for two of the participants occurred in my classroom. On several occasions for these two participants, during the interviews, I was startled to hear how a seemingly innocuous comment or behavior from me, while they had been a student in my classroom several years earlier, had impacted them so constructively. Apart from the study, this realization has lead to a subsequent examination of my interactions, both beneficial and detrimental, with students and their families. It has opened doors and allowed me a journey of my own. Also the data allowed me to reflect on the poor educational and societal image Alternate Programs project as had been noted by several participants. I wondered if seven randomly chosen students in a regular school would offer such a rich and captivating portrayal of their senior school experience. 93 The proposals outlined in this chapter generally require a change in perspective but could likely be met vvithin current educational funding levels. Endorsing any of these recommendations might assist our students and our children to become better members of a better society. The consequences of such might be classrooms where most students have a strong interpersonal relationship with their teacher and feel part of a nurturing environment. Classrooms, schools, and districts exemplifying these attributes might also spell the demise of Alternate School Programs. So be it. 94 REFERENCES Achenbach, T.M. (1991). Manual for the teacher's report form and 1991 profile. Burlington, VT : University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry. Bogdan, R.C. & Biklen, S.K. (1992). Qualitative research for education: An introduction to theory and methods. (2nd ed.). Boston, M A : Allyn & Bacon, Inc. British Columbia Ministry of Education (1995). Special education services: A manual of policies procedures, and guidelines. Victoria, BC : Special Education Branch, Bula, F. (2000, November 21). This is an international crisis. The Vancouver Sun. p .Al . Carroll, J.M. (1990). The Copernican Plan: Restracturing the American high school. Phi Delta Kappan. January, 358-365. Craig, W.M. & Pepler, D.J. (1997). Observations of bullying and victimization in the schoolyard. Canadian Journal of School Psychology. 13,41-60. Chambers, B., Abrarni, P.C., Massue, F.M. & Morrison, S. (1998). Success for all: Evaluating an early intervention program for children at risk of school failure. Canadian Journal of Education, 23. 357-372. 95 Conrad, J. (1897). The nigger of the Narcissus. In J. Allan (Ed.). Great short works of Joseph Conrad. (pp.232).New York: Harper & Row Publishers. Corville-Smith, J., Ryan, B.A., Adams, G.R. & Dalicandro, T. (1998). Distmguishing absentee students from regular attenders: The combined influences of personal, family and school factors. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 27. 629-640. Csapo, M . (1989). Children in distress: A Canadian perspective. Vancouver: Centre for Human Development and Research. Csapo, M . (1981a). Children with behavior and social disorders: A Canadian focus. Vancouver. Centre for Human Development and Research. Csapo, M . (1981b). The behaviorally disordered child in Canadian schools. Behavior Disorders 6. 139-149. Csapo, M . & Gittins, I. A. (1979). Survey of rehabilitation programs in British Columbia. Victoria, BC : Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. Information Services. Csapo, M . & Stevens, A. (1983). Planning for the evaluation of secondary rehabilitation programs in British Columbia. Vancouver : Educational Research Institute of British Columbia. 96 Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S. (Eds.). (1998). Collecting and interpreting qualitative materials. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. DesDixon, R.G. (1992. Future schools - And how to get there from here. Toronto : ECW Press Deslandes, R. & Royer, E. (1997). Family related variables and school disciplinary events at the secondary level. Behavioral Disorders. 23.18-28. DeWit, D.J., Offord, D.R. & Braun, K. (1998). The relationship between geographic relocation and childhood problem behavior. Ottawa, ON : Human Resources Development Canada. Dworet, D.H. & Rathgeber, A.J. (1990). Provincial and territorial government responses to behaviorally disordered students in Canada. Behavior Disorders. 15.201-209. Ellis, J. (1997). What a seriously at-risk student would really like to say to teachers about classroom management. Education Canada. 37,17-21. Epstein, J.L., (1996). Perspectives and Previews on Research and Policy for School, Family, and Community Partnerships, (pp. 209-246).In A Booth & J.F. Dunn (Eds.) Family school links : How do they affect educational outcomes? Mahwah, NJ : Laurence Erhbaum Associates, Publishers. 97 Gagne, A. (1996). Success at Contact: The argument for Alternate Schools for at-risk youth. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research. 17. 306-324. Gallagher, B. (1993). The unheard voice: Student perception of Alternate Education Programs. Masters of Education Thesis. York University, Toronto, Ontario. Gaskell, J.S. (1995). Secondary schools in Canada: The national report of the exemplary schools project. Toronto : Canadian Education Association. Glaser, B.G. (1978). Theoretical sensitivity: Advances in the methodology of grounded theory. Mill Valley, C A : The Sociology Press. Glaser, B.G. & Strauss, A.L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Chicago : Aldine Publishing Company. Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (1994). Profile '93: Educational indicators (primary, elementary, secondary). Department of Education, Division of Evaluation, Research and Planning. Guba, E.G. & Lincoln, Y.S. (1989). Fourth generation evaluation. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Haddod, T. (1998). Custody arrangements and the development of emotional or behavioral problems in children. Ottawa, ON : Human Resources Development Canada. 98 Hay, D.I. & Wachtel, A. (1998). The well being of British Columbia's children and youth: A framework for understanding action. Vancouver, B.C.: First Call Publishers. Heward, W.L. & Orlansky, M.D. (1992). Exceptional children: An introductory survey of special education. (4th ed.). New York: Macmillan. Karp, E. (Goldfard Consultants). (1988). The drop-out phenomenon in Ontario secondary schools: A report to the Ontario study of the relevance of education and the issues of drop-outs, student retention and transition series. Toronto, O N : .Ministry of Education. Katz, M . (1997). On playing a poor hand well. New York: W W Norton & Company. Krovetz, M.L. (1999). Fostering resiliency. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, Inc. LaFleur, B. (1992). Dropping out: The cost to Canada Ottawa: The Conference Board of Canada. Report 83-92-E. Landy, S. & Tarn, K.K. (1998). Understanding the contribution of multiple risk factors on child development at various ages. Ottawa : Human Resources Development Canada. 99 Lareau, A., (1996). Assessing Parental Involvement in Schooling:A Critical Analysis, (pp. 57-64). In A Booth & J.F. Dunn (Eds.) .Family school links : How do they affect educational outcomes? Mahwah, NJ : Laurence Erhbaum Associates, Publishers. Levin, B. (1991/ Second chance measures in Canadian education. Paper presented to the American Research Association. Chicago, IL. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service NO. ED 337 555). Lipman, EX. , Boyle, M.H. , Dooley, M.D. & Offord, D.R. (1998). Children and lone-mother families : An investigation of factors influencing child well-being. Ottawa, ON : Human Resources Development Canada. Mayer, C. (Ed.).(1998). British Columbia Alternate Education Association newsletter. June, Vol.9, No.2. Macdonald, M . (1989). Early school leavers: Current issues and concerns. Report prepared for The Saskatchewan Instructional Development and Research Unit. Regina, Saskatchewan. MacLean, D.A. & Janzen, H.L. (1994). A framework for keeping students in school. Canadian Journal of School Psychology. 10, 54-61. Marshall, C. & Rossman, G.B. (1989). Designing qualitative research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications. 