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UBC Theses and Dissertations

High school "drop-outs" : a reconnaissance survey of some of the personal and social factors, with special… Wayman, Sara Gertrude 1961

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HIGH SCHOOL "DROP-OUTS" A Reconnaissance Survey of Some of the Personal and Social Factors, with Special Reference to Superior Students: Vancouver. 1959 - I960. by SARA GERTRUDE WAYMAN A thesis submitted i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements equivalent to those of the degree of Master of Social Work. Accepted as conforming to the required standard. School of Social Work 1961 The University of B r i t i s h Columbia In presenting t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r extensive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s representatives. It i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Department The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, Vancouver 8, Canada. Date >) m -^ <t> • I 9 (p/• xi TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Chapter 1. School "Drop-outs"; An Old Problem of Renewed Concern. The need of modern i n d u s t r i a l society f o r increased t e c h n i c a l and c l e r i c a l s k i l l s . Relationship between s o c i a l malfunction and premature school-leaving. Retention rates and trends. Method of study . • 1 Chapter 2 . Children Who F a i l e d To Graduate. Ages of l e a v i n g . Grades Achieved. Age groups com-pared with grades achieved. I n t e l l i g e n c e r a t i n g s . Socio-economic l e v e l s . Reasons given f o r leaving school. Sex d i f f e r e n c e s . Grade XII students who f a i l e d to graduate 17 Chapter 3 . Superior Children; Why d i d they Leave? A. F i f t y Above-Average Students: Their performance as students. I n t e l l i g e n c e r a t i n g s . Ages and grades achieved and t h e i r comparison. Absences from school. Reasons f o r leaving. Time of l e a v i n g . Incidence of f a i l u r e . Family background. M o b i l i t y . Family d i s r u p t i o n 39 B. Twelve case studies: School leavers before Grade XII, School leavers i n Grade X1T 51 Chapter 4 . Implications f o r .Preventive and Remedial Services. S i g n i f i c a n t f a c t o r s associated with f a i l u r e to graduate. C o n f l i c t i n g attitudes regarding the value of higher education. Personal counselling services a v a i l a b l e i n the Vancouver school system. The Open Door p o l i c y f or "drop-outs". Suggestions for f u r t h e r study and a c t i o n 69 Appendix: A. Bibliography 91 TABLES IN THE TEXT Table 1. School Enrolment and Number of Recorded "Drop-outs" i n Seven Selected Schools, Vancouver, 1959-60 18 Table 2 . Age Groups Compared with Grades Achieved 22 Table 3« Age Groups of Boys Compared with Grades Achieved 23 Table 4 . Age Groups of G i r l s Compared with Grades Achieved 23 i i i Page Table 5 . I Q's of "Drop-outs" Compared with Grades Achieved 26 Table 6 . I Q's of "Drop-outs" Compared with Grades Achieved by-Boys * 2 6 Table 7. I Q's of "Drop-outs" Compared with Grades Achieved by Girls 27 Table 8. Occupations of Parents According to Schools Attended by Children 3 1 Table 9« Reasons Given for Leaving School 3 2 Table 1 0 . Time in School Year at which "Drop-out" Occurred 3 3 Table 1 1 . Ages of Superior Students Compared to their Grades Achieved 4-0 Table 1 2 . Days Absent during Last School Year 4-2 Table 1 3 . Reasons Given by the Group of Superior Children for Leaving School • 4-3 Table 14. Onset of Failure 45 Table 15. Occupations of Parents of Superior Children 46 Table 1 6 . Mobility as Indicated by Home and School Changes 4 7 Table 1 7 . Family Stresses Found to be Present 49 i v ABSTRACT Students who withdraw from high school before graduating constitute a group of increasing public concern. The present thesis i s a "reconnaissance", to gain some idea of dimensions, and of factors associated with school "drop-outs", with special reference to superior students, ( l ) The Permanent School Record cards of every student who had l e f t school during the 1 9 5 9 - 6 0 school year were reviewed for seven Vancouver secondary schools* Excluded from the study were (a) involuntary "drop-outs", over which the school had no control, and (b) transfers to other school systems, including some situations where there was insufficient information. ( 2 ) As the second stage of the study, record cards of f i f t y students who had intelligence ratings of 1 2 0 or over were examined for indications as to their performance (a) at school, (b) at home, and (c) i n the community. ( 3 ) Twelve students in one school were then selected for more i n -tensive exploration, this being done through interviews with students, parents, grade counsellors, special counsellors, school nurse, and social agencies. Examination of the total group of "drop-outs" indicated that their general l e v e l of intelligence was somewhat lower than that required for high school graduation. More than half the group were retarded for their age and grade. The largest number of "drop-outs" occurred in Grade HI and among the 18-year-olds. More boys than g i r l s l e f t school prematurely. Among the special group of superior children the largest number also occurred i n Grade X U and among the 18-year-olds. But unlike the to t a l group, they were not retarded for their age and grade. More than half were children of manual workers, both s k i l l e d and unskilled. An equal number of boys and g i r l s were involved. In nearly every case the student had had some previous experience of failure i n his school career, which i n this group could be inter-preted as an indication of malfunction, (personal, social or educational) rather than lack of a b i l i t y . Absence from school for more than ten days i n the year also appeared to be associated with failure to complete graduation. Geographic mobility did not appear to be a cause. Most of the children who l e f t school prematurely had families who were experiencing varying degrees of stress, but who claimed to value education highly. There i s evidence that these students, typically, had personality d i f f i c u l t i e s . They lacked the discipline necessary to postpone recreation i n order to study. With a few exceptions they seemed to be getting along well i n every area of their l i f e except that of student. They were successful in finding work, although below their capacity, even i n a period of high unemployment. They did not make use of the counselling services that were available to them. The degree of understanding and acceptance of social and personal problems apparently varies widely among the school staff. They are able to recognize under-achievement, but in general do not refer this problem to the special counsellor service. While the number of seriously disturbed adolescents i s small, the need for adequate treatment f a c i l i t i e s for them i s urgent. More uniform recording of information about school "drop-outs" i s needed for future research. Financial assistance, where necessary, should be provided at the high school level i n cases of proven capacity. The need for appropriate extensions of counselling service i s apparent. V ACKNCfrJLEDG^ENTS To the individuals and social agencies whom I consulted i n the course of this study, and especially to Dr. Selwyn A. Miller, Director of Research and Special Services for the Vancouver Board of School Trustees, I would l i k e to acknowledge the invaluable assistance which was so freely given. To Mr. Michael Wheeler and to Dr. Leonard Marsh, of the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia, I wish to express my appreciation of their cooperation and support. To my family go my thanks for their encouragement and calm endurance. v i HIGH SCHOOL "DROP-OUTS" A Reconnaissance Survey of Some of the Personal and Social Factors, with Special Reference to Superior Students; Vancouver, 1 9 5 9 - 6 0 . CHAPTER I HIGH SCHOOL "DROP-OUTS": AN OLD PROBLEM OF RENEWED CONCERN The phenomenon of students leaving school before graduation i s as old as the public school system, but i t has become the object of increasing concern in recent years. One reason for this concern i s the diminishing employment opportunities for persons with only a grade school education. In general over the last f i f t y years the percentage of labourers i n the working force has dimi-nished; i n the same period semi-skilled occupations, especially machine opera-tors of a l l kinds, and sk i l l e d craftsmen (including foremen) are i n greatest demand.* The types of occupations entered by young people who l e f t school prematurely are examined i n a recent publication by the Dominion Bureau of Stati s t i c s . These relate to five provinces for 1957-58; comparable information i s unfortunately not available for British Columbia. A difference i n occupa-tional distribution is evident between those who l e f t school from the lower grades and those leaving from the higher grades. Almost without exception, the higher the grade attained the smaller was the percentage of both boys and g i r l s who became non-agricultural labourers.... The percentage of g i r l s who entered c l e r i c a l occupa-tions was substantially higher among those who had reached Grades XI and XII than among those who withdrew from school at the lower grades, while, to a lesser extent, the same was true of boys i n commercial occupations. Wilensky, H. L. and Lebeaux, C. N. have reviewed trends for the United States in Industrial Society and Social Welfare. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 1958. They quote the following figures for the period 1910-56: non-farm labourers dropped from 12$ to 6$, semi-skilled workers increased from 14$ to 20$, while s k i l l e d craftsmen increased from 11.7$ to 13.3$ of the labour force. P. 93. 2 Dominion Bureau of Stat i s t i c s , Student Prepress Through the Schools. I960. Catalogue No. 81 - 513. p. 33. - 2 -There are two consequences of advancing industrialization which have special relevance to the preparation of youth for employment: 1. Over-all specialization. This involves not only work simplifications (and the dilution and obsolescence of old s k i l l s ) , but a vast demand for new s k i l l s , and a net shift which has raised the prestige level of the average occupational position. 2. A net shift away from hand work and toward brain work and personal contact - from direct participation in physical production toward services, professional and nonprofessional. Fewer people deal with the material, more deal with symbols and people. The introduction of automation i s resulting in the creation of new jobs requiring higher, or at least different, s k i l l s and at the same time pro-ducing technological unemployment. There w i l l be fewer workers doing routine machine jobs; there w i l l be an increased proportion of engineers and highly ski l l e d maintenance men, and an increased ratio of managers and supervisors to 2 employees. The concept of the labour structure as a f l a t pyramid with a wide base of unskilled workers tapering to a narrow band of skilled craftsmen into the pinnacle of management i s becoming less typical of modern industry. I t would seem, therefore, that to enter the labour market with no particular s k i l l s , and without the educational requisites for further study, i s to be i l l prepared to cope with the problem of earning a l i v i n g in our present-day society. The vocational choices open to students who leave high school prema-turely are narrow indeed. An examination of the youthful labour force i n Canada, based on the 1931 census, indicated that nearly half of a l l young working men i n their teens are farm workers, and that the majority of young urban wage 1 Wilensky and Lebeaux, op. c i t . . PP» 93 - 94 2 Ibid., pp. 98-99. earners are i n the unskilled and low sk i l l e d occupations. The kind of jobs available to sixteen- and seventeen-year olds are largely limited to "blind-alley" and "stop-gap" occupations, such as delivery boys and car jockeys. When af^er a few years the boy expects a higher wage, i t i s cheaper to replace him from the supply of younger boys just put of school. At eighteen and nine-teen the trend i s for these young people to be concentrated i n unskilled indus-t r i a l work and service occupations.* Without vocational guidance and adequate vocational training the outlook for the young men and women who enter the labour market at an early age is not a bright one. It i s generally recognized that high school graduation i s not neces-s a r i l y the best preparation for a l l young people since i t is primarily designed to prepare for studies at the university l e v e l . This has been recognized for some years now by the introduction of the "general course" i n the high school curriculum, designed for those students who do not intend, or who do not have the capacity, to continue their education at the university. These students may take courses i n commercial subjects which prepare them for c l e r i c a l or commer-c i a l jobs, or they may take courses in industrial arts which provide a brief introduction to some manual s k i l l s but which do not prepare them to be skilled craftsmen. But this "general program" i s merely a modification of the univer-si t y program. What i s needed i s a considerable expansion of technical schools, on an extended geographical scale, which w i l l more r e a l i s t i c a l l y bridge the gap between school and industry, and which w i l l provide courses in training techni-cians as well as the training of skilled craftsmen. Such an expansion of 1 Marsh, Leonard C., Canadians In and Out of Work. Oxford University Press, 1940, pp. 218 - 22k. - k -technical schools would help counteract the present tendency for disinterested students to leave high school before graduation. The student who has good intellectual capacity but who leaves high school before he graduates experiences definite handicaps. He cannot be admit-ted to a university. He cannot enter a profession no matter what his capabili-ties may be. He may get work in industry or as a clerk but i t w i l l probably be of a routine unskilled or semi-skilled nature which w i l l frustrate his capaci-ties for responsibility and productivity. When employees are being considered for promotion, he w i l l be passed over i n favour of someone, possibly no more capable, who has completed high school with the result that the under-employment of his potential may eventually create frustration and boredom. The emotional problems that may be engendered w i l l have increasing repercussions for himself, his family and his coirimunity. The failure to make use of his inherent a b i l i t y creates a loss to the individual and to society. Premature School Leaving and Social Malfunction Earning a l i v i n g and "adequate social functioning" are obviously interrelated; there i s growing evidence that the youth who leaves school pre-maturely i s more than usually vulnerable to problems of personal and social maladjustment. One writer believes that these young people represent a group who, both now and i n the future, w i l l require major assistance from the com-munity's welfare resources: These youngsters, who are only intermittently employed, w i l l often hang around restaurants, pool halls and street corners for something to do. They are seldom known to churches, settlements or organized recreational programs and are frequently involved i n minor vandalism and more serious anti-social a c t i v i t i e s . Many marry at an extremely-early age accepting family responsibilities which almost inevitably - 5 -become too much for them. Problems of a l l kinds face them throughout their lives . . . Another most serious aspect of this social problem i s that the untrained worker, employed or not, w i l l most l i k e l y face a lifetime of financial distress. He w i l l need assistance from the community on a long term basis - probably indefinitely. Why do these young people "drop out" of school? This question has been explored by many school administrations i n recent years. The general consensus of agreement, with some variation, appears to be that the significant factors involved are: 1. Low socio-economic status of the pupil's family. 