100 Marx, R. & Grieve, T. (1988). The learners of British Columbia. British Columbia Royal Commission on Education, Commissioned Papers, Vol. 2. Victoria: Queen's Printer. McCormack, T. (1991). The CRIAW papers : Politics and the hidden injuries of gender. Ottawa : CRIAW Publishers Miles, M.B. & Huberman, A . M . (1994). Qualitative data analysis : An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publication. Ministerial Task Force on Youth. (1996). Take on the Future: Canadian youth in the world of work. Ottawa, ON : Human Resources Development Canada. Morris, S., Pawlovich, W. & McCall, D. (1991). Evaluating the effectiveness of school drop-Out prevention strategies: Some suggestions for future research Ottawa ON : Canadian Educational Association. Murphy, W. (1999). "My teacher doesn't like me": Implications for school counsellors. The B.C. Counsellor. 21.17-29. National Council of Welfare. (1999). Preschool children: Promises to keep. Ottawa: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada. 101 Offord, D.R, Boyle, M.H. , Fleming, J.E., Blum, H.M. & Grant, N.I. (1989). Ontario child health study: Summary of selected results. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry. Vol. 34. August, p. 483 - 490. Osborne, K. (1999). Education: A guide to the Canadian school debate - Or, who wants what and why? Toronto : Penguin Books. Posavac, E.J. & Carey, R.G. (1992). Program evaluation: Methods and case studies. (4th. ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Quirouette, P. Saint-Denis, O. & Hout, N . (1990). Identifying probable school leavers in Ontario high schools. Ministry of Education, Ontario. Raddysh, J.L. (1992). Fading out: Comparing high school graduates with high school drop-outs. Masters of Arts Thesis. Simon Fraser University. Radwanski, G. (1987). Ontario study of the relevance of education and the issue of drop-outs. Report prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Education. Schumacher, S. & McMillan, J.H. (1993). Research in education: A conceptual introduction. (3rd ed.). New York: Harper Collins College Publishers. 102 Shatz, E. (1994). Cross-Canada survey of programs for behaviorally disordered children and youth Masters of Education Thesis, Department for the Education of Exceptional Children, University of Saskatchewan. Strauss, A.L. (1987). Qualitative analysis for social scientists. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. Strauss, A.L. & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA : Sage Publications Inc. Sullivan, M . (1988). A comparative analysis of drop-outs and non drop-outs in Ontario secondary schools. Decima Research, Ontario. Thomson, V.R., (1992). Dropouts and the experience of invalidation in the high school Masters of Arts Thesis. University of British Columbia. UNICEF Voices of Youth (1999, November). Convention on the rights of the child [Online]. Available: ht^://www.unicef.org/cgi_bin/crc_results.cgi United Nations Human Development Programme. (1998). Human development report. New York: Oxford University Press. Walsh, F. (1998). Strengthening family resilience. New York: The Guilford Press. 103 Weiss,R.S. (1994). Learning from strangers : The art and method of qualitative interview studies. Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada. Williams, L.A. (1999, July 22). The cure to our drug problems lies in our own will. The Vancouver Sun, p.A17. Winzer, M . (1990). Children with exceptionalities: A Canadian perspective. Scarborough, Ontario: Prentice-Hall. Winzer, M . , Rogow, S. & David, C. (1987). Exceptional children in Canada. Scarborough, Ontario : Prentice-Hall. Wormeli, C T . & Carter, D E . (1990). Canada QUIET :Canada Quick Individual Educational Test. White Rock, BC : Canadian Edumetrics Ltd. Woudzia, J.B. (1989). Relationships between student perceptions and teacher organization in secondary level Alternate School Programs. The Alberta Journal of Educational Research. 35. 96 - 106. Young, J. & Levin, B. (1998). Understanding Canadian schools : An introduction to educational administration. (2nd ed.). Toronto : Harcourt, Brace & Company. Ziegler, S. (1992). Repeating a grade in elementary school: What does research say? Canadian School Executive, 11 (7), 26-31. 104 APPENDIX A: Alternate Education Intake Forms page 1 of 4 STUDENT FORM - APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATE EDUCATION: Return to: Delta School District, Special Programs, 4585 Harvest Drive, Delta B.C. V4K 5B4 (Phone: 94&4101) (Fax: 940-5520) A. PERSONAL INFORMATION Name: D.O.B.: Address: Phone: Postal Code B. FAMILY BACKGROUND Mother/Guardian: Address: Father/Guardian: . Address: , . Siblings: Name Home hone: _Work Phone: _Home Phone: _Work Phone: Brother/Sister Age Describe your current living situation (e.g. who you live with, parents/relatives/friends/foster home, etc.): What chores do you frequently do at home? C. SCHOOL BACKGROUND Last School: _Last Grade Completed: When: Are you in school now?. _If no, reason for leaving:_ Have you ever received Learning Assistance? QYes DNO Name your two best subjects: Name your two worst subjects: Problems experienced in school included: history of failure class size too large conflict with teachers attendance confl ict with students work was too easy changed schools too often work was too difficult School counselling? QYes QNo work was not interesting missing classes school suspension drugs Other problems (explain): What two things do you think would make school a better place for you? 1. , 2. 105 page 2 of 4 What does Alternate Education mean to you? Is there a specific program that you request? Do you know any one in this program? dYes QNo If yes, who? How well do you get along with this person? Why do you want to attend an alternative program? •re-enter regular school Qtake vocational/college training •to complete Gr. 10 \3to complete Gr. 12 D. HEALTH Is your health: •excellent Qgood •average ^not very good Do you take any medications? (please list) How involved are you in sports and physical activity? , E. VOCATIONAL GOALS What job/career to you hope to have when you have completed your education? . Have you had a paid job before? DYes QNo Describe the jobs that you have had: F. SOCIAL LIFE How would you describe your social life? ^great Qgood •feirlygood Dnotsogood What do you most like doing with your free time? Choose three words to best describe yourself? (eg. happy, shy, etc.) G. INTER-MINISTERIAL INVOLVEMENT Do you have contact with the Ministry for Children and Families? Do you have a social worker? Dyes Dno If yes: Social Worker's name: Ph. No. What other community support agencies do you have contact with (hospital, drug and alcohol counselling, etc.)? H. FINAL COMMENTS Are you willing to make a commitment to attend school regularly? Dyes Dno Are you willing to complete all assigned work? Dyes Dno Applicant's Signature 220W/A!tEd.app Fonn 3005 (Revised: July/98) Date 106 APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATE EDUCATION: P a g e 3 ° f 4 PARENT/ GUARDIAN FORM • Return to: Delta School District, Special Programs, 4585 Harvest Drive, Delta B.C. V4K 5B4 (Phone: 946^*101) (Fax: 940-5520) A. PERSONAL INFORMATION Student's Name: Age: D.O.B. Address: Father/Guardian: Ph: (H) W)_ (Fax)_ Mother/Guardian: Ph: (H) (W) : (Fax)_ Emergency Contacts: Name Phone Number Absence Contact : Emergency Contact — Family Doctor Subjects enjoyed (as perceived)/Things applicant likes about school: _ Things applicant disliked about school: Problems experienced in school included: history of ftilure class size too large work was not interesting , conflict with teachers attendance missing classes conflict with students work was too easy school suspension changed schools too often work was too difficult drugs Other problems (explain): Attitude at home?/Relationship with you? . Relationship with others? : Health problems?/Medications? What do you expect this program to accomplish for applicant?_ What do you see as the applicants most positive attribute? Can you give any insights that might better help us understand the applicant? — B. MINISTRY REQUIRED INFORMATION: (1701) (By authority of school act sections 99 and Legal names (If different from section "A" above): Legal Last Name Legal First Name Legal Middle Name Aboriginal Ancestry (Status, Non-Status, Metis) (Y/N) Band # Primary Language Spoken in home: Second Language: Country of Birth: P">v. (If Canada): Note: It is the responsibility of parents/guardians to inform the school of any changes in information or of circumstances which may seriously affect your child's education. I hereby verify the above to be correct: Parent/Guardian Signature Date 220W/Alted.app Revised: Sept./97 107 page 4 of 4 APPLICATION FOR ALTERNATE EDUCATION: COUNSELLOR/ ADVOCATE FORM • Return to: Delta School District, Special Programs, 4585 Harvest Drive, Delta B.C. V4K 5B4 (Phone: 946-4101) (Fax: 940-5520) 1. Student's Name: .Age: DOB. 2. Counsellor/Advocate's Name:. School/Agency:. 3. Do you recommend this student for an Alternate Program? • Yes If "yes", which specific program do you suggest? 4. Last school attended: Year: Grade completed:. • N o Counsellor: 5. Have you checked the Parent/Guardian and Student Forms for accuracy? QYes DNo 6. CANADA QUIET (or equivalent): Standard Score Percentile Spelling Arithmetic Word Ident. Passage Comp. 7. Has there been any other testing done with this applicant?_ 8. How does this applicant relate to peers?/adults? Describe how the applicant handles conflict.. interventions have been tried and with what degree of success?_ 9. What school-based 10. Other comments: CHECKLIST •Copy of PR Card attached DCopy of most recent report card attached DCanada Quiet scores Counsellor/Advocate Signature 220W/AltEd.app Revised: Sept/97 Date T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A 1 0 9 Department of Counselling Psychology Faculty of Education 2125 Main Mall Vancouver. B.C. Canada V6T 1Z4 Tel: (604) 822-5259 Fax: (604) 822-2328 I N F O R M E D C O N S E N T F O R M page 2 of 2 'Telling Tales: Constructions of School Experience as Chronicled by Senior Alternate Education Students" S t u d e n t C o n s e n t I, , agree to participate in this study. I understand that my participation is entirely voluntary and that I may refuse to participate or withdraw from the study at any time without consequences. I have received a copy of this consent form for my records. Signature of Student Date Telephone P a r e n t a l C o n s e n t I, consent / do not consent (circle one) to my son or daughter participating in this study. Parent or Guardian Signature Date Telephone ******************************************************** Parent / Guardian [yes _ no_|] would like a copy of the research summary when the study is complete. Student [yes _ no[_] would like a copy of the research summary when the study is complete. Signature of Co-Investigator Date 110 APPENDIX C: Participant Biographies CLAIRE Claire is a 17-year-old who recently achieved academic success with her grade 11 Alternate Education Program, an achievement that over her school history had eluded her. As a preschooler, she immigrated with her family from England and since that time Claire estimates her mother and siblings have moved about a dozen times. She described herself as a nervous, timid, and shy child. Shortly after their arrival in Canada, Claire's mother and father were foster parents in a Ministry of Social Services home. Following an illicit affair between Claire's father and an adolescent foster child, her parents divorced. Her mother has not remarried but has had a number of live-in boyfriends. During her elementary school years, Claire recalls doing ordinary things such as going to movies on the weekends and doing homework on weeknights. Although at this time she did make a serious effort to be successful academically, she maintained a C+ average. Athletics and art were her areas of excellence. When Claire began junior secondary school in grade 8, her school life altered immediately and dramatically. During grade 8, grade 9, and until she dropped out of school after two weeks in grade 10, Claire was a major force in drug dealing on the steps of a church adjacent to her school. No one in the community or in the school made an attempt to intervene in this illegal, visible daytime activity. Claire continues to be shocked that people in authority appear so unaware. Coinciding with her grade 8 decreased school achievement and increased absenteeism, her mother put Claire's belongings in the garage and disowned her. Claire was shuffled from paternal grandparents through a series of foster homes. After being out of school for four months at age 15, Claire applied to an Alternate Program. In that environment, she particularly enjoyed the flexibility of timetabling and the spontaneity of her teacher. The I l l program would regularly "cut class" and go for a walk on Burn's Bog or play a game of hockey. She feels confident that she can return to regular programming for grade 12 and be successful. She loves sports, especially rugby and soccer and intends to apply for athletic scholarships to assist post-secondary expenses. Claire is organized, self-sufficient, wise beyond her years, and confident in her ability to meet life's challenges. E L I S S A Seventeen-year-old, introverted, sensitive Elissa would have preferred to do anytliing other than attend elementary school. Her parents divorced when she was in grade 1 and until grade 10, Elissa lived with her mother. A school experience in September of grade 7 was momentous. Following a feeble attempt by a classmate to poison the teacher by pouring an odorous cleaning compound into her coffee, the school district responded with teams of counsellors assigned to Elissa's class for the remaining nine months of the school year. A behaviofist paradigm was instituted where the entire grade 7 class received coupons after pondering their positive interactions and sat in a desk in the hallway completing think sheets to analyze negative ones .... day after day after day. The targeted teacher did not return and a series of substitutes had a difficult time managing "the worst class in the district". Elissa described that disruptive and tumultuous year as a mistake. Although she managed to suppress her resentment temporarily, the seething hostility overflowed in grade 8 with Elissa's involvement in the drug culture, a period that lasted more than two years. She is deeply pained by the realization that the school did not attempt to encourage her to shape up and attend classes. She felt forgotten and abandoned. At the beginning of grade 10, she visited her school counsellor to inform him of her decision to drop out of school. Again to her surprise and 112 dismay, he did not attempt to dissuade her. After several weeks out of school, she learned of the Alternate School option and quickly responded to that environment with perfect attendance and good grades. Elissa completed her three-year academic program in less than two and one half years, graduating on the honor roll. She is currently registered to apprentice at a hair salon in Vancouver. Longer-term plans include nursing. Nursing is a natural choice as Elissa has had a life long desire to care for people. H A N S Hans, an active 17-year-old grade 11 student, enjoys working out and staying in top physical form. In primary school, Hans generally felt connected to school, enjoyed his teachers and overall had a positive experience with school. He was particularly fond of his grade 3 teacher; an individual who developed a unique relationship with each of her students exemplified in Hans' case by her attendance at his lacrosse games. During his grade 4 year, Hans was introduced to the "team teaching" concept where two teachers shared the teaching responsibility. He experienced a lack of attachment to either teacher and believed this was a event that earmarked his disconnection from school. In his grade 7 year, Hans' father sustained a construction site accident, the consequences of which continue in the present as a chronic and debilitating disability. Hans' personal life altered dramatically with father's constant and pained presence in the home and subsequent loss of income. With his transition to a junior secondary school in grade 8, Hans became involved in substance abuse and absenteeism, resulting in both academic and behavioral difficulties. By the end of that year, he had failed all but one of his subjects and didn't care. While repeating these courses after summer break, an acquaintance informed him of the Alternate School possibility. Hans concluded things couldn't get much worst and 113 applied. Change was not immediate. Nonetheless after one and a half years in an Alternate setting, Hans attendance and performance have improved remarkably. He describes his current teacher as the best he has ever had ... "a person who makes school fun". Hans has a firm commitment to graduate next year and train to be a firefighter. K E I T H Keith, a 19-year-old recent graduate of an Alternate Education Program, is a high energy, competitive, former high school hockey player. His introduction to elementary school was eclipsed with the painful event of repeating grade 1. The disappointment became an albatross that weighted heavily on Keith throughout his school years and caused constant anxiety, as he feared he might never complete public school. Recently