2. Low intelligence, lack of motivation and related poor school performance. 3. Emotional i n s t a b i l i t y and personality defects. 4. Excessive number of transfers from school to school. 5. Ineffectiveness i n the adjustment of instruction and subjects to the needs of the pupils. According to another study* quoted in the same report, the school situation of the potentially delinquent child displays the following charac-t e r i s t i c s : 1. Shows dislike for school. 2. Resents school routine and re s t r i c t i o n . 3. Disinterested i n school program. 4. Is f a i l i n g i n a number of subjects. 5. Has repeated one or more grades. 6. Has attended many different schools. 7. Intends to leave school as soon as the law allows. 8. Has limited academic a b i l i t y . 9. Feels he does not "belong" i n the classroom. 10. Does^not participate i n organized extra-curricular a c t i v i t i e s . 11. Has only vague academic or vocational plans. 12. Attends special classes for retarded pupils. 13. Truants from school.-' J o l l i f f e , Penny, "Today's Drop-Outs, Tomorrow's Unemployed", Canadian  Welfare. January 15, I 9 6 I . Volume 37. No. 1, p. 24. Brook, George C , "High School Drop-Outs and Corrective Measures", Federal Probation. September, 1959. Volume XXIII, No. 3 . P. 33* 3 Kvaraceus, Wm. C. C , Juvenile Delinquency. National Education Associ-ation, Monograph 15. August, 1958, p. 17. Washington, cited i n George C. Brook, "High School Drop-Outs and Corrective Measures", Federal Probation. September, 1959. P. 34. - 6 -There is thus some evidence to indicate the presence of common factors i n the situation of children who "drop out" of school and those who become de-linquent. As might be expected, examination of the characteristics of "drop-outs" and juvenile delinquents focuses attention on a major trouble spot - the quality of the child's adjustment to home and school. It appears reasonable to assume that treatment directed toward the "drop-out problem" w i l l also influence the "juvenile delinquency problem". There is growing recognition that the basic needs among children who require social and psychological services are similar. Whether a child i s neglected by immature parents, whether he i s acting out his h o s t i l i t y toward society by stealing cars or shoplifting, or whether he i s a withdrawn and isolated person who avoids re a l i t y , i n each case he needs skilled understanding and treatment. Unfortunately there i s considerable overlapping i n the fields of mental health, public welfare, correctional work and education; and there are some children who "drop through the meshn. A better basic under-standing of the psychological development of young children, and everything that strengthens family l i f e , can contribute to these areas of work. Programs for delinquent children i n some centers are being combined operationally with other programs for children.*" But there i s s t i l l a long way to go; and, too often, "delinquents" are regarded as a class apart. Early school-leaving may be a forerunner of delinquency. Even i f the potential "drop-out" does not become delinquent while at school - and many do not - when there are hundreds out of school and unemployed, or doing unskilled work at low wages, they form a reservoir of dissatisfied individuals and from 1 Lourie, Norman V., "Juvenile Delinquency", Social Work Year Book. I960. National Association of Social Workers, New York, pp. 351-4* - 7 -these many can be recruited into the ranks of the delinquent. In a recent study of youthful offenders i n the B. C. Borstal system 9 2 . 5 per cent of the boys had less than Grade XII education.* Anti-social behaviour occurs i n a l l strata of society; but the largest volume of crime and delinquency involves individuals from the lower socio-econo-2 mic groups. Psycho-dynamic components interact with social factors to influence deviant behaviour. The student who i s a member of a lower-class family may have standards and values which are far removed from those presented by the school he attends, and this may cause a stress situation. William C. C. Kvaraceus i n a study of delinquent behaviour portrays three subgroupings of lower-class students as follows: a) The successfully aspiring individual who has the w i l l , capacity and means to elevate his status. b) The aspiring, but conflicted individual, who either has the capacity but i s thwarted by almost insurmountable obstacles, or whose levels of aspiration exceed his r e a l i s t i c potential. c) The stable individual who neither aspires nor has any r e a l i s t i c p o s s i b i l i t y of raising his status. I t i s the second of these three groups, that i s , the aspiring but conflicted individual, which tends to produce the largest number of disturbed students. Friction, conflict and frustration are inevitable for these young people, and this has a significant relation to the situation of the school "drop-out". A boy or g i r l who wants to graduate from high school, and has the capacity to do so, may find himself exposed to negative pressure from his family 1 Bach, Frank, Vocational Problems of the Adolescent Offender. Master of Social Work Thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I96I, p. 48. Kvaraceus, Wm. C. C., Delinquent Behaviour. Volume I, National Education Association, Washington, 1 9 5 9 1 P« 7 6 . - 8 -and neighbourhood friends. Such a boy or g i r l may strike out i n aggressive fashion against school and family. There is always overt and internalized conflict i n such a situation, and i t takes considerable strength and support to 1 resolve this conflict successfully. In the middle-class group, trouble arises particularly when the student's achievements or capacities are not up to the level of aspiration his parents have set for him. The traditional middle-class virtues of subordinating present gratification to future goals, of working hard i n the present i n order to achieve something in the future, have the effect of deterring middle-class young people from delinquent behaviour, and of holding them at school. If these values are weakening - as witnessed by increasing installment-plan financing and "impulse" buying - i t can be expected that middle-class children w i l l place less emphasis on working for the future and more on immediate gratification of wishes and desires. I t can be anticipated that middle-class delinquency w i l l increase as a r e s u l t . 2 The Measurement and Definition of School "Proo-Outs" "Drop-Out" may be defined for the purpose of this study as "an i n d i v i -3 dual who has l e f t school before graduation from the 12th grade". This defini-tion has been generally accepted as a working basis upon which research should be undertaken, and has been used i n a number of other studies. 1 Kvaraceus, OP. c i t . . pp. 72 - 7 .^ 2 I b i d . • PP. 76 - 86. J Work Conference on L i f e Adjustment Education. Whv Do Bovs and G i r l s  Drop Out of School. Chicago, 1950. Circular No. 269, Federal Security Agency Office of Education, Washington, 1950, p. 36. - 9 -The process of estimating the rate of "drop-out", or conversely, the retention rate, is complicated by many factors. I t i s not simply the d i f -ference between the number of children who start school as compared to the number who graduate; i t is affected by transfers i n and out of the school system i n a city, between schools within the school system, and by repeaters i n a grade. Until uniform methods of pupil accounting are used i t w i l l not be pos-sible to make valid comparisons between the stat i s t i c s reported by different school jurisdictions. One system of accounting for student retention rates is that proposed in a report of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare, i n which a rate i s computed on total class membership during a given year as against pupil "drop-outs" during the same year. This method eliminates the effect of extraneous factors such as transfers i n and out. The base, therefore, i s changed for each year, and the total for the four years of secondary school i s then arrived at; this i s termed the "retention rate". Using this method, a four-year study of school "drop-outs" in fourteen c i t i e s i n the United States was carried out, beginning with Grade IX, in September, 1 9 5 1 . In c i t i e s over 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 population the retention rate was 6 2 . 0 per cent compared to c i t i e s of 2 0 0 , 0 0 0 to 1 , 0 0 0 , 0 0 0 population which had a retention rate of 71.5 per cent.* For Canadian purposes, the Dominion Bureau of Statistics defines retention rate as: "the number of students continuing i n formal schooling to a certain level expressed as a ratio (or percentage) of the grade enrolment Segel, D. and Schwarm, 0 . J., Retention i n High Schools i n Large CUiea. U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Office of Education, Washington, No. 1 5 . 1 9 5 7 . p. 8 . - 10 -for any selected lower l e v e l " • * Based on Grade X3CI enrolment, expressed as a percentage of Grade II enrolment ten years previously, the Bureau estimates the average retention rate during the period 1946 to 1958 to have been 35 per cent for Canada as a whole. These percentages were weighted to include estimates of the numbers transferred into and out of the school system and the repeaters at each grade. There was considerable variation i n school "holding power" from province to province, the highest rates being found in British Columbia and Alberta with 50 per cent and 41 per cent respectively, and the lowest rate i n 2 Newfoundland, 2 per cent. I t is notexrorthy, and a l i t t l e known fact, that for Canada as a whole only one-third of a l l children graduate from high school. The Br i t i s h Columbia Department of Education uses i t s own method for arriving at their retention rate. They use Grade XTLT enrolment expressed as a percentage of the corresponding average enrolment of Grades I I to VI. A recent report indicates an increase i n the retention rate thus computed during the last 3 eight years - from 49 per cent i n 1952-53 to 62 per cent i n 1957-58. The Board of School Trustees for the ci t y of Vancouver compute their retention rate as Grade XII enrolment expressed as a percentage of Grade VIII 4 enrolment four years earlier. The figures for the last decade are as follows: 1950 46.4 1955 59.5 1951 47.8 1956 59.7 1952 52.7 1957 59.8 1953 56.2 1958 60.9 1954 56.5 1959 66.6 1 Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Student Progress Through the Schools. I960. Ottawa, Catalogue No. 81 - 513, p. 9. 2 . B M . , PP. 28 - 29. 3 Department of Education, Victoria, B. C., "Current Notes on Enrolment". Mimeographed Bulletin, November, i960. 4 , Board of School Trustees, Vancouver, B. C., Annual Report. 19'.9-60. - 11 -Apparently, about 30 per cent of the Vancouver children who were i n Grade VIII four years previously did not reach Grade X1T i n 1959-60. While some of these children would be below average in intelligence and would not be expec-ted to achieve this grade, a substantial number are students with good natural endowments which, i t can be argued, are thus being wasted. The d i f f i c u l t i e s facing the child of limited intelligence who drops out of school are serious enough, and deserve special study. The present study, however, confines i t s e l f to children of average or better than average intelligence who leave school without graduating. For them i t i s a reasonable assumption that factors other than basic capacity to profit from education are at work in precipitating their leaving school. Method of the Study The f i r s t purpose of the present study was a reconnaissance of the t o t a l dimensions of premature school-leaving, followed by a closer examination of the group of students who have superior a b i l i t y . Seven of the seventeen secondary schools i n the c i t y of Vancouver during the school year 1959-60 were selected i n order to be as representative of the various socio-economic areas of the c i t y as possible. The source of primary information was the Permanent School Record cards of a l l the students in the schools selected, who had l e f t school during 1959-60. A card is made out for each child when he f i r s t enters the school system i n Br i t i s h Columbia, and i t i s transferred to each school he subsequently attends within the province. I t contains identifying information, academic history from Grades I to XII inclusive, and records of psychometric and - 12 -achievement tests. A health history i s an insert, on which the public health nurse records physical examinations and comments as to physical and mental health problems. When the student leaves school his card i s f i l e d centrally. The number of students in the study sample who l e f t school i n Vancouver before graduation was found to be 9^ 4; this total does not include children who were known to have moved out of the c i t y . Unfortunately 333» or 35*3 P©r cent of the students* record cards showed no indication of why they had withdrawn, or whether they intended terminating their education. It is quite possible that some students among this l a t t e r group had moved out of the province and con-tinued to attend school elsewhere. There was no recourse therefore but to with-draw this group from the study. What i s l e f t i s a sizeable group, 611, for whom school-leaving infor-mation i s clear. There are s t i l l some uncertain factors, however. There i s considerable variation among the schools as to the recording of reasons for leaving. The proportion of cards on which information about "reason for leaving" was lacking ranged from 7.2 to 61.7 per cent. I t i s possible that the informa-tion was known to some staff member and was not recorded; and i t i s equally pos-sible, i f a student was more than fifteen years of age, that he could withdraw from school without discussing his plans with anyone. It naturally raises the question whether efforts should be made i n the future to discover the whereabouts and plans of every student who leaves school without graduating. It was decided to classify the "drop-outs" according to whether they were voluntary or involuntary, following the classification system suggested by the United States Office of Education.* An involuntary drop-out i s considered Segel and Schwann, op. c j t . . pp. 1 - 2. - 13 -to be one over which the school has no control, and includes such situations as the following: 1. Left school, whereabouts not known. 