while on a school field trip to the law courts, he saw the teacher, who a dozen years before had failed him. Keith felt she had not aged. To him, she still looked like the identical person he has vividly and frequently recalled in memory. As the eldest of four children, Keith acutely recognized the financial hardship of his mother in the years since his father abandoned the family. In an attempt to ease the burden for her, Keith has lived with his grandparents during his senior schooling in a municipality away from his mother and siblings. Since failing grade 1, Keith felt school to be a continuous torture test and was prepared to quit on numerous occasions. Extra assistance was difficult to receive with large classes and his general impression of the regular classroom was that teachers would get frustrated with their workload and threaten students into complying. As his sole connection to school was physical education, Keith admits that without this elective he would never have graduated. The Alternate Education setting allowed Keith to focus on the courses necessary for his graduation and to receive remedial assistance in a non-114 threatening environment. From age 5, Keith had attempted to emulate his hero and favorite player, Wayne Gretzky, but long ago, eradicated his childhood dream to play professional hockey. Like Gretzky, Keith believes you have to work through a difficult situation, like school, and it will pay off. His future plans, in the short term, include certification courses to become a security guard. LYNNE Lynne, a 17-year-old extraordinarily bright girl, had early in her Alternate Education experience expressed concern about her intellectual capacity, prompting her teacher to schedule an assessment. The valid and reliable instruments employed placed Lynne in the 99th percentile cognitively for children her age. According to Lynne, her elementary school years were nondescript, but she was nonetheless academically successful in a challenging early French Immersion Program. The transition to junior high school in grade 8 was again characterless with one exception. Lynne could not tolerate her grade 8 French teacher but otherwise was a "keener" and completed that year in her characteristic style ... on the honor roll. In contrast to an unruffled grade 8 experience, grade 9 was turbulent. Lynne refers to this period as her "dark stage" and although she reported her parents never mention it, she recalls it privately with mortification. During grade 9, Lynne's peer group became deeply entrenched into a lifestyle of drugs with accompanying black clothing and makeup. She readily recognizes that clinical depression and alcoholism have an extensive history on both sides of her family, particularly evident with her father who has never, during Lynne's life, been employed. It was during her grade 9 year that her father suffered an emotional breakdown that coincided with Lynne's "dark stage". Lynne completed grade 9 with a minimal pass 115 and was furious at her lowered achievement level. She was detenriined to change that by applying to the Alternate Schools for grade 10 and loved it "automatically". A crucial factor for Lynne was the personality of the teacher. In Alternate Programming, she felt the teacher treated her like an adult and didn't talk down to her or belittle her in front of the class. A fear of returning to regular progranrming and perhaps repeating her sins of the past has kept Lynne in the Alternate School until this year. In this, her graduating year, she feels confident enough to venture out and schedule most of her grade 12 courses with the regular school. She will maintain a partial relationship with the Alternate program for perhaps two courses. She is back on the honor roll even following Ministry Examinations for grade 11. Part-time employment in her community has provided funds for clothing and personal needs. Following secondary school graduation, Lynne intends to go directly to university and study languages, particularly French. MARIE Marie, an independent 19-year-old mother of a lively toddler, recently graduated from a Senior Alternate Education program. During her childhood, frequent family moves resulted in Marie attending schools from Quebec to the Queen Charlotte Islands, to Vancouver Island, and finally to British Columbia's Lower Mainland region. The fifteen or so different schools that she attended by age 14 were characterized by torment from both students and teaching staff. Relentless bullying by students was ignored by persons in authority until Marie was in tears, a situation wherein she felt completely overwhelmed. This event indicated her emotional resources were exhausted as Marie was not a frequent weeper. Equally alarming situations occurred in the academic arena when Marie was forced to present material in front of the students or to collect garbage as 116 punishment. She would physically shake and again teachers would not respond until she was crying, physically immobilized, and traumatized. Events in Marie's early school history are recalled precisely with accompanying feelings of fear, helplessness and anxiety. Despite these negative and hostile influences, Marie loved to learn and was a high academic achiever. She was particularly adept at languages and consistently maintained an A average in French. Being a logger, Marie's father was away from home for extensive periods but until her parents divorced when Marie was ten, the family moved frequently in an attempt to be physically close to him. By age 14, Marie dreaded being the new kid, dropped out of school and lived with some young adult transients. She began collecting social assistance, was sexually assaulted by an older boyfriend and by age 16, was pregnant. A decision to re-enter the regular school system close to the arrival date of her baby was described by Marie as brutal. Marie remarked that her teachers did not believe she would be successful academically and refused to assist her even when she made a direct request. She felt ostracized and alone. Following the baby's birth and another short but futile attempt in regular programming, Marie applied and was accepted to an Alternate School. Her baby was cared for in the school's Pregnant and Parenting Teen Program In the Alternate Education environment Marie flourished and noted that if she was not presently of legal school leaving age, she would have purposely failed some courses so she could remain in the Alternate classroom another year. In her senior school years, Marie acquired two Passport to Education stamps which are provincial government monies available to the top third of students in grades 9 through 12 to assist post secondary expenses. To provide the necessary financial support for her two-year-old, Marie is registered in a horticultural course of studies at a local college. She intends to 117 delay her educational plans for one term as she feels, owing to her child being in daycare while she completed high school, it is important to spend uninterrupted time with her daughter. Marie's long term goals include the fulfillment of a childhood dream ... to attend law school. T E L E S I L E Telesile is a very bright and very busy 17-year-old grade 12 student. Primary school was so effortless that Telesile was promoted from grade 1 to grade 3, thus skipping grade 2. During her intermediate school years several events turned the tide. Telesile perceived her grade 4 teacher to be an unhappy man who did not like children. Being a tender child, Telesile noted the sadness she felt being rejected by him. As the only child of an alcoholic single parent, Telesile recalls being left in the care of her mother's physically abusive boyfriend. The mother daughter relationship deteriorated while school achievement declined. Telesile had never met her father but remembers being informed of paternity via a photograph. In the summer before grade 10, her maternal grandmother rocked Telesile's already fragile world by reporting the man in the photograph was not her biological father. The distant and tormented relationship with her mother deepened. Over the next year and a half, Telesile experienced sleep problems and depressive episodes leading to chronic absenteeism and grade 11 failure. Teachers seemed oblivious to Telesile's crisis and she would frequently walk out of a class after her efforts for assistance were ignored. While contemplating dropping out of school her school counsellor suggested Alternate Education programming. Telesile thrived. Her estrangement with mother continues into the present but her grades, for the first time in years, are A's and B's. She has become a vibrant, talkative individual who compared her Alternate Education teacher and classmates to a little family ... a family that she loves. 