2. Excused, physical d i s a b i l i t y . 3. Excused, uneducable. 4. Drafted into the armed forces. 5« Deceased. 6. Admitted to an institution. A voluntary drop-out i s one over which the school presumably has some control, and includes the following situations: 1. Left school to enter employment. 2. Needed at home. 3. Enlisted i n the armed forces. Ur. Married. 5. Dropped out, not employed nor needed at home. 6. Unable to adjust to school. In the present study the so-called involuntary drop-outs were not included. However, i t can be questioned whether the category " l e f t school, whereabouts not known" i s i n actuality outside the control of the school. The student's decision to withdraw from school might have been changed i f he had discussed his plans with a responsible adult. Students who are excused from attendance at school because of a physical di s a b i l i t y are another group which perhaps should not be considered as involuntary. While their physical illness or d i s a b i l i t y may temporarily make i t impossible for them to attend regular school classes, when the acute phase of their illness or d i s a b i l i t y has passed rehabilitation resources should be made available to them, including educational opportunities. This would not, of course, include those cases of terminal i l l -ness or extreme brain damage, but the majority of withdrawals due to il l n e s s are disabling conditions varying from slight to severe. It is worth noting that of the ten students in the present study who - 14 -came into the "Excused, physical d i s a b i l i t y " group, only two had an illn e s s that was terminal. In two other cases, the illn e s s reported was of such a character that i t might have been indicative not of a disabling condition but of a disinclination to continue attending school. There i s a need for reha-b i l i t a t i o n services for i l l or handicapped young people after the acute stage of their i l l n e s s i s over. A home teaching program i s available in the Vancouver school system and can be instituted on the recommendation of the school princi-pal. Education of an academic and vocational nature i s imperative for these young people i f they are to be helped to l i v e reasonably satisfying l i v e s , within the limitations of their handicaps. Also considered to be involuntary drop-outs were two students who had been committed to correctional institutions. A thirteen-year-old g i r l had been admitted to the Willingdon School for G i r l s , the other, an eighteen-year-old boy, to New Haven. Both these children had been i n the custody of a child-caring agency i n the cit y . There i s some blurring of distinction between voluntary and involuntary i n this category, since i n some situations the student may drop out of school and shortly afterwards participate i n some activity which results i n admission to a correctional institution. In this case he i s considered a volun-tary drop-out. The student who, while s t i l l attending school, participates i n some activity which results i n admission to a correctional institution i s con-sidered an involuntary drop-out. Yet their behaviour i n both instances has many common elements. "Excused, uneducable", would include those who are in special classes because of low intellectual capacity, and who receive a modified curriculum content up u n t i l the school-leaving age. As referred to previously, they form - 15 -a group with s p e c i a l needs which must be met i f they are to be given a chance to l i v e reasonably s a t i s f y i n g and productive l i v e s . "Drafted i n t o the armed forces" does not apply to the Canadian scene. The d i s t i n c t i o n between "Enlistment i n the armed for c e s " should be c l e a r , since i n the l a t t e r case the boy v o l u n t a r i l y chooses to withdraw from school i n order to enter the forces. The data examined i n the background group of 611 students who were studied included age, sex, i n t e l l i g e n c e r a t i n g , grade achieved, time of leaving school, reason given, and occupation of parent. Included i n the group were 188 students who had attended high school to the end of Grade XTE, but who had not obtained s u f f i c i e n t c r e d i t s to graduate. Following the "dimensions" survey s p e c i a l a t t e n t i o n was focussed on the c h i l d r e n with b e t t e r than average i n t e l l i g e n c e , that i s , with i n t e l l i g e n c e r a tings of 120 or over, of whom there were f i f t y . School psychometric ratings are u s u a l l y obtained through group t e s t s which produce scores somewhat higher than r e s u l t s from i n d i v i d u a l t e s t s . I t was therefore considered that the r a t i n g s of 120 and over would include some students with average a b i l i t y as w e l l as some with superior a b i l i t y . Their Permanent School Record cards were examined for the degree of m o b i l i t y r e f l e c t e d i n the number of addresses and number of schools attended, r e g u l a r i t y or i r r e g u l a r i t y of attendance, grades repeated; reports by the school nurse of any health or s o c i a l problems, any expression of vocational i n t e r e s t , and r e f e r r a l s to s p e c i a l counsellors and Mental Hygiene C l i n i c s were noted. The l a s t stage of the study was to get d e t a i l e d case h i s t o r i e s of at l e a s t a few of the adolescents. I t was p o s s i b l e to s e l e c t twelve students i n - 16 -one school who could be studied i n d e t a i l . Interviews were conducted with the school grade-counsellors, the s p e c i a l counsellors, the school nurse, the stu-dents and t h e i r parents, and s o c i a l agencies which had been ac t i v e with the f a m i l i e s . Thus information was obtained f o r t h i s small but i l l u s t r a t i v e group about the processes operating i n the school, at home, and elsewhere. This i s as f a r as the present study could go i n examining the causes which had resu l t e d i n t h e i r premature school-leaving. The s p e c i f i c area of i n t e r e s t i n the study i s the psycho-social com-ponents of the problem of school "drop-outs", not the holding power of the curriculum or other educational content. The "drop-out's" r o l e as a student, as a family member, and as an adolescent, i s considered against the background of the help a v a i l a b l e to him i n the school and i n the community, help which properly applied might prevent h i s premature separation from the school. CHAPTER II CHILDREN WHO FAILED TO GRADUATE Who are the boys and girls who leave school without graduating? How old are they? What intellectual capacity do they have? What grades have they achieved? Why did they leave, and when? What are the occupations of their parents? Answers to these questions help to provide background information against which to examine in more detail the children of better than average intellectual ability who leave school prematurely. To establish this background picture is the task of the present chapter. In September 1959 the seventeen secondary schools in the Vancouver school system had a total enrolment of 24,681 students. The seven schools selected for the present study had a total enrolment of 13»428, or just over half the total school population. As far as could be determined from the infor-mation on the students* school record cards, the number of voluntary "drop-outs" from these seven schools during the period September 1959 to September i960 amounted to 6 l l or 4.5 per cent of school enrolment. The basic figures are shown in Table 1, the schools being identified only by the letters "A" to "G". The sample total studied thus consists of 380 boys and 231 g ir ls , a ratio'of just over three boys for every two gir ls . In only one school were there more girls than boys who left school prematurely. It is to be noted that four of the schools have a drop-out percentage close to the average, one school having a very low and one a high rate. - 18 -Table 1 School Enrolment and Number of Recorded Drpp-Outa Seven Selected Schools Vancouver 1959-60 . School Total School Enrolment Number of Recorded Drop-Outs Sep.1959 - Sep.i960 Drop-Cuts as Percentage of Enrolment Boys Girls Total A 1757 32 39 71 4 . 1 B 2242 57 38 95 4 . 2 C 2089 57 42 99 4 . 7 D 2004 18 5 23 1 .1 E 2006 49 39 88 4 ,4 F 1080 42 25 67 6 .2 G 2250 125 43 168 7.5 Total 13,428 380 231 611 4 .5 Source: Students' Permanent School Record Cards, Vancouver School Board. Age of Leaving The ages of a l l the children who l e f t school without graduating are tabulated i n Table 2 . The ages varied widely, from fourteen years to twenty-two years, the mode for both boys and g i r l s occurring at eighteen years. This i s later than the age reported i n some comparable American studies; for example, i n Cleveland i n 1956-57 the -typical age of the school leaver was found to be six-1 2 teen years, as i t was in Detroit i n 1950 -51 . But i t would appear that the 1 Skelly, Frank J., "Study of Cleveland Public School Drop-outs 1956-57 School Year". Journal. International Association of Pupil Personnel Workers, * December 1957. p. 18. 2 Layton, Warren K., Special Services for the Drop-Out. National Child Labor Committee, New York, Pub. 408, October, 1952. p. 4 , - 19 -minimum or legal school-leaving age for Br i t i s h Columbia, which i s fifteen, i s no longer a major consideration in influencing children to remain at school longer than they might otherwise choose to do. Compulsory school attendance i s now an integral part of the climate of our time and most young people stay on i n school well past the age at which they are legally free to leave. I t i s pos-sible that the minimum school-leaving age i s now too low and should be revised upwards. It varies across Canada from fourteen to sixteen years of age; i t i s eighteen i n New York state. Another factor influencing school attendance past the legal school-leaving age i s that continued receipt of Family Allowance i s contingent on atten-dance at school u n t i l the age of sixteen. When a child has his fifteenth birth-day his parents automatically receive a form requesting information as to whether he i s at school or working. I f the la t t e r , the administrator of the Family A l -lowance Act i n British Columbia may terminate the allowance depending on the individual circumstances. When family allowances were f i r s t introduced they were an incentive for children to remain at school u n t i l the age of sixteen, and they have contributed to the prevailing trend toward a later school-leaving age. I t is noteworthy that there were five children under fifteen years of age i n the study group. Because these children should legally be attending school, according to the School Attendance Act, they were discussed with the School Attendance Officer of the Vancouver Board of School Trustees. This office i s staffed by a professionally trained social worker. Two of the children proved not to be actual "drop-outs". One had received a scholarship to a Ballet School where she w i l l continue to take some high school courses. The other was a boy who had transferred from one school to another within the Vancouver school - 20 -d i s t r i c t , * Two other fourteen-year olds had been known to the Attendance Officer. They were both seriously disturbed children whose family doctors had arranged for psychiatric treatment and who had received service from the school mental hygiene c l i n i c . Their behaviour had been so extremely bizarre and disturbing to the class that they could not be permitted to remain at school. The educational function of the school made i t necessary to exclude these children i n the inte-rests of the normal children, and correctly so, but the needs of these disturbed children also should be considered. The lack of adequate treatment f a c i l i t i e s for adolescent children who are emotionally i l l i s a pressing problem. The f i f t h child was a boy who was underage for his grade. He had been a behaviour problem in an academic secondary school and had transferred to a school providing vocational courses, but he continued the same type of rebellious behaviour. He would not conform to classroom procedures, would not apply himself, and after one suspension -which did not change his behaviour, and a referral to the special counsellor, he was asked not to return the following September. In-stead, he applied to his previous school but was discouraged from registering there. This boy had an I Q of 107 and had achieved Grade IX at age fourteen, which would indicate that he had sufficient capacity to graduate from high school i f the stresses operating in his l i f e could have been modified. The prescribed channel for handling this kind of situation i s for the This boy registered i n his new school under a simplified spelling of his name. The request for his Permanent School Record card under the new spelling did not produce i t and a new one was issued. His original card was eventually sent to the School Board office where i t was f i l e d with the cards of those children who had not returned to school. This kind of confusion does take place occasionally. When a principal requests a follow up, the Attendance Officer usually locates the child i n another school, but i f , as sometimes hap-pens, no request i s made, the child may or may not be registered elsewhere. - 21 -school to n o t i f y the superintendent that a c h i l d has been suspended. The d i s -t r i c t School Inspector then investigates the s i t u a t i o n and a plan f o r the child, i s made. This procedure was apparently not followed i n t h i s case, p o s s i b l y be-cause the boy was so close to the school-leaving age. Grades Achieved For the purpose of t h i s study, i t i s to be noted that the grades actu-a l l y achieved by the students are recorded, not the grades i n which they were reg i s t e r e d at the time they dropped out of school. This i s the explanation f o r the Grade vT category, Table 2, which i s not part of the secondary school. The students recorded as Grade VI are those who had s u c c e s s f u l l y passed t h i s grade, and had r e g i s t e r e d i n Grade VTI of Junior High School, but who had f a i l e d to complete Grade V U . The Grade XII category i s the exception to t h i s c l a s s i f i c a -t i o n procedure. Students included as Grade XII attended school f o r the f u l l school year, but f a i l e d and d i d not return the folloxtfing September. This group i s discussed l a t e r i n a separate section. Those students r e g i s t e r e d i n Grade XII but who dropped out before the end of the school year are counted i n Grade XI. There were eight Grade XI c h i l d r e n , seven boys and one g i r l . Three had I Q's under 80 and one under 90. Their ages were:- one, fourteen years; one, f i f t e e n years; three, sixteen years; and three, seventeen years. Four of the boys were extreme behaviour problems, described as " b i z a r r e " , " h o s t i l e " , and as "refusing to come to school". The number of boys and g i r l s who drop out of school increases s t e a d i l y from Grade XI to Grade XII, f o r both boys and g i r l s . An i n t e r e s t i n g - 22 -exception to this pattern occurs among boys in Grade XI where the number of drop-outs i s actually less than i n the preceding grade. This would indicate that most boys when they have completed Grade X are well oriented toward completing high school. Table 2 Age Groups Compared with Grades Achieved Vancouver School D i s t r i c t , 1959-60. Age of Student VT VII vm IX X XI XII Total Percentage 1 4 years 1 1 I 1 - - - 4 0.6 15 1 7 7 5 1 - - 21 3.4 16 3 1 3 27 27 17 2 - 89 14.6 17 3 3 15 2 4 52 31 10 138 22.7 1 8 - 1 5 17 4 6 67 1 1 4 250 40.9 19 - - - 2 9 22 4 6 79 13.0 20 - - - 3 1 6 11 21 3.4 21 - - - - 1 - 6 7 1.1 22 - - - - - - l 1 -Total 8 25 55 79 127 1 2 8 1 8 8 611* Percentage 1.3 4.1 9.0 13.0 20.8 21.0 30.8 * Includes one student for whom grade achieved could not be determined. - 23 -Table 3 Age Groups of Bovs Compared with Grades Achieved. Age Grades Achieved by BOYS VI VTI Vlll IX X XI XTJ Total 14 1 1 - 1 - - 3 15 1 7 2 - - - - 10 16 2 9 15 16 8 - - 50 17 3 1 14 16 27 10 6 77 18 - 1 4 15 32 35 69 156 19 - - - 2 7 16 35 ' 60 20 - - - 3 1 5 9 18 21 - - - - 1 - 4 5 22 - - - - - - 1 1 Total 7 19 35 53 76 66 124 380 Table 4 Age Groups of Girls Compared with Grades Achieved. Age Grades Achieved by GIRLS VI VII V l l l IX X XI xn Total 14 — - 1 - - - - 1 15 - - 5 • 5 1 - - 11 16 . 