118 Telesile has mixed feelings about her imminent high school graduation and subsequent moving on. She is reluctant to consider future plans but believes things will work out. 119 APPENDIX D: Semi-Structured Interview Format (First Interview) Orienting Statement: "Thank you for agreeing to participate in this study. As was mentioned when I visited your classroom, the purpose of this research is to explore the experience of school for young people of your age who are currently attending Alternate School Programs in the hope of suggesting changes that might improve school for all pupils. During the next hour or two, I would like you to think back over your school years and remember particular events that stand out as being important to you. Do you have any questions before we get started?' When you think back over your school years from kindergarten to the present time, what is the first thing that comes to mind? (If the participant is hesitant or unclear with this directive the following may be helpful When you consider all the events contained in your school history, is there one you could describe to me? What is it that particularly strikes you about this time? Why does it stand out for you?) Is there another event you can remember? Repeat the directive for other events. (Empathically mine the event.... search for details, feelings, responses, .... classmates, teachers, school environment, school activities .... inquire of level of schooling, i.e. primary (kindergarten through grade 3), intermediate (grades 4 through 6), junior secondary (grades 7 through 10), or senior secondary (grades 11 and 12). Bring to the participant's attention the levels of schooling indicated with these events. Inquire if all are from one level. Investigate if some levels are absent.) What suggestions might you have regarding what is effective and ineffective in schools? 120 APPENDIX E: Semi-Structured Interview Format (Second Interview) Orienting Statement: "It's been more than one month since we met for our first interview. Perhaps we could begin with a brief update of school or home. Where would you prefer to start? Ask the participant if anything new has come up regarding the question asked in the first interview "Tell me about some events in your school history"? Review biography of each participant for accuracy. Both researcher and participant will have a copy. Review and categorize the events contained in the participant's school history. Each participant will be requested to sort the different events (listed on index cards) into an order that is personally meaningful and significant. Review Theory of Dynamic Rejuvenation, discussing participant input for each aspect of the theoretical model. 122 APPENDIX G: Coding of Data O P E N (O) C O D E L I S T O = OPEN. This study includes 105 groups of participant quotes ("In Vivo" codes) as Open (O) codes. Identifying tags (number - letter - number) after the category trace the source of the quote. As an example, Open code category number 104 (0-104) is expanded. 0-1 A couple of my teachers in regular school went out of their way to really understand my problems. (1T39) 0-2 A grad ... I won ... I got the last laugh. (2K20) 0-3 Al l my life I have hung out with older kids. (1T13) 0-4 Alternate Education is kind of like a little family. (1T10) 0-5 Alternate is not easier. I think it's just put in a different way. (1K29) 0-6 Alternate Programs pretty much just have the basics. (1T38) 0-7 Before I came to Alternate I failed all my classes. (1T9) 0-8 Before my Alternate Program I didn't like being in a big class with all those people. (1E15) 0-9 Before my placement in Alternate, I was getting toward a breakdown. (2C10) O-10 Both of my Alternate Education teachers never looked at me like a child. I was never scolded or anything like that. (1L41) 0-11 Everything is pretty great right now (1C30) 0-12 Gym is the best part of school. (1K14) 0-13 I always struggled with school. (1C27) 0-14 I am not a people person. (1M16) 0-15 I brought this report card and my achievement award. (1L1) 0-16 I can play lots of musical instruments. (1K24) 0-17 I did better in elementary than high school. (1K3) 0-18 I didn't tell anyone about the abuse. (1T32) 0-19 I didn't tell my parents how my teachers in regular school treated me.(2H21) O-20 I don't like structured singing. I just like to sing. (1T41) 0-21 I don't mind writing a 1500 word essay as long as it's on something that I like. (1K12) 0-22 I don't remember some of my school moves so they didn't affect me. (1T28) 0-23 I dropped out in grade 10. (1E4) 0-24 I felt like quitting lots of times. (1K9) 0-25 I got pregnant at age 16. (1M6) 0-26 I graduated on the honor roll. (1E49) 0-27 I had a good teacher in grade 3. (1H18) 0-28 I have been to more schools than I am old.(lM2) 0-29 I have only three yearbooks in total. (1M2) O-30 I have signatures in this yearbook of my friends. (1M2) 123 0-31 I just had a rough time with life. (1M7) 0-32 I kind of turned into that... becoming like my parents. (2E9) 0-33 I love to learn. (1M12) 0-34 I skipped 182 days or 182 classes. It was a lot. (IE 17) 0-35 I was always nervous, timid, shy at a new school (1C45) 0-36 I was having sleep problems and depression problems. (1T7) 0-37 I was in a foster home. (1C8) 0-38 I was mad. (1E13) 0-39 I was more interested in socializing (1T19) 0-40 I work better in the afternoon because I am more awake. (1K36) 0-41 I work out regularly now. (1H44) 0-42 I would absolutely not have continued in regular school. (2L2) 0-43 I wouldn't do the things my father did. I'm the opposite of him. (2K25) 0-44 I wouldn't say I was depressed but (1L11) 0-45 I'm going to miss Alternate. I really am. It was great. (1M46) 0-46 I'm going to take it one day at a time. (2K28) 0-47 I'm so unorganized. A lot of things are left until the last minute. (1T14) 0-48 I've gotten A's and B's in Alternate. It's so much better. (1T10) 0-49 If it weren't for the Alternate program I never would have graduated.(2M22) 0-50 If some helps you or acts like they care, it means something. (1E50) 0-51 In Alternate Education I did pretty good for attendance. (1H16) 0-52 In Alternate education I got to do the courses on my own which I love doing. (1L5) 0-53 In high school, I got in with the wrong crowd. (1L10) 0-54 In less than ten minutes, I said this isn't for me. I wanted out of there. (1E61) 0-55 In regular school I didn't try to get good grades. I didn't care. (1E6) 0-56 In regular school there was stuff going on in your personal life and no one paid attention. (2E8) 0-57 In regular school, you needed time and attention and you didn't get it in some classes. (1K30) 0-58 In the alternate classroom, you get a little leeway. (1H28) 0-59 It was always a difficult transition because grade 7 did not prepare us. (1H4) 0-60 It was definitely difficult at home ... solid bad all the time. (2C9) 0-61 It's like they (regular education teachers) just forgot about me. (1E20) 0-62 It's the good things through all the mess. Something good has come out of it. (2C7) 0-63 Life's not easy. There's always a hard part. (2K27) 0-64 Lots of the high school teachers like to threaten us. (1K32) 0-65 Most of the regular teachers are not laid back. (1H29) 0-66 My Alternate Education teacher is more like a friend. (1E29) 0-67 My Alternate teacher is the best teacher I have ever had. (1H16) 0-68 My boyfriend lifted my spirits a lot. He made me feel like I was worth 124 it. (1L54) 0-69 My brother has always been weird. (1L14) 0-70 My dad is really wonderful about his depression. (1L23) 0-71 My father calls me every couple of months. (1C41) 0-72 My grade 7 year was really messed up ...it was really strange. (1E13) 0-73 My grade 8 teacher talked down to me ... said I might as well kill myself.. .so Ipicked up a chair and threw it. (1H52) 0-74 My grade one teacher failed me. I still remember. (1K5) 0-75 My high school is in a rough neighbourhood. (1K18) 0-76 My mom and I don't talk. (1T34) 0-77 My mom doesn't make much money. (1H9) 0-78 My mom has to do both parenting jobs and that's a lot for one person to do. (2K18) 0-79 My mom made me my grad gown. (1E50) 0-80 My mother never played a part in my education. (1C20) 0-81 My mother's boyfriend was abusive (1T31) 0-82 My parents and I just call the year and a half when I was