1 4 12 11 9 2 - 39 17 — 2 1 8 25 21 4 61 18 — - 1 2 14 32 45 94 19 - - - - 2 6 11 19 20 - - - - - 1 2 3 21 _ — — - - - 2 2 Total 1 6 20 26 51 62 64 231* * Includes one student for whom grade achieved could not be determined. - 24 -Age Groups compared with Grades Achieved at Time of Leaving School. Three terms, "under-age", "at-age", and "over-age" are used by the Dominion Bureau of Statistics to describe grade achievement i n relation to age. Most pupils entering Grade U are either seven or eight years of age. Any child in Grade II younger than seven would be "under-age", and a child over nine would be "over-age". Accordingly, students of seventeen or eighteen i n Grade XII are Bat-age", younger students i n this grade would be "under-age" and older children would be "over-age". About four-fifths of elementary and secondary school children i n Canada during the year 1957-58 were found to be "at-age" i n the 2 Canadian study previously referred to. Over-age children tended to have a high "drop-out" rate, while there appeared to be relatively fewer "drop-outs" from 3 among under-age children. Table 2 presents the relationship between the ages of the "drop-outs" in the study and the grades achieved. Tables 3 and k present this relationship classified according to sex. A l l the students to the l e f t of the stepped line represent a failure to achieve the average grade for their age. Only 181 stu-dents, or 29.3$ of the total have achieved the average grade for their age, and of these lk, or 2.3$ of the total are one year younger than the average student. I t would appear that children who are accelerated for their age and grade are less l i k e l y to drop out of school than children who are retarded for their age and grade. As would be expected, twelve of the fourteen students who are under-age are average or above average i n intelligence; eight have I Q's over 120, four Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Student Progress Through the Schools. 196Q. Catalogue No. 81 - 513, p. 3 0 . 2 JJaisi.. pp. 45-46. 3 JJaid... p. 3 0 . - 25 -are i n the 100 - 109 range, one i s 97. and the I Q of one i s unknown. . The remaining 70.7$ are one, two or three years older than the average student i n their respective grades. The distribution of students according to their degree of retardation i s summarized below: one year retarded 199 students 32.5$ two years w 138 " 22.6 three " " 68 " 11.1 four " " 15 " 2.5 five " " 9 " 1.5 None of the twenty-four students who are four and five years over-age for their grade were found to be above average i n intelligence. Thirteen have I Q's under 90, four are in the 90 - 109 range, five are recent immigrants, and two have not been tested. I t would appear that most drop-outs are over-age and are p a r t i c i -pating i n classroom act i v i t i e s with boys and g i r l s several years younger than themselves. The fact that so many of the "drop-outs" were in this over-age group (seventy per cent) would indicate that there i s a need to examine the reasons for their retardation. Such an exploration might distinguish between those whose native capacity i s being blocked by emotional d i f f i c u l t i e s and those who need a different type of curriculum. Focussing of counselling service on the group of over-age students might result in a substantial reduction i n the number of children who leave school prematurely. The highest percentage of "drop-outs" is i n Grade XII, the next high-est being i n Grade XI. The Grade XII students number 188 and constitute 30.9 per cent of the entire group of early school-leavers. This differs from the Segel and Schwann study, previously referred to, which reported that the largest number of "drop-outs" occurred at around the 10th grade.* The age range of these Segel and Schwarm, op. c i t . . p. 16. - 26 -Grade XTI students i s from seventeen to twenty-two years, with the mode at eighteen years. 65.6 per cent of the Grade X U students are at-age or under-age, a higher proportion than that present i n the total group studied. Table 5 I Q's of "PxQP-ottts" compared grades AclAeved,. Vancouver School D i s t r i c t , 1959-60. I Q Grades Achieved VI VII V l l l IX X XI XII Total Percentage Below 80 3 4 3 2 2 - 3 17 2.8 80-89 1 10 17 12 13 8 13 74 12.1 90-99 4 6 20 35 43 28 35 171 28.0 100-109 - 3 8 18 27 42 64 162 26.5 110-119 - - 4 12 33 37 43 129 21.1 120 plus - - 2 - 9 12 27 50 8.2 Unknown - 2 1 - - l 3 7 1.1 Totals 8 25 55 79 127 128 188 611* Percentage 1.3 4.1 9.0 12.9 20.8 20.9 30.8 * Includes one student for whom grade achieved could not be determined. Table 6 I Q's of "Drop-outs" compared with Grades Achieved bv Bovs. Vancouver School D i s t r i c t , 1959-60 I Q Grades Achieved by BOYS VI VII VIII IX X XI xn Total Below 80 2 2 3 1 2 - 2 12 80-89 1 9 15 11 6 5 12 59 90-99 4 5 12 25 33 15 20 114 100-109 - 2 3 10 15 22 48 100 110-119 - - 1 6 15 19 25 66 120 plus - - - - 5 4 16 25 Unknown - 1 1 - - 1 1 4 Total 7 19 35 53 76 64 124 380 - 27 -Table 7 I Q's of "Drop-outs" compared with Grades Achieved bv Girls. Vancouver School D i s t r i c t , 1959-60. I Q Grades Achieved by GIRLS VI VXE VIII IX X XI XII Total Below 80 1 2 - 1 - - 1 5 80-89 1 2 1 7 3 1 15 90-99 1 8 10 10 13 15 57 100-109 1 5 8 12 20 16 62 110-119 - 3 6 18 18 18 63 120 plus - 2 - 4 8 11 25 Unknown 1 - - - 2 3 Total 1 6 20 26 51 62 64 231* * Includes one student for whom grade achieved could not be determined. Intelligence Ratings A l l students, except eight, had been given at least one intelligence test during their school careers. This makes possible a comparison of I Q's and grades achieved, as shown i n Table 5 for the total group, and i n Tables 6 and 7 for boys and g i r l s respectively. Where more than one test result had been recor-ded on the student's school record card the average i s taken. The mode for the I Q of "drop-outs" i s in the 90-99 range for boys and in the 100-109 range for g i r l s , with the former distribution skewed toward low I Q's and the latter to-wards high. 54.5$ of the t o t a l are i n the middle range, 90-109. which conforms with the pattern for the population as a whole. However, only 14.9$ are below 90 whereas 29.3$ are over 110, which differs from the general population where the extremes are i n more equal proportion. There are f i f t y students with an I Q - 28 -of 120 and over (8.2$). This i s the group examined in more detail later i n the study. The results of a survey carried out i n February i960, showed the median I Q for a l l Vancouver secondary school students at the Grade IX level 1 to be 106.2. The median I Q for pupils who dropped out of school and who had achieved either Grade VHT or Grade IX was in both cases between 90 and 99 (Table 5). I t would appear therefore that the capacity of the students who leave school prematurely at Grade IX or lower i s below the capacity of the ave-rage student in the public school system. I f these non-academic students are to successfully complete a course of studies suited to their capacities so that the transition from school to work w i l l be made successfully, there i s a need for a substantial increase in the number of technical high schools, as well as voca-tional counselling and placement services. The study of the vocational problems of adolescent offenders, previously referred to, indicated the importance of adequate labour market organization, involving vocational education and guidance, 2 economic aid, job placement and follow up of progress after placement. A change appears at the Grade X leve l . Here the median I Q i s between 100 and 109, although the mode i s s t i l l at 90 to 99. In Grade XI and XII both median and mode are i n the 100-109 level. I t i s generally believed that a stu-dent requires an I Q of about 115 in order to complete Grade X U and to be ad-mitted to a university. In a recent survey i t was found that students taking mathematics and history i n Vancouver secondary schools had an average I Q of Information provided by Dr. Selwyn A. Miller, Director, Research and Special Services, Board of School Trustees, Vancouver. 2 Bach, Frank, Vocational Problems of the Adolescent Offender. Master of Social Work Thesis, University of British Columbia, 196l, pp. 99 - 103. - 29 -117.2 and 113.6 r e s p e c t i v e l y . I t would appear t h e r e f o r e t h a t the average "drop-out" has a c a p a c i t y somewhat below t h a t considered e s s e n t i a l f o r gradu-a t i o n from the u n i v e r s i t y program i n the h i g h s c h o o l . Here too, t e c h n i c a l s c h o o l programs may be the answer. The s p e c i a l circumstances of the twenty-four students who were new Canadians are noteworthy. Twelve of them came from China, ten from Europe, one from I c e l a n d and one from P a k i s t a n . Of t h i s group twenty had I Q's under 90, but t h i s may have been due to language d i f f i c u l t i e s and not n e c e s s a r i l y r e f l e c -t i n g the students' a b i l i t i e s . S i x t e e n of these students l e f t a f t e r a c h i e v i n g Grade X or lower; eight were i n Grade X I I but f a i l e d t o graduate. Nearly t h i r t e e n per cent of the group stu d i e d have I Q's of 110 or over. They probably had the c a p a c i t y to achieve the u n i v e r s i t y program i f other f a c t o r s had not i n t e r v e n e d . Spqio-EgonQinic Level ( P a r e n t9* Occupations) I t was p o s s i b l e t o measure the socio-economic l e v e l s by examining the parents' occupations as recorded on the Permanent School Record cards. These were c l a s s i f i e d as f a r as p o s s i b l e using s i x broad c a t e g o r i e s . The d i s t r i b u t i o n of parents between c a t e g o r i e s i s shown i n Table 8. A h i g h p r o p o r t i o n - 38.6 per cent - came from parents who were u n s k i l l e d or s e m i - s k i l l e d workers; a f u r t h e r 31.7 per cent had parents who 1 Dr. M i l l e r , l o c B q j t . - 30 -were ski l l e d wage earners. Thus, two-thirds of the children studied came from families belonging to the manual and "bluecollar" working class. I t is note-worthy that this proportion varied for different schools, ranging from 49.9 per cent of parents i n occupational categories 1, 2 and 3 in School E, to 84.1 per cent i n these categories i n School G. (Table 8). The classification system adopted here provides only a f i r s t approxi-mation of the socio-economic status of the families of children who leave school without graduating. I t i s well established that different value systems are characteristic of the various social and occupational groups, including attitudes to education generally and to academic versus technical training. Clearly, therefore, there i s material here which deserves more intensive study, which would be enlightened also by comparisons of this occupational data with similar information for parents of children who successfully graduate. It has been found that there i s sound s t a t i s t i c a l evidence to indicate that a l l socio-economic groups have the same average intellectual a b i l i t y when the socio-economic cultural factors in intelligence tests are controlled. The fact that a higher proportion of children from the low socio-economic group tend to leave school prematurely reflects the failure of the school to reach these 1 children. This is because, like social workers and psychiatrists, more than 95 out of every 100 teachers are from the middle socio-economic group, and accordingly do not understand the behaviour and goals of the students they teach. This re-sults i n a serious lack of communication between students and teachers, with the inevitable result that students lose interest in school and leave at the earliest opportunity. 1 Davis, Allison, Socio-Economic Influences Upon Children's Learning. An address at the White House Conference on Children and Youth, Washington. - 31 -Table 8 Occupations of Parents School Occupational categories" 1 2 3 4 5 6 A 16.0$ 32.0 29.0 8.5 13.0 1.5 B 11.2 12.4 28.0 11.2 31.6 5.6 C 22 .7 17.4 38.2 13.5 7.2 1.0 D - 17.3 43.5 4.4 34.8 -£ 13.4 8.5 28.0 12.2 23.2 14.7 F 32.8 15.6 24.1 3.5 22.3 1.7 G 21.5 28.5 34.1 4.4 11.5 -A l l Schools 18.6 20.0 31.7 8.5 17.7 3.5 There were 6 parents not g a i n f u l l y employed, and 29 whose occupations were unknown. * Occupational Categories Category 1. U n s k i l l e d and manual workers 2. Semi-skilled and f a c t o r y operatives 3. S k i l l e d and responsible workers 4. C l e r i c a l and white c o l l a r workers 5. Small business and commercial 6. Pr o f e s s i o n a l N. G. E. Not G a i n f u l l y Employed - r e t i r e d , tb. p a t i e n t , e t c . Reasons Given for Leaving School A student's explanation as to why he i s leaving school i s not neces-s a r i l y the r e a l reason he i s withdrawing. A complex of influences may be impinging on him. He may say he i s going to work because of f i n a n c i a l need but at the same time h i s f e e l i n g s of inadequacy as a student may be j u s t as important - 32 -a factor i n influencing his decision. "To stay home" may be a euphemism for a forced marriage. Table 9 shows the largest single group (52.2$) were leaving school in order to go to work. The next largest group, 33.1$> gave no reason but indicated they did not intend to return to school. The students who had stated that they intended to transfer to another school amounted to 2.1$; since their Permanent School Record cards had been f i l e d with the central records of the Vancouver School Board i t was assumed that they had failed to register at any other school. Table 9 Reasons Given for Leaving School Reason Boys Girls Total Percentage To work 206 114 320 52.3 To take trade training 11 22 33 5.4 To join the Armed Services 14 - 14 2.3 To transfer to another school* 7 6 13 2.1 To stay home 1 9 10 1.6 Requested to leave because of behavioui • 6 1 7 1.2 To get married - 6 6 1.0 To take correspondence course 6 - 6 1.0 No reason given 129 73 202 33.1 Total 380 231 611 100.0 * No record of registration at another school, however. Students leaving school with the intention of taking some form of trade training number 33 or 5.4$ of the to t a l . The training envisaged includes business courses, hairdressing, Art School, Ballet School, apprenticeships and vocational - 33 -courses. A f u r t h e r 1$ s a i d they planned to take correspondence courses to f i n i s h t h e i r high school. The 1.1$ of students who l e f t school because of beha-v i o u r d i f f i c u l t i e s includes at l e a s t two who were s e r i o u s l y disturbed and who were r e c e i v i n g p s y c h i a t r i c treatment. The early marriage of another 1$ could also be c l a s s i f i e d as a behaviour d i f f i c u l t y since a marriage hasty enough to warrant leaving school i n mid-term i s u s u a l l y a consequence of deviant behaviour and as a r u l e i s a poor preparation f o r a s a t i s f y i n g future together. Time i n School Year At Which Withdrawals Occur I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that the majority of drop-outs, 64.5$ occurred i n the l a s t term, as shown i n Table 10. This trend i s present i n every school. 53$ of the students who l e f t i n the l a s t term stayed u n t i l the very end of the school year. In one school there were no drop-outs during the Christmas term, and only one before Easter. Table 10 Time i n School Year at which Drop-out occurred School F i r s t Term Boys G i r l s Second Term Boys G i r l s Third Term Boys G i r l s T o t a l Students A 7 9 10 12 15 18 (14-12)* 71 B 9 6 4 6 44 26 (37 22) 95 C 3 3 11 6 43 33 (30 27) 99 D - - - 1 18 4 (17 4) 23 E 5 2 2 8 42 29 (40 28) 88 F 3 7 10 6 29 12 (24 8) 67 G 30 10 39 8 56 25 (43 18) 168 T o t a l 57 37 76 47 247 147 (205 H 9 ) 611 Percentage 9 . 3 "Boys & G i r l s 15 6.1 .4 12 .5 20 7.6 . 1 40 .5 24.0 64.5 (53$) 100$ * ( ) Boys and g i r l s who l e f t at the end of the school year. - 3k -The student who leaves school during the year i s relatively more accessible for counselling service than i s the one who leaves at the end of the school year. The school staff are on hand with a wealth of information about his school and home experiences and they have an established relationship with him. I t i s at this point that he needs help in thinking through his deci-sion to leave school, help i n making r e a l i s t i c plans for his future. The stu-dent who finishes the school year and f a i l s to return the following September may present a somewhat more d i f f i c u l t problem of communication. Sex Differences Unfortunately enrolment figures available at the Vancouver Board of School Trustees did not differentiate between boys and g i r l s , and i t i s there-fore not possible to determine the significance, i f any, of sex differentials among children who terminate their education prematurely. Based on the sex ratio for the general population compared with the ratio of boys to g i r l s i n the group of drop-outs examined in the present study* there appears to be a greater tendency for boys to drop out of school.* School A i s the only one where more g i r l s than boys withdrew. The modal age of leaving for both sexes i s at eighteen years, (Tables 3 and 4). There appears to be a difference i n the grades at which boys and g i r l s leave school. The numbers of boys who l e f t i n -creases with each grade up to Grade X, at which point i t drops off for Grade XI and increases again in Grade XH. The rate of increase for g i r l s progresses regularly up to Grade XI and remains the same for Grade XII. This i s i n accord with the findings of the study by Segel and Schwann, op. c i t . , p. 9. - 35 -A higher percentage of g i r l s than boys are at-age or one year under-age, 3 8 . 1 $ of the g i r l s , and 2 1 . 8 $ of the boys, as shown i n Tables 3 and 4 . This i s reflected i n the I Q mode, where the largest percentage ( 3 0 . 0 $ ) of boys occurs i n the 9 0 to 99 range while the corresponding mode for g i r l s i s i n the 110 to 119 range, (Tables 6 and 7 ) . When considering the reasons given for leaving school, 5 4 . 2 $ of the boys indicate they were going to work and 4 9 . 4 $ of the g i r l s , (Table 9 ) . 3 2 . 6 $ of the boys and 2 7 . 7 $ of the g i r l s had been regis-tered i n Grade X H but did not graduate. Grade XII students Who F a i l to Graduate Students who complete four years of secondary school but f a i l to graduate from Grade XII represent a somewhat different problem than the students who leave school earlier. They have been motivated to stay i n school u n t i l the end. Hopefully, most of them expected to graduate even though their term work was poor and they had experienced failure; there was always the expectation that a f i n a l spurt at the end would take them over the passing mark. They do not think of themselves as having dropped out of school and yet i n many ways they suffer from the same handicaps as the "drop-outs" since they cannot qualify as high school graduates. They are more d i f f i c u l t to follow up than the students who leave, school earlier. The f i n a l results of their examinations are not announced u n t i l mid-summer when school staff are dispersed and there i s no school personnel available for discussion of plans. I t would take a greater degree of effort to reach out to them, to trace their whereabouts and arrange interviews i n which they might be helped to make plans for their future. - 3 6 -There were more children in the Grade XII group than in any other grade, most of them being eighteen years old, with the I Q mode being i n the 100-109 range. While an I Q of at least 115 i s expected for a graduate i n the university program, and somewhat lower for the general program, i t i s noted that 27.1$ had I Q's which were less than 100. Some students i n this group were immigrants who had either recently arrived, or else they had been tested some years previously at a time when they had just arrived in this country, so that their unfamiliarity with the language resulted i n a low score. Some of this group, however, would be students who did not have the capacity to com-plete Grade XII, but who either themselves or their parents had at one time had aspirations to graduate from high school. This conflict between aspirations and capability can provide a f e r t i l e s o i l for subsequent disturbed behaviour.* The recommendation made by the recent Royal Commission on Education in British Columbia that Grade X graduation become a terminal point for selected students might prove to be a solution for this group of aspiring but inadequate students. A somewhat higher proportion of students i n this group came from middle-class homes than was true of the group as a whole, 6l.2$ of Grade XII parents being i n the f i r s t three categories, unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled workers, as compared to 66.3$ of the whole group, (Table 8). Grade X U students did not state a reason for leaving school since they were expecting or hoping to graduate. There were only three students who * As discussed earlier i n this study. Page 7. 2 The reorganization of the school system, recommended by the B. C. Royal Commission on Education, would consider the high school to consist of Grades VHI, IX and X, completion of which would constitute high school graduation. Students would then continue either to a senior vocational course, or to the collegiate academy. Those students who, because of limited capacity, are unable to benefit from either program would consider this the terminal point i n their formal school education. - 37 -l e f t i n midterm. A l l three had f a i l e d Grade XII the previous year, had returned f o r a f i f t h year intending to complete t h e i r f a i l e d courses, but l e f t before doing so. O r d i n a r i l y students who return to school f o r a f i f t h year would have to pay a fee of $21.00 a subject or a maximum of $125.00 a year. However, i n s i t u a t i o n s where t h i s would mean a f i n a n c i a l burden i t i s possible f o r a s p e c i a l arrangement to be made by the Attendance O f f i c e r to request that fee payment be waived. This examination of the general c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the problem of volun-t a r y drop-outs i n the seven Vancouver schools i n d i c a t e s that many complex f a c t o r s are involved which could p r o f i t a b l y be explored f u r t h e r . Among these i s the f a c t that i t i s possible f o r some ch i l d r e n to s l i p away from the school system without any concern being shown f o r t h e i r future. Most of these c h i l d r e n do not have s u f f i c i e n t a b i l i t y to complete the u n i v e r s i t y program, or even the general prog-ram, of the high school, and t h e i r withdrawal from school represents f a i l u r e and f r u s t r a t i o n . I t i s f o r these students that a program of t e c h n i c a l education needs to be enlarged and made av a i l a b l e so that they can remain at school u n t i l they are w e l l prepared to enter the world of employment.. I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g to explore the reasons that a proportionately higher number of students i n Grade XII than i n other grades f a i l e d to graduate, e s p e c i a l l y since t h i s has not been shown to be the case i n other c i t i e s . The f a c t that boys have a greater tendency than g i r l s to leave school prematurely might also i n d i c a t e the need f o r more t e c h n i c a l courses. A substan-t i a l number of students, however, - almost t h i r t y per cent - have the capacity 1 Vancouver School Board P o l i c y . Fees ( T u i t i o n ) . Mimeographed, June 6, I 9 6 0 . - 38 -to complete the high school program, and the withdrawal of these young people from the academic educational stream i s of grave concern to s o c i e t y since i t represents a l o s s of i n t e l l e c t u a l manpower. The f a c t o r s associated with the premature school-leaving of c h i l d r e n with average or superior i n t e l l i g e n c e i s explored f u r t h e r i n the remainder of t h i s study. CHAPTER I U SUPERIOR CHILDREN: WHY DTD THEY LEAVE? As already in d i c a t e d , i t i s not only the l e s s i n t e l l i g e n t students who leave school before graduation. A sample group - f i f t y - whose i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t s i n d i c a t e d good i n t e l l e c t u a l endowment are reviewed i n t h i s chapter. To begin with, i t must be noted that the I Q ratings of these students f o r the most part were derived from group administered t e s t s ; these are generally considered to y i e l d somewhat higher r e s u l t s than i n d i v i d u a l t e s t s would have revealed, and group t e s t r e s u l t s are s l i g h t l y l e s s r e l i a b l e than i n d i v i d u a l t e s t s . * The group t e s t i s more dependent on reading than i s the i n d i v i d u a l type. Nevertheless, both kinds minimize routine school l e a r n i n g and emphasize mental alertness by presenting problems which demand reasoning, generalization and the manipulation 2 of ideas. A score of 120 or over i s u s u a l l y considered to be an i n d i c a t i o n of high average to superior a b i l i t y . At the same time i t i s recognized that an I Q score does not provide an i n f a l l i b l e or immutable measure of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s a b i l i t y . The important point i s that while a low I Q may or may not i n d i c a t e low capacity, a high I Q does include the p o s s i b i l i t y that an i n d i v i d u a l has even more capacity than that measured by the t e s t . A, F i f t y Above-Average Students. The Permanent School Record cards of these f i f t y students were Greene, H. A. and Jorgensen, A. N., The Use and I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Elemen-t a r y School Tests. Longmans Green & Company, New York, 1938. p. 2 7 0 . 2 Garrett, Henry E., Testing for Teachers. American Book Company, New York, 1959. pp. 80 - 81. - 40 -examined f o r information regarding t h e i r general school behaviour and behaviour as members of a family. The p u b l i c health nurses 1 records were also reviewed since, i n the course of routine health examinations, she may also be able to i d e n t i f y symptoms of mental health problems. Performance as Students These f i f t y students who had a demonstrated capacity to cope success-f u l l y with the academic work nevertheless f a i l e d to do so. The question poses i t s e l f , therefore, as to what fa c t o r s i n t h e i r s i t u a t i o n worked to bring about t h i s f a i l u r e . The i n t e l l i g e n c e r a t i n g s of t h i s group of f i f t y students are as f o l -lows: Twenty-one boys and twenty-four g i r l s scored between 120 and 129, while four boys were i n the 130 to 139 group; one g i r l scored 140. Their ages as compared t o t h e i r grades achieved are set out below: Table 11 Ages of Superior Students Compared to Their Grades Achieved. Age Grades Achieved v n i i x X XI x n T o t a l 14 years l - - - - 1 15 years - - 1 - - 1 16 years I 1 2 - 4 17 years - - 2 2 5 9 18 years - - 3 8 19 30 19 years - - 2 - 3 5 Totals l l 9 12 27 50 - 41 -The ages of this group range from fourteen to nineteen. The fourteen year old g i r l had left.school after Grade VIII i n order to make use of a ballet scholarship. She had been a consistently successful student, described as out-standing in Grades I to TV, and an "A11 student in Grades V to VTTI. The fifteen year old g i r l was the only child of parents who were divorced. She lived with her grandmother who worked as a houseworker. She seemed to like school, had passed seven courses i n Grade IX and eight courses in Grade X, but did not return to school for her Grade XI year, having told the school nurse that she intended to find work in an office. The median age in this group i s eighteen years, as i n the total group studied. However, only 19 students are retarded for their age and grade, (14 are one year retarded, 3 two years, and 2 three years), leaving 31 who are at-age or one year under-age, that i s , 62$ as compared with 29.3$ of the total group who are at-age or one year under-age. While the degree of under-achievement of this group is not as large as in the total group, nevertheless the fact that 19 capable young people were over-age for their grade indicates that their d i f f i c u l t i e s as students did not suddenly come into being but must have occurred earlier i n their school career. Retardation, therefore, i s not a significant factor affecting school leaving in this group of students, although i t appears to be so for the total group of youngsters studied. The number of days the student was absent from school may, except i n the case of specific i l l n e s s , reflect lack of interest or rejection of the school experience. Absences during the last f u l l year of school are shown below (Table 12). 