a real brat my dark stage. We don't talk about it. (1L13) 0-83 My parents are angry. (1E38) 0-84 My parents split up when I was in kindergarten. (1C41) 0-85 My regular school didn't do anything about my skipping. (1E9) 0-86 My school counsellor could have tried to help me out instead of trying to straighten me out. (1L35) 0-87 My school problems became really big when my father had his accident. (1H9) 0-88 Some people believe Alternate classes are for stupid people but that's absolutely not so. (2L1) 0-89 Students should get a good start in what they like sooner. (1M37) 0-90 Teachers brushed things off. They need to pay attention to even the littlest things. (1E21) 0-91 Teachers need to get more involved ... get to know the kids more. (1E19) 0-92 That little stage was two years. (1M9) 0-93 The alternate education teachers would not tolerate anything vulgar. (1M41) 0-94 The Alternate Program changed a lot of stuff in my life. (1E14) 0-95 The Alternate teacher would ask for ideas and suggestions about what we might do today. (2K18) 0-96 The teacher was thinking I am not going to make it anyway so what's the point of helping me. (1M10) 0-97 The teacher would say it was ok. I didn't agree but when I got home I'd talk to myself and convince myself I must be wrong. (2M18) 0-98 The teachers were just brutal to me. (1M10) 0-99 The whole tone of the classroom was mellower, happier, and more vibrant than anywhere else. (1M42) 125 0-100 This is the first time I've ever had goals. (1C30) O-101 Well it's all relevant (home and school). (1C15) 0-102 What works especially well is when a teacher spends extra time and helps. (1L42) 0-103 When I dropped out of regular school I was just.... I'd had enough. (1E54) O-104 You could totally feel the rejection. (1M7) O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) 0-104-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) 0-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 0-104-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) 0-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1M18) O-104-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) 0-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) 126 0-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) 0-104-11 I visited my father and he said I was going nowhere. He said I could hit rock bottom and have a family. He considered hitting rock bottom was to have a family ... so where do I stand? And you know he was making fun of my rugby and my job and my boyfriend. (1C42) 0-104-12 I was a chunky kid in kindergarten. I was called all sorts of names ... beluga ... punky. My hair ... my mom used to cut my hair short and then I don't know ... once she had my hair in a ponytail and the kids called me Frankenstein. I was tortured. (1M25) 0-104-13 I was just the one who doesn't show up. You would think someone would have said something about me not going to class. (1E21) 0-104-14 I went to stay at my grandparents and my Mom called to say all my stuff is out in the garage. (1C12) 0-104-15 I'm taking some grade 11 courses at the main school this year and one teacher gave off a bad vibe to me because I was trying to do well. And she didn't like keeners. She said she minks keeners are a bunch of suck-ups. When I'd have my hand up she'd go "put it down." I have never been unappreciated for trying hard. (1L44) O-104-16 I'm trying to stay cool and my mom starts blowing up at me. I'll just be watching TV and she'll just turn it off and tell me to get to hell out of the room What I've done recently, which isn't good but it's the only way I have, is I've just stopped caring. (2C16) 0-104-17 I've always loved sports. But my mom has never put me into anything. Like my older brother and younger sister quit things so I guess she figured that I would too. (1C10) 0-104-18 F ve got pictures of a man holding me as a baby. My mom told me that was my dad. Then a couple of summers ago my grandma told me that wasn't my dad ... that my dad is someone else. I was choked. (1T34) 127 O-104-19 In grade 7, someone in the class tried to poison the teacher. We had subs all year. I think our teacher should have come back and talked to us personally. Everyone knew who did it. No need to drag us down with her. (1E25) 0-104-20 In grade 8 no one did much about my skipping. Near the end of the year they would suspend me. (1H6) O-104-21 In grade 91 remember people laughing at me in the hallways. (1L30) O-l 04-22 In grade 9 I was just more rebellious. Blowing up at teachers and getting kicked out of class. Yeah, I had my seat in the office. (1C17) O-104-23 In regular school I didn't fit in at all. (1E54) O-104-24 It's hard to deal with my parents. Like my grad ... my valedictory ... my dad was saying, "Is your mom going to be there?' I said, Yeah. He said, Then I don't want to go."(lE38) O-104-25 Kids get picked on. Teachers never stopped the bullying. I found that they overlooked it to the point when you were in tears and that's when they would finally say something. (1M24) O-104-26 Most of my teachers in regular school didn't like me. If I asked a question they'd tell me they would get back to me after the class ... but they never did. (1H27) O-l04-27 My baby was born September 8 so when I returned to school after three weeks I had a note for each teacher explaining why I was away. I was behind. Some of the teachers were helpful but just a couple. It only takes one or two to really make you feel bad. (1M11) O-104-28 My brother and I don't really have a relationship. We were really close for a couple of years but he's just changed so much and I don't want to have anything to do with him. (1C13) 128 0-104-29 My dad is sort of... doesn't want to get involved .... doesn't believe anything was wrong or .... just ignores things. (2E9) O-104-30 My father is debating whether he's going to fly down or drive down. I've heard that a lot. I'm not sure he'll even come. (2M8) O-104-31 My French teacher in grade 9 ... we just clashed so much. I skipped a couple of classes and she would always yell at me. Anyone who yells at me, then I was automatically ... I hated them. She'd get upset with me in front of the class and embarrass me. It wasn't the course. It was her. It was so much harder with her. (1L25) 0-104-32 My grade 8 English teacher really hated me and I hated her. We were too different. Like there was no way .... I could not get along with her. (1H22) O-104-33 My grade I teacher was not nice to me. She had her favs. (1K5) O-104-34 My mom ... well she's an alcoholic. I was at my boyfriend's house for two months straight. My mom and I fight lots. (1T30) O-104-35 My mom drinks, goes to the bar, plays on a baseball team .... Has her nice little drunk boyfriend too. I won't ever be in the same room with him. (1T35) O-l04-36 My mom had a boyfriend who was with us for a long time but he was physically abusive. He never used to hit her but he hit me and she would leave me there alone ... go to the bar and leave me there with him. (1T32) O-104-37 School wasn't solid bad all the time. It's like this week you blow up, this week you get a school suspension, this week you fail a test. I think a lot of the rebelling had to do with my homelife ... the stress at home. (1C10) 0-104-38 Some regular school teachers were not accepting of me or my baby. (2M23) 129 O-l04-39 Some teachers gave me a hard time because I'm on social assistance. Some of them don't accept that I am not able to pay fifty bucks for some field trip. (1M12) O-104-40 Some teachers get frustrated when there's 30 kids and not everyone is shutting up. They kind of lose it and get ticked off. (1K32) 0-104-41 Some teachers really like their job and others you can tell, they're rather be doing anything else. (1L45) O-l04-42 The teacher was fun until he got in a bad mood. Then you'd get kicked out for nothing. (1C26) O-104-43 The teachers in regular school are just mean and they don't care and they're not into their students. (1E28) O-l04-44 There were other teachers like my grade 1 teacher who didn't like me but at least they didn't fail me. (1K42) O-104-45 When I dropped out in grade 10 my counsellor didn't encourage me to go back to school or do anything really. He phoned my mom and said I dropped out. She didn't have a clue about what went on at school. (1E57) O-l04-46 When I was 141 was late getting home and my mom and her boyfriend wouldn't let me in. The cops took me back cause I was too young to be on the streets and that was like three weeks later. Then the week after she kicked me out again. (1C12) O-l 04-47 When I was 14,1 just wouldn't come home. I would stay out all night. My mom doesn't really care. (1T11) O-104-48 When I was in grade 10,1 was kicked out of the house and went to a foster home. I got kicked out of my foster home and then went to an emergency foster home. (1C9) O-104-49 You could tell when my teachers in regular school would have a bad day. The teachers who really hated me .... on their bad days, they'd be pretty bad. (1H29) 0-105 You get used to the changes. (1C46) 130 A X I A L (A) C O D E L I S T A = AXIAL. In Axial (A) coding, units of meaning were attributed to the Open codes. Axial coding for Open code item O-l04 [You could totally feel the rejection. (1M7)] for numbers O-l04-1 through O-l04-10 only due to space limitations. A - l Academic salvation A-2 Abandonment O-l 04-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l 04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l 04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l 04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l 04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-l04-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L3 7) A-3 Absent fathers O-l 04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-4 Absenteeism 131 A-5 Abusive home O-l04-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-6 Academic success A-l Acceptance O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1FL23) O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-8 Accommodation A-9 Activities 132 A-10 Adolescence 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) 0-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A - l l Agency A-12 Alcoholism A-13 Alternate Education = bad reputation A-14 Alternate education teachers A-15 Anger O-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A - l 6 Apathy O-l 04-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) A-17 Assertive behavior O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 133 A-18 Attachrnent 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. ( IT 17) A-19 Authority figures O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-4 Grade 1. Y o u fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. M y mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) A-20 Avoidance O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean . . . they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml8) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. Y o u just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) 134 A-21 Bewilderment 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping . . . . A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O - l 04-4 Grade 1. Y o u fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. M y mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean . . . they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. ( IT 17) A-22 Bitter O-l04-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L3 7) A-23 Bullying O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean . . . they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml8) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. Y o u just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-24 Calm A-25 Career A-26 Celebration 135 A-27 Chi ld readiness 0-104-4 Grade 1. Y o u fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking . . . boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-28 Class tone O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) A-29 Cognition A-30 Cognitive dissonance 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. M y mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. Y o u could cry and they'd make you stand up. Y o u would have to stand at the front. Y o u know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. A l l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-31 Competition O-l04-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. Y o u just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-32 Creativity A-33 Critical events O - l 04-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I 'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I 'd make it. (1K10) O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping . . . . A lot of fun. For the past four 136 years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-34 Curriculum A-35 Deception A-36 Demeaning O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A-37 Democracy A-38 Denial A-39 Depression 137 A-40 Disconnected 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) A-41 Discrimination O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A-42 Disjoint family history O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-43 Disorganization A-44 Dissatisfaction O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-104-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) 138 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 0-104-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-104-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L3 7) A-45 Divorce O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) A-46 Dropping out of school O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) A-47. Early intervention O-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thmking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) A-48 Educational interventions O-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) A-49 Effective in schools A-50 Emotional detachment 139 A-51 Emotional numbness A-52 Extraversion A-53 Failure 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) A-54 Family conflict 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't tliink I'd make it. (1K10) O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-55 Family relocation O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) A-56 Flexibility A-57 Friendship A-58 Frustration O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-59 Fun 140 A-60 Futility 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-61 Future schools A-62 Good student A-63 Grade retention O-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and tWnking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) A-64 Graduation A-65 Home O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-66 Home and school connection O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) A-67 Humiliation A-68 Illness A-69 Impulsiveness A-70 Incompatible parents O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) A-71 Individuality A-72 Ineffective in schools O-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. 141 It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 0-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) A-73 Interministerial involvement A-74 Interpersonal discomfort O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-75 Introversion A-76 Intrusiveness O-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-77 Invisible student O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and 142 favoring other people. (1T17) A-78 Learning O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and tWnking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) 0-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-79 Lived experience A-80 Loss 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l 04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A-81 Love A-82 Love of learning A-83 Minimization A-84 Modelling 143 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-85 Morality O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-86 Mothers O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 144 A-87 Motivation 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) 0-104-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-88 Mutual respect O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-89 Need for connection 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-104-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) A-90 Non verbal communication O-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-91 Optimism A-92 Parental involvement 145 A-93 Parental support 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) A-94 Parenting 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) A-95 Peak experience A-96 Personality clash O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) A-97 Post secondary aspirations A-98 Poverty O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A-99 Pride A-100 Problematic social environment O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A-101 Psychosomatic symptoms 146 A-102 Regular