2? of these students were absent for more than ten days during their l a s t f u l l year of school. The fact that out of thirty-eight students whose - 42 -absences were known, twenty-seven were away from school for more than ten days during the year would i n d i c a t e that absenting oneself from school was associated with the phenomenon of dropping out of school. In only one case was an i l l n e s s recorded to explain the absence. In at l e a s t two instances the young people had jobs l a s t i n g u n t i l a f t e r 10 p. m. on week nights. A number of these students who stayed away from school were also described as "nervous", and "worried about themselves". Table 12 Davs Absent During Last School Year Number of Days Absent Boys G i r l s T o t a l Less than 10 days 5 6 11 10 to 19 days 4 4 8 20 to 29 II 7 8 15 30 to 39 n 1 1 2 40 to 49 ti - 1 1 70 to 79 II - 1 1 Unknown 8 4 12 T o t a l 25 25 50 The sixteen-year-old g i r l who had been absent 76 days had been looking f o r work and would have l e f t school sooner than she d i d i f she had found a job. Her father had been unemployed f o r several years, and her mother Ttforked i n the evenings as a j a n i t r e s s . She f a i l e d s e v e r a l of her Grade X courses and d i d not return to school the following September. One eighteen-year-old boy who was absent 31 days had been successful i n h i s Grade XI year but l e f t school i n October of h i s Grade XII year. He was - 4 3 -one of the younger of nine c h i l d r e n i n a family of Russian o r i g i n . He had been an "A" student c o n s i s t e n t l y up u n t i l Grade V I I at which time h i s mother approached the school f o r help, describing him as i r r i t a b l e , r efusing to go t o bed e a r l y , and spending too much time watching t e l e v i s i o n . The school nurse discussed t h i s with the boy, who was then t h i r t e e n , and as a r e s u l t of the interview recorded her opinion that the boy appeared to have "a good a t t i t u d e " . Whatever the diag-n o s t i c s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h i s comment, the f a c t i s that the boy's school work showed no improvement following t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . Eight students were knox«i to be working while attending school. I t i s possible that other students were also working, but that t h i s f a c t did not come to the knowledge of the nurse. The jobs were during a f t e r - s c h o o l hours and at week-ends, and consisted of de l i v e r y boy i n a drug store u n t i l 1 0 : 3 0 p.m.; usherette i n a movie from 7 to 10 p.m.; cle r k i n g i n a store; playing the piano i n a dance band; newspaper routes - one was a 6 a.m. route, after which the boy went back to bed and frequently s l e p t i n . The reasons given f o r leaving school are grouped below: Table 13 Reasons Given bv the Group of Superior Children f p r Lea.YJng School Reasons Boys G i r l s T o t a l To work To take trade t r a i n i n g To stay home No Reason Given 13 9 1 5 4 11 7 22 6 4 18 T o t a l 25 25 5 0 - 44 -Here, too, the l a r g e s t s i n g l e group expressed the int e n t i o n of getting work as the reason f o r terminating t h e i r education. The f i v e g i r l s who planned to take trade courses were a l l thinking i n terms of a business t r a i n i n g . The one boy planned to r e g i s t e r at the Vancouver Vocational I n s t i t u t e . Fourteen of the students, four boys and ten g i r l s , had expressed some i n t e r e s t i n a d e f i n i t e vocation when interviewed by the school nurse i n the course of routine health examinations. Three boys wanted to j o i n the A i r Force and one wanted to j o i n the Navy. Four g i r l s were i n t e r e s t e d i n nursing, three wanted to become stenographers, one wanted to be an a i r l i n e stewardess, one a b e a u t i c i a n , and one g i r l wanted to operate a ranch. I t i s noted that none ex-pressed a s p i r a t i o n s f o r a goal that involved u n i v e r s i t y t r a i n i n g , even though they probably a l l have the i n t e l l e c t u a l capacity for any of the professions. Although there were only two cases where f i n a n c i a l need was known to have influenced the students to discontinue t h e i r education i n order to go to work, i t i s probable that t h i s f a c t o r was present i n other instances a l s o . Incidence of F a i l u r e F a i l u r e i n adult l i f e can act as a spur to greater achievement, but t h i s presupposes a measure of self-confidence and determination i n the person concerned. In childhood, f a i l u r e can have untoward e f f e c t s on the developing pe r s o n a l i t y . Symptoms of s o c i a l and emotional maladjustment are more apparent among pupils who experience f a i l u r e i n school than among those who do not, a l -though f a i l u r e may i t s e l f be due to s o c i a l and emotional maladjustment. One study i n an American c i t y showed that 40$ of children who had f a i l e d a grade wished to drop out of school compared with 15$ of the r e g u l a r l y promoted - 45 -l pupils. I t was interesting therefore to note that 40 of the 50 students examined in this study were known to have experienced failure during their school career. "Failure" is defined as the lack of success i n achieving pro-motion to the next higher grade. Table 14 Onset of Failure Level at which Failure F i r s t Occurred Number of Students Failure i n elementary school 7 Failure for two or three years before leaving school 18 Failure i n the last year of school only - Grade X Grade XI Grade XH 2 2 11 No apparent failure 10 Total 50 I t i s significant that half the children had been f a i l i n g during an extended period at school. For this group of well-endowed children this could only be interpreted as an indication that they were troubled children with prob-lems for which they needed help. The ten students who l e f t school even though they had been successful in passing a l l their grades, were a l l , with one exception, from working-class families, so that lack of income could well have been a factor; the one exception was the child of divorced parents whose mother was a c l e r i c a l worker. Two of Research Bulletin. Research Division of the National Education Association, Volume 37. No. 1, February, 1959. p. 16. - 46 -these c h i l d r e n had been interviewed by the Mental Hygiene c l i n i c two and four years r e s p e c t i v e l y p r i o r to leaving school. Family BacfrgrQund.. The occupations of parents of c h i l d r e n with superior i n t e l l i g e n c e are as follows: Table 15 Occupations of Parents of Superior Children Occupational Category Number of Parents 1. U n s k i l l e d and manual workers 6 2. Semi-skilled and factory operatives 10 3 . S k i l l e d and responsible workers 13 4. C l e r i c a l and white c o l l a r workers 2 5 . Small business and commercial 14 6. P r o f e s s i o n a l 1 46 Two parents were not g a i n f u l l y employed and the occupations of another two were unknown. Parents who were i n the f i r s t three categories, u n s k i l l e d , s e m i - s k i l l e d and s k i l l e d workers, comprise more than h a l f of the group. This i s a somewhat lower proportion than i s found i n the general group, where 70.3 per cent had parents i n these "blue c o l l a r " categories. However, fourteen of the f i f t y students studied had parents who were i n the small business or commercial cate-gory as compared with 17•7 per cent of the t o t a l group. - 47 -The extreme degree of geographic m o b i l i t y which characterizes our so c i e t y has been commented on by many s o c i o l o g i s t s . Evidence can be gleaned from the students' place of b i r t h , the number of residence changes, and the number of schools attended, as recorded on the Permanent School Record cards. The number of addresses represent only the minimum number of family moves, since moves p r i o r to the c h i l d ' s admission to school would not be recorded. The s a l i e n t f a c t s with regard to frequency of moves of both home and school are set out below. Table 16 Home and School Changes. Number of Number of Students Students Recorded Schools attending attending Addresses Students Attended a l l schools secondary schools 1 14 1 _ 35 2 16 2 8 11 3 6 3 20 3 4 7 4 10 -5 2 5 8 -6 3 6 3 -7 _ 7 - -8 1 8 or more 1 1 9 1 50 50 More than ha l f of the students were born i n Vancouver; three-quarters were born i n Canada. The remainder were born i n Great B r i t a i n . None of these children had to cope with the d i f f i c u l t y of studying i n a foreign language since they were a l l English-speaking. T h i r t y f a m i l i e s had not changed t h e i r residence at a l l , or had moved only once. Of the remainder, only f i v e had moved from s i x to nine times. Some - 48 -of the f a m i l i e s which had moved more than once were also moving upward i n s o c i a l status. One was moved by a large business corporation to three c i t i e s , with i n -creasing r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ; another family had been moved frequently by the A i r Force, the father r e t i r i n g with a higher rank. One family had moved from England to several B r i t i s h Columbia towns, back to England, then back to B r i t i s h Columbia. The student who had nine addresses had been i n several f o s t e r homes a f t e r a c h i l d -hood i n an extremely deteriorated family. She had al s o attended fourteen schools, eight of them being secondary schools. The number of schools attended also serves as an i n d i c a t i o n of mobility which i n turn might be expected to a f f e c t the student's a t t i t u d e toward contin-uing h i s education. Two schools are the minimum that any student w i l l have attended, elementary and secondary. In some cases there i s a minimum of three, inc l u d i n g a j u n i o r high school. During t h e i r school career 28 students had a t -tended only two or three schools, while another 10 had attended one school more than the minimum. Attendance at high school was even more stable, since 35 stu-dents had attended only one high school, and another 11 students had attended two schools. I t can be concluded, therefore, that family mobility was not a s i g n i f i -cant f a c t o r i n causing these students to terminate t h e i r education. Moving from one c i t y to another d i d seem to a f f e c t school performance i n some instances, however. One student who had done w e l l i n high school i n V i c t o r i a up to Grade XI, expressed some concern about his f a i l u r e s i n Grade XII i n Vancouver. He l e f t school i n May without writing h i s examinations. However, while the move from one c i t y to another might have contributed to h i s f a i l u r e , another factor was the separation of h i s parents, with h i s father remaining i n V i c t o r i a . - 49 -Another instance was that of a seventeen-year-old g i r l , with an I Q of 140.5, who had been successful in Grade IX, but changed to a school offering a more diversified program for Grade X. She failed one course and transferred back to her original school for Grade XE, where she again failed one course. She did not return to school for Grade X U . She had presented symptoms indicative of emotional disturbance at intervals throughout her school l i fe; her mother also was described as "high strung". It would appear that the transfers from one school to another were not the cause of her dropping out of school, but were associated with her general difficulties of adjustment. This g i r l , when she was fourteen, had expressed an interest in becoming a nurse, but her final plan was to take a business course. Geographic mobility does not appear to be the primary cause in any specific instance of school drop-out among the group of students studied. Family Disruption There were significant stresses known to be operating in 34 of the students' families, as follows: Table 1 7 . Family Stresses Found to be Present. Situations Families Mother working outside the home 14 Father absent from home 9 Second marriage of parent 7 Overt parent-child conflict 9 Emotionally disturbed parent 5 Separation or divorce during the current year 3 Death of a family member during the current year , 3 Chronic illness 2 Long term unemployment of father 1 Unsuccessful foster home placements 1 - 5 0 -Fourteen of the f i f t y mothers were working outside the home but they were the sole support of the family i n only s i x cases. Fathers were absent from nine of the homes, i n s i x of which mothers were working. This i s not to say that there i s a d i r e c t cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p between the presence of problems i n the family and the premature withdrawal from school. Similar instances of c o n f l i c t and s t r a i n are to be found i n f a m i l i e s whose c h i l d r e n complete school s u c c e s s f u l l y . In such cases i t i s possible that the c h i l d r e n have s u f f i c i e n t ego strengths to make use of the r e l a t i o n s h i p s offered by school s t a f f or other community persons so that they remain intere s t e d i n school and able t o study, with enough psychic energy a v a i l a b l e to complete t h e i r school course s u c c e s s f u l l y . Evidence of psychic s t r a i n was unmistakable, however, i n the l i v e s of h a l f of these c h i l d r e n . The school nurse had noted i n 2 3 of the health records the presence of disturbed behaviour with some comments as "seems nervous", "bites n a i l s " , "eneuresis", "needs reassurance", "grossly overweight". I t i s to be noted that only four of these c h i l d r e n had ever been r e f e r r e d to the Mental Hygiene c l i n i c f o r p s y c h i a t r i c help. There were fourteen f a m i l i e s , f o r whom there were no i n d i c a t i o n s of either family tensions or emotional disturbance i n the c h i l d r e n . For these 28 per cent the withdrawal of these ch i l d r e n from school remains unexplained. I t i s possible that a follow-up of these c h i l d r e n might reveal problems that were not evident to the school s t a f f . I t might also r e v e a l , of course, that some of these f a m i l i e s had made a l t e r n a t i v e and quite adequate plans for t h e i r c h i l d r e n . - 51 -B. Twelve Case Studies. The r e a l i z a t i o n that only a small part of a c h i l d ' s story - and perhaps not the most s i g n i f i c a n t part at that - i s contained i n h i s school record card suggested the d e s i r a b i l i t y of looking further into the h i s t o r i e s of some of these f i f t y students with I Q's of 120 and over who f a i l e d to gra-duate. Since no one school seemed p a r t i c u l a r l y representative of the t o t a l group, the school chosen was the one which had the l a r g e s t number of students with I Q's over 120 f a i l i n g to graduate. School B had sixteen such "drop-outs" but since they are being made the subject of a separate study, the next l a r g e s t school group, School E, with ttrelve "drop-outs" was selected. Information on these twelve students was c o l l e c t e d through interviews with two grade counsellors, two s p e c i a l counsellors, and the school nurse. Further interviews were held with seven f a m i l i e s , four students, and with three s o c i a l agencies. Interviews with students and parents did not f o l l o w a set schedule of questions but were p a r t i a l l y structured to obtain a d e s c r i p t i o n of the student's behaviour while at school, h i s f e e l i n g s and opinions about withdrawing from school, h i s present occupation, and tirhat i n his opinion might have averted h i s f a i l u r e to graduate. Interviews with the school s t a f f were focussed on (a) an assessment of the student's academic and s o c i a l behaviour i n school; (b) s t a f f contacts, i f any with the family; and (c) what, i f any-thing, had been done to avert the f a i l u r e to graduate. The students selected f o r study were f i v e boys and seven g i r l s , t h e i r I Q d i s t r i b u t i o n ranging between 120 and 130. I t i s convenient to consider them i n two groups, ( l ) f i v e boys and g i r l s who dropped out of school before reaching Grade XTI, and (2) the seven who f a i l e d to graduate from Grade XXI - 52 -although they attended to the end of the Grade XII year and expected to graduate. School Leavers before Grade XII The f i r s t group, one boy and four g i r l s , withdrew from the educa-t i o n a l process at some intermediate point, before they completed the gradua-t i o n year. Evelvn. aged nineteen, had three older brothers who had attended , u n i v e r s i t y , and her parents were concerned about her f a i l u r e to do w e l l at school. Her father, born i n England, had a c l e r i c a l job; her mother worked evenings as a nurse. Possible i n d i c a t i o n s of e a r l y psychic stress were eneuresis at age seven, and a ski n rash a year l a t e r . Her f a i l u r e throughout her school career was a t t r i b u t e d to l a c k of studying, and her mother discussed t h i s with school s t a f f on numerous occasions. During the year i n which she l e f t school one of her brothers died of cancer a f t e r a year's i l l n e s s at home. He was married a few- months before h i s death. Evelyn's i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t s scored 119 at age nine and 125 at age eleven, but her academic work was poor. In Grade VTII her teacher com-plained of i n a t t e n t i o n , t a l k i n g , f a i l u r e to do assigned work. She passed only three courses i n Grade IX, f i v e the next year, seven the next, and four i n her fourth year of high school, receiving a t o t a l of 95 c r e d i t s instead of the required 120. She returned to school f o r the f i f t h year but l e f t i n A p r i l , to be married the same month because she was pregnant. Her mother blamed h e r s e l f for having been out of the home a great deal, leaving Evelyn and her f r i e n d at home unsupervised. She was described by s t a f f as "a nice g i r l " , with "n i c e ' f r i e n d s " , popular with people, a c t i v e i n many school a c t i v i t i e s , and school clubs; she was sports representative for her c l a s s , and attended Theatre summer school. She seemed s e l f - c o n f i d e n t , t a l k e d about going to the u n i v e r s i t y , and ind i c a t e d an i n t e r e s t i n typing medical records i n a h o s p i t a l . Evelyn's school f a i l u r e , dating back f o r many years, may be r e l a t e d to her need to compete with her older brothers and her f e e l i n g s of inadequacy because of her po s i t i o n as the youngest i n the family. This family looked to the school f o r help, without success, although Evelyn d i d have one successful year. Her poor school performance appears to be her only area of f a i l u r e ; she - 53 -seems to be functioning adequately i n other respects. I t i s possible that her marriage, though p r e c i p i t a n t , may prove successful since at nineteen she may be . mature enough to have made a wise choice of a marriage partner. Lenore. eighteen years o l d , of P o l i s h parents, was the youngest of three g i r l s . Her fat h e r died when she was nine, and her mother married again but t h i s marriage was unsuccessful and was f i n a l l y terminated i n Lenore's l a s t year at school. Her mother operated a rooming house i n the west end of the c i t y . Lenore found i t d i f f i c u l t to study with people coming and going, and passed only f i v e courses i n Grade X. She therefore moved to an aunt's home and tra n s f e r r e d to the school i n her d i s t r i c t for Grade XI, going home f o r week ends. This did not prove successful as she passed only three courses that year. However, she registered again i n September but l e f t i n January to stay home "because of doctor's orders". Other students had gossipped to the school s t a f f about Lenore having l i v e d with a man during the summer. Lenore's i n t e l l i g e n c e scores were 123 at age nine and 121 at t h i r -teen. She was described as "a n a i l b i t e r " at ten and eleven, and "pre-cocious" at eleven. In her f i r s t year at the new school she was elected vice-president of her c l a s s . The school s t a f f considered that Lenore's family were not interest e d i n her education because they had never contacted the school. However, when interviewed i n the course of the study her mother expressed r e a l regret that she had l e f t school before graduation, blaming h e r s e l f because Lenore had been so worried about the d i f f i c u l t i e s the mother was having with her husband that she had been unable to study. Her mother sa i d she would have l i k e d Lenore to return to school but she i s not planning to do t h i s . She was able to get a job immediately i n the o f f i c e of a large company, and has proven so s a t i s f a c t o r y that they arranged f o r her to take a course as an IBM operator, which she has done. She i s a popular g i r l , with an act i v e s o c i a l l i f e . Lenore's complaint of no place to study i n her rooming-house home, and her subsequent f a i l u r e of Grade X i n her f i r s t high school, appears to have some v a l i d i t y , since the Vancouver School Board has recently opened a high school for evening-study periods four nights a week. This i s a so l u t i o n to the problem experienced by c h i l d r e n i n t h i s d i s t r i c t , though i t was made too l a t e to help Lenore. - 54 -Joan,, eighteen years o l d , blonde, a t t r a c t i v e , had one younger brother. Her father, employed as an auditor for many years by a large corporation, l e f t school i n Grade X and has worked hard to upgrade his q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . He has been successful but he values education highly. Her mother i s a good homemaker, who also values education but who f e l t i t was more important for the brother than for Joan. There were some in d i c a t i o n s that she f e l t competitive toward Joan and possibly r e j e c t i n g . Joan contracted rheumatoid a r t h r i t i s when she was twelve years old i n Grade VI and has been i l l i n t e r m i t t e n t l y since then. There was a flare-up of the disease when she was f i f t e e n and she had to repeat Grade IX. She was successful i n seven courses i n Grade IX and again i n Grade X, but i n Grade XI she had another recurrence of her i l l n e s s just before the Christmas exams and was absent forty-two days during the year. She r e -ceived adequate medical care, being treated by the family doctor who pre-scribed the indicated medication and physiotherapy at the Canadian A r t h r i t i s and Rheumatism Medical Centre. The j o i n t s involved were her ankles, knees and shoulders so that walking was d i f f i c u l t . Her mother's a t t i t u d e toward the i l l n e s s i s that Joan w i l l never be quite normal, that she i s a damaged person. She quoted the doctor as saying i t i s "marvellous she got as f a r as she did at school", and that she should f i n d a job with no r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s so that she can stay home whenever she does not f e e l w e l l . Her i n t e l l i g e n c e score at age t h i r t e e n was 134, and at age fourteen was 109. She had always l i k e d school, and had been a good student. The school grade counsellor thought that the s t r a i n of attending school seemed to have aggravated her i l l n e s s , and that i t improved when she stayed home, pointing out that the i l l n e s s appeared to have gone i n t o remission during the year she had been out of school. Joan's a t t i t u d e toxrard her f a i l u r e i n Grade XI i s to blame i t p a r t l y on her lack of energy due to her i l l n e s s , but a l s o on her lack of studying because her boy f r i e n d used to v i s i t her every night. He has proposed marriage but she withdrew from the r e l a t i o n s h i p t h i s year because she de-cided they were not compatible. He i s a P h y s i c a l Education teacher and wanted her to p a r t i c i p a t e i n sports and dances that she f e l t p h y s i c a l l y unable to do. She s a i d she had always planned to go to the u n i v e r s i t y , but that she had never studied very much because she found the work easy. Because of her absence i n Grade XI she was behind the r e s t of the class a l l year and never got caught up. She thought the school was a good one, but was not enthusiastic about i t , did not f e e l that anyone there was e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n her. When the grade counsellor spoke to her i n May of her l a s t year about her poor grades she recognized i n t e l l e c t u a l l y that she should be studying more, but i t did not change her f e e l i n g s , and i t d i d not improve her study habits. Joan c r i t i c i z e d the objective form of examinations, saying that i n an essay type of examination she would have been able to e x h i b i t what knowledge she did have. -55 -Even i f she had achieved Grade XI she had decided to leave school and take Grade X U by correspondence. When she found she had f a i l e d two courses she was discouraged, but thought she might have s t a r t e d the correspondence course anyway but she again became i l l and was i n h o s p i t a l f o r the month .of September. She s a i d her family l e f t i t up to her to decide what to do, and she chose a business course. She was worried that she would not be able to get a job without Grade X U , and was surprised to get the f i r s t job she applied f o r . She l i k e s the work but i t does not require any thinking and she would not want to work at i t f o r the r e s t of her l i f e . She i s a t y p i s t , and i s learning to operate a teletype machine also. She plans to work for a year or two, save some money and accumulate unemployment insurance b e n e f i t s , and then attend a commercial school to complete her u n i v e r s i t y entrance. She i s vaguely considering psychology as a career. She wants to work now, not because of any f i n a n c i a l pressure i n the family, but because she l i k e s the f e e l i n g of independence. I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t that Joan f e l t the school was not intere s t e d i n her. Her one interview with the grade counsellor d i d not produce any change i n her motivation. Mary, a sixteen year old g i r l who l e f t school to get married, was the oldest of s i x children i n a deteriorated family. Her parents were divorced, her mother an a l c o h o l i c , and the c h i l d r e n were made wards when Mary was t h i r t e e n years o l d . She did not adjust to several f o s t e r homes, and f i n a l l y was placed i n a commercial boarding home for older wards. She had moved nine times at l e a s t , and had attended fourteen schools, eight of them secon-dary schools. Her i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t s scored 131 at eleven years of age, and 113 at f i f t e e n . She presented no problem i n c l a s s , was pleasant and cooperative, and i n s p i t e of her frequent moves and many absences she was only one year retarded f o r her age and grade. She was moved to her l a s t boarding home i n May of her Grade IX year, and even though her s o c i a l worker suggested she f i n i s h the year at her old school, she preferred t o t r a n s f e r . She s t a r t e d her Grade X year i n Sep-tember but was apparently no longer i n t e r e s t e d i n school. She was going out with young men, not boys, appeared to be much more sophisticated than the other g i r l s i n her c l a s s , talked about getting married. She complained of headaches and stomach pains, and frequently came to the school nurse's o f f i c e for permission to go home. She made no f r i e n d s i n school but was f r i e n d l y with the group of g i r l s who l i v e d i n the boarding house, some of whom also attended school. She was described by the nurse as n a healthy, sturdy g i r l " and by the s o c i a l worker as "a bright g i r l , happy and optimis-t i c " . She l e f t school i n January and was married i n A p r i l , moving to eastern Canada. - 5 6 -Mary's problems were deep-seated and of long standing. Inadequate parents, emotional and economic i n s e c u r i t y would have produced considerable stress by the time she was made a ward. Unsuccessful f o s t e r home placements contributed to her d i f f i c u l t i e s , and i t i s doubtful whether her marriage at sixteen i s l i k e l y to prove successful. Mary represents a degree of pathology that required intensive treatment. Richart*,, nineteen years o l d , had exhibited pathology i n many areas of his l i f e f o r some years. He had been placed, as an i n f a n t , i n an adoption home with parents of Engl i s h o r i g i n who were c h i l d l e s s , but who sh o r t l y a f t e r the placement had two natural c h i l d r e n . The father, a baker, had worked hard and had achieved comfortable f i n a n c i a l status for his family. He had strong aspirations for his ch i l d r e n to be success-f u l both i n school and i n sports, and was described as "always at the boy", urging him on. The mother also shared the same a t t i t u d e of pushing hijn to do w e l l at school, but not as aggressively as the father. At age eleven, the school nurse described Richard as " c h i l d i s h , plays with smaller boys". A year l a t e r i t was noted that during a medical exami-nation he "whistled under his breath and made strange c l i c k i n g sounds". At t h i r t e e n , he was described as "seems rather g i r l i s h " . His posture was poor, although h i s phys i c a l condition was s a t i s f a c t o r y . An undescended r i g h t t e s t i c l e was noted i n 1 9 5 3 but had corrected i t s e l f by 1 9 5 5» when he was fourteen. He wore thick glasses. An i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t i n 1 9 5 1 scored 1 2 7 , i n 1 9 5 2 , 1 1 3 . This boy was a voracious reader and seemed proud of t h i s accomplish-ment. In Grade IX he used to borrow a book before c l a s s from the school l i b r a r y and return i t as read at the end of the f i r s t period. The s t a f f expressed some doubts as to whether he a c t u a l l y read i t , since he d i d not read q u i c k l y i n c l a s s . H e was not int e r e s t e d i n school work, f a i l e d three courses i n Grade IX, at age fourteen, was successful the following year i n . passing the required s i x courses, but f a i l e d three courses again the next year. He was not s k i l f u l at sports. At sixteen he was re f e r r e d to the Special Counsellor, and to the Mental Hygiene C l i n i c . He was able to t a l k f r e e l y to the Sp e c i a l Coun-s e l l o r , about h i s h o s t i l i t y toward his father whom he thought preferred a younger brother. His father frequently reminded him that he was adopted, had no confidence i n him and would not l e t him dr i v e the family c a r . Richard was sloppy and i n e f f e c t u a l i n appearance, showed his lack of s e l f -confidence. He was extremely i n t e r e s t e d i n cars, motors, motorcycles and guns, was described as "always swapping things", and "always at