education teachers 0-104-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) A-103 Rejuvenation A-104 Relationships O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (IT 17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-105 Repetition of family patterns O-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A-106 Resilience 147 A - l 07 Rigidity 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) A-108 Routines A-109 Scapegoat O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1 KI 9) A - l 10 Scholastic exclusion O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 148 0-104-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (IT 17) A - l l l Scholastic improvement A - l 12 Security A - l 13 Secrecy O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) A - l 14 Siblings 0-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) O-l04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) A - l 15 Significant person O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) A - l 16 Source of energy A - l 17 Spontaneity A - l 18 Substance abuse O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) A - l 19 Surrogate family A-120 Teacher belief O-l04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) 149 A-121 Teacher expectation A-122 Teacher involvement A-123 Teen pregnancy A-124 Terror O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1 KI 9) A-125 Timetabling A-126 Tolerance 0-104-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my . mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-104-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) O-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-127 Transitions O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) 150 A-128 Trust O-l 04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l 04-3 Before my dad's accident we really got along great. We went fishing, camping .... A lot of fun. For the past four years he has been going away with my sister. (1H23) O-l 04-4 Grade 1. You fail. But when you're young you just get mad. It doesn't really hit you until you are old. I remember being in grade 5 and thinking ... boy, I could have been in grade 6. (1K14) O-l04-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) O-l04-6 I dreaded going to school and facing people. (1M9) O-l04-7 I know some teachers who were so mean ... they always make you stand up. You could cry and they'd make you stand up. You would have to stand at the front. You know me and a couple of people were so uncomfortable. Al l it did was make me fear it more. (1ml 8) O-l04-8 I liked school up until about grade 4.1 remember that teacher always not being very nice to me, you know and favoring other people. (1T17) O-104-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-129 Underachievement O-104-1 About 90% of my friends dropped out in grade 11. Lots of people didn't think I'd make i t . . . definitely my brother and sisters. They didn't think I'd make it. (1K10) A-130 Unemployment A-131 Unresolved anger O-l 04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) O-l04-9 I mean there's always the cool rich group and then there was my group ... the not so cool, not so rich, doing drugs group and we were always looked down upon and I didn't like that. I got sick of that. (1L37) 151 A-132 Unresolved martial issues O-l04-2 After my parents split up when I was six I lived with my mom. In grade 10 she wanted me to live with my dad because I was causing her too much stress. (1E34) A-133 Violence O-l04-10 I remember grade 8. You're pretty small compared to grade 12. You just made sure you didn't look at someone the wrong way. (1K19) A-134 Weird 0-104-5 I applied to return to school when I was 16, just when my baby was due. The school was not going to let me in because I was not living at home. My mom had to get a lawyer to get me into that school. (1M7) 152 S E L E C T I V E C O D I N G Selective coding incorporated Open coding, Axial coding and the emerging model as a continuous process during data collection. Short samples of memoing are included. Theoretical memo The following is an analytic entry after six of the first interviews had been transcribed and analyzed. I was asking myself the question, "What about this area of study seems the most striking?" and I wrote: "To date I have interviewed young people with a chronic history of familial pathology, victims of abuse, of abandonment, transitory families, split families. Also the students endured a school system in which they believed they were ignored, ostracized, rejected, or insulted for the majority of their school years. They persisted, viewed school completion as an essential task, and applied to an Alternate School. They are completing or have recently completed the BC requirements for their Dogwood certificate. They appear capable, independent, they contribute to society with part-time work and have plans beyond high school completion". 153 A rough and tentative untitled theoretical model was emerging that included the following themes and ideas. disconnected chaos ^ 1 w lack of agency fe w dependent < • connected calm agency independent Past Relentless humiliations on continuum from apathetic through traumatic from both regular education classroom and home Present Transforming event Transforming agent Transforming environment transformation = to change in condition, nature or character. Alternate ed. was catalyst for change in condition. Trahsformation -Redemption Reclamation Salvation Renaissance Involvement Deliverance Surfacing Regeneration Resilience Malleability Resolution Adjustment Attachment Future clarity hope pride optimism health security in self A self reflective memo regarding this arrangement reads: "Am I being too simplistic? A m I overlooking an essential component? A m I doing the analysis properly? How do I discuss the regular education experience without alienating regular educators? 154 PARTICIPANT CARD-SORT FEEDBACK Events from the first interview were written on index cards. In the second interview, participants were asked to sort these cards into an arrangement that was personally meaningful. Overall the categories established by the participants tended to cluster into before Alternate Programming and since Alternate Programming. Participant Before Hans father's accident - loss of income - loss of companionship grade 8 - school failure - teacher conflict - substance abuse Since grades improving great teacher Lynne father's illness "dark period" school failure love my teacher one-to-one instruction academic success Keith "the bad pile" - grade retention - teachers threatening students - - busy teachers "the good pile" - cards related to gym - (7 events of 30) good teacher lots of academic help "I graduated. I won" Marie "unstable" family "trauma" in school academic success tolerant teacher Claire Elissa home Grade 8 Substance abuse "aftereffects" - school failure - suspensions - school dropout "good stuff' in elementary school - friends - lack of pressure "negative pile" - home - regular school "good stuff through the mess increased effort high achievement approved attendance good stuff about the Alternate" - transformation - increased motivation - best teacher - self-paced instruction - perfect attendance Telesile - did not show for the second interview THEORETICAL MODEL OF DYNAMIC REJUVENATION HISTORICAL PHENOMENON FACTORS Alternate • Trauma in Regular School fe Education fe • Instability w Programming w at home STRATEGIES • Bonding to Alternate School Program • Minimization of Historical Factors INTERVENING CONDITIONS Personality of Alternate Education Teacher Alternate Education Classroom Environment / CONTEXT / • Acceptance • Flexibility fe • Compassion w • Respect • Safety 156 A P P E N D I X H : Events in School History Participants # of Events Primary Gr. K-3 Intermediate Gr. 4-7 Junior High Gr. 8-9 High School Gr. 10-12 Other Claire 25 +0,-0 +1,-1 +1,-7 +6,-4 +1,-4 Elissa 32 +1,-1 +0,-0 +0, -10 +9, -1 +3, -8 Hans 29 +2,-0 +0,-2 +2, -16 +5,-0 +0,-2 Keith 30 +1,-2 +0,-1 +0,-3 +5,-4 +4, -10 Lynne 30 +1,-0 +0,-0 +3, -12 +11,-1 +0,-2 Marie 22 +2,-2 +2, -1 +2,-7 +5,-0 +1,-0 Telesile 21 +1,-1 +2, -1 +2, -5 +2,-6 +0,-1 Primary Gr. K-3 Intermediate Gr.4-7 Junior High Gr. 8-9 High School Gr. 10-12 Other TOTAL 189 events +8, -5 +5,-6 +10, -60 +43, -16 +9, -27 TOTAL 189 events 13 events 11 events 70 events 59 events 36 events TOTAL 101% +4%, -3% 7% +3%, -3% 6% +5%, -32% 37% +23%, -9% 32% +5%, -14% 19% 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0053885/manifest

Comment

Related Items