the ins i d e s of a car". - 57 -Following r e f e r r a l to the Mental Hygiene C l i n i c , he had a s e r i e s of treatment interviews with the p s y c h i a t r i s t but did not seem able to use treatment, and i t was f e l t that f u r t h e r interviews were not i n d i c a t e d . At a l a t e r conference at the school, the general conclusion was that there was nothing more to be done for him. Both parents were w i l l i n g to talk to the p s y c h i a t r i s t but the father was not able to change h i s a t t i t u d e toward Richard. '-The father l a t e r entered Crease C l i n i c f o r a period of treatment. Richard was i n c o n f l i c t with the p o l i c e a number of times f o r being i n possession of a gun, for s t e a l i n g cars, and f o r breaking and entering. He was sent to Brannan Lake School f o r one period. He l e f t school i n December of his fourth year at high school, but r e g i s t e r e d again the f o l -lowing September, and again l e f t i n December to go to work. His job was washing dishes on a c o a s t a l steamer but he quarrelled with the steward and l e f t . He was arrested f o r armed robbery, and while i n h o s p i t a l under p o l i c e guard f o r a r e s p i r a t o r y i l l n e s s he escaped through the window by knotting sheets and was not recaptured f o r several days. While discharged on parole he again s t o l e a car, and i s at present i n j a i l . E a r l y school-leaving i n t h i s instance was a manifestation of emotional and s o c i a l malfunction. I t would seem that his d i f f i c u l t i e s stemmed from f e e l i n g s of inadequacy a r i s i n g from his r e l a t i o n s h i p with parents who d i d not accept him as he was. His strong i n t e r e s t i n cars and motors could have been a means of channelling his energy into constructive o u t l e t s , but instead he behaved i n a manner which would punish his family and s o c i e t y . He d i d not f i n d i n the school s e t t i n g the help he needed to enable him to resolve h i s f e e l i n g s of inadequacy and h o s t i l i t y . I t i s possible that he might have been able to continue at school i f a t e c h n i c a l program had been a v a i l a b l e t o him instead of the academic, since he had a strong i n t e r e s t i n cars and motors. This boy's extreme pathology was recognized by the school s t a f f . His r e f e r r a l to the s p e c i a l counsellor, and to the Mental Hygiene C l i n i c , were attempts to help him but he was unable to make use of t h i s help. The p a r t i c u l a r choice of his adoption home, and the f a i l u r e to help his parents irork through t h e i r f e e l i n g s about him, were part of the complex f a c t o r s which prevented - 5 8 -treatment. At adolescence, when p s y c h i a t r i c help was made available to him, i t was unsuccessful i n reaching him and he erupted i n t o a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour. Even within the c o r r e c t i o n a l s e t t i n g i n which he i s now, i t might s t i l l be possible to reach him i f there was a v a i l a b l e the type of r e l a t i o n s h i p which would help him to achieve some s a t i s f a c t i o n s i n a s o c i a l l y acceptable form of s o c i a l functioning. These f i v e "drop-outs" a l l experienced f a i l u r e at school p r i o r to withdrawing. F a i l u r e was not because of lack of a b i l i t y , but was due to lack of i n t e r e s t . Other values, i n t e r e s t i n boys or g i r l s , family problems, and inner psychic turmoil, d i s t r a c t e d the students' a b i l i t y to function as students. While counselling was offered, they d i d not use i t to achieve a change of a t t i -tude toward school. From the experience of these f i v e boys and g i r l s alone, i t i s possible to see the wide v a r i a t i o n i n the degree of malfunction. Richard represents the extreme deviant who acts out his h o s t i l i t y by s t e a l i n g cars, defying authority and harming himself. The three g i r l s , whose sexual behaviour was deviant to the extent that i t contravened convention, were each experiencing pressures which could explain t h e i r choice of behaviour. The prolonged i l l n e s s , termi-nating i n death, of Evelyn's brother, Mary's deprived childhood and unsuccess-f u l f o s t e r home experiences, and Lenore's f r u s t r a t e d aspirations f o r an educa-t i o n , could conceivably explain t h e i r behaviour i n the absence of a l t e r n a t i v e methods of discharging a n x i e t i e s . Joan's s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to rheumatoid a r t h r i t i s i s considered by some a u t h o r i t i e s to be i n d i c a t i v e of the presence of interna-ls l i z e d h o s t i l e f e e l i n g s . In each instance the i n d i v i d u a l ' s f a i l u r e to continue i E. G.: King, Stanley H., "Psychosocial Factors Associated with Rheumatoid A r t h r i t i s " . Journal of Chronic Diseases. No. 2, 1 9 5 5 . p. 287; and Cobb, Sidney, "Contained H o s t i l i t y i n Rheumatoid A r t h r i t i s " , A r t h r i t i s and Rheumatism. Volume 2, No. 5 , October 1 9 5 9 . p. 422. - 59 -h i s education might have been averted i f he had had a r e l a t i o n s h i p , at the c r i t i c a l point i n h i s l i f e , which could have sustained him and rechannelled h i s energies and psychic d r i v e s . F i n a n c i a l need was not a major f a c t o r . School Leavers i n Grade XTI The seven students who attended Grade XII to the end of the school year but f a i l e d to graduate have a somewhat d i f f e r e n t o r i e n t a t i o n to school since they had expected to graduate. There were four boys and three g i r l s i n t h i s group. Gerald was an only c h i l d , seventeen, whose parents had been divorced for many years. His father had been a logger. His mother had remarried but was not l i v i n g with her second husband, the family unit c o n s i s t i n g only of mother and son. His mother, who was asthmatic, was i n t e r e s t e d i n his success at school and had spoken to the counsel-l o r several times about h i s f a i l u r e s , but i t had had no e f f e c t i n changing h i s a t t i t u d e . His i n t e l l i g e n c e t e s t showed a score of 124 at t h i r t e e n years of age. An i n d i v i d u a l t e s t the same year scored 126, and a group t e s t a year l a t e r was 121. He was not at a l l interested i n school work, was part of a gang of boys who were not academically i n c l i n e d and who spent t h e i r time r i d i n g around i n cars, i n t e r e s t e d i n cars, g i r l s and p a r t i e s . He did w e l l at school up to his l a s t year and even then was short only h a l f a course for graduation. He got a job working as a gas s t a t i o n attendant, and i s taking night school classes to make up the course he f a i l e d as w e l l as some Grade XTII subjects. He i s planning to attend the u n i v e r s i t y , a plan which i s i n accord with h i s mother's wishes. Pete was another boy i n the same "gang" as Gerald. He was eighteen, an only c h i l d whose parents were never i n touch with the school. His father had been a s t e e l worker but now operated a small business i n automotive parts. Pete's i n t e l l i g e n c e was rated at 129 when he was nine, and 130 when he vras eleven. He was successful i n Grades IX and X, but f a i l e d one course i n Grade XI and two courses i n Grade XTI. He was a small, pale boy who was i n t e r e s t e d i n cars, d r i v i n g around aimlessly a f t e r school with his f r i e n d s . He took part i n some sport a c t i v i t i e s at school but - 60 -was not considered to be "an a t h l e t e " by the s t a f f . His main i n t e r e s t s were said to be clothes and g i r l s . The grade counsellor described Pete as "not w e l l l i k e d " . He mis-behaved i n school on several occasions and when reprimanded he displayed bad temper i n an uncontrolled way. Following h i s f a i l u r e to graduate, he found work i n a grain elevator, and r e g i s t e r e d at night school but dropped out of night school c l a s s e s before the end of the year. Because Pete's h o s t i l i t y i s so close to the surface as to be expressed without i n h i b i t i o n i n the school s i t u a t i o n , and because of h i s f a i l u r e to stay with h i s night school course, i t would seem that t h i s boy i s i n need of help i f he i s to achieve the kind of future which i s commensurate with h i s capacity. I t seems more probable that Gerald w i l l proceed to plan h i s future with reason-able adequacy. Steven, aged eighteen, was one of two c h i l d r e n . His father had been a machinist, but now owned a radio and t e l e v i s i o n shop and r e p a i r s e r v i c e . Both parents, but e s p e c i a l l y the mother, were extremely anxious that he attend u n i v e r s i t y . They were aware of his high i n t e l l i g e n c e and were d i s -turbed at his underachievement throughout h i s school l i f e . His mother f e l t she had been deprived of a u n i v e r s i t y education because of f i n a n c i a l circumstances. His i n t e l l i g e n c e scores were 119 at age nine and 121 at age eleven. He passed only f i v e courses i n Grade IX, and again i n Grade X. Because of h i s mother's anxiety about his poor performance he was r e f e r r e d to the s p e c i a l counsellor at t h i s point, when he was sixteen. The s p e c i a l coun-s e l l o r considered that he was completely i n d i f f e r e n t to school, to f a i l u r e , that he couldn't study or concentrate, and that he would have l e f t school except that he had an opportunity to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the music program at school and received a great deal of recognition f o r h i s part i n the school's production of an operetta (piano p l a y e r ) . He would t a l k f r e e l y about his a c t i v i t y as a musician, but never unburdened himself about any f e e l i n g s about his family. This special counsellor recognized the need to r e f e r the family to a case working agency, which was done. Both parents applied to the Family Service Agency, and the mother kept appointments r e g u l a r l y . Through r e l a t i o n s h i p with the case worker there she was able to obtain some release from her own strong d r i v e to achieve a u n i v e r s i t y education through her son. When she had obtained some i n s i g h t into her own needs and behaviour, she found she was no longer "blowing up" at her son when he f a i l e d to study, with the r e s u l t that he v o l u n t a r i l y began to improve h i s school work. That year i n Grade XI he was successful i n s i x courses, and i n his Grade XII year he passed seven courses. However, because of h i s f a i l u r e s i n Grades IX and X he was s t i l l short one course for graduation. - 6 1 -Steven's a s p i r a t i o n had been i n the f i e l d of music where he saw himself as a jazz musician. He had considerable natural t a l e n t , played the organ and the piano. He i d e n t i f i e d with the older men i n the dance band with whom he played. He earned money i n t h i s way and was encouraged to see t h i s as a way of l i f e by the other musicians i n the band. His mother d i d not consider that he had enough musical a b i l i t y to become a prof e s s i o n a l musician. He found i t easy to play popular dance music, but d i d not work hard at i t , and was not interes t e d i n c l a s s i c a l music. His behaviour was characterized by "doing the easy things". The grade counsellor considered him to he not too dependable, and not too w e l l l i k e d . He did not apply himself, considered school a bore to be t o l e r a t e d . Steven's a c t i v i t y f o r t h i s year i s to attend a commercial school during the day, taking Brade XIII as w e l l as the one make-up course he needs, and he i s s t i l l playing i n a combo dance band to earn spending money. He intends to enter second year at the u n i v e r s i t y i n preparation to becoming a Chartered Accountant. He described himself as "not doing as much as I should", but was confident he would pass everything, except possibly French. I t would appear that t h i s boy d i d receive the help he needed. When the s p e c i a l counsellor recognized that the boy was not r e l a t i n g t o him around the core problem he r e f e r r e d the family to the appropriate community resource. Because Steven was strongly r e s i s t i n g h i s mother's emotional demands on him to perform s u c c e s s f u l l y at school, a change i n his mother's a t t i t u d e r e s u l t e d i n an improvement i n his school functioning. His present motivation to graduate i s strong and he w i l l probably achieve i t . The goal of becoming a Chartered Accountant i s a r e a l i s t i c one. Charles. seventeen, was an only c h i l d . His father, r e t i r e d from the RCAF, was a brusque, quick moving person, who sa i d he had not valued education when he was younger and now r e a l i z e d i t s importance. He con s i -dered that h i s son's d i f f i c u l t y i n school was due to h i s having attended kindergarten at the age of four, so that his a t t i t u d e had always been school was a place to have fun. His mother was an i n t e l l i g e n t , warm person, a good homemaker. Family had l i v e d i n at l e a s t four c i t i e s i n Canada. Charles' i n t e l l i g e n c e rating was 125 at age ten, 125 at age twelve, and 126 at age fourteen. He had been a bright, precocious c h i l d , learning to read at age three. He had attended kindergarten at age four and f i v e - 62 -and had enjoyed i t and performed w e l l , but i n Grade I had had a persona-l i t y clash with the teacher. From then on he "played the clown" i n c l a s s , was d i s r u p t i v e and not l i k e d by h i s teachers, and t h i s pattern has c o n t i -nued throughout h i s school career, with one exception. That occurred i n Grade IV when one teacher was i n t e r e s t e d i n him and stimulated h i s i n t e r e s t with the r e s u l t that he worked w e l l , and accomplished Grades IV and V i n one year. The following year, with another teacher, he slipped back into his former behaviour. The grade counsellor described the s t a f f ' s r e a c t i o n to t h i s boy as negative; they were "fed up" at h i s continual clowning, always "cracking jokes" and "tomfoolery". He refused to s e t t l e down and work, was co n s i -dered to be immature. The counsellor had several interviews with him, and with h i s parents, who were in t e r e s t e d and asked the counsellor f o r help: "What can we do?" I n s p i t e of not working, Charles was successful i n Grades XX, X, and XI, but i n Grade XII he passed only three courses, and was short one course for graduation. Both parents have been concerned about hi s under-achievement f o r years. His mother approached the school when he was i n Grade X, about t h i s and was t o l d that she was over-concerned because he was an only c h i l d , that the school was s a t i s f i e d that he was a C student and he was obtaining pass marks. However, they d i d give him further t e s t s and l a t e r t o l d her that she was correct, that he did have a b i l i t y to do better work than he had so f a r produced. However, even though the school and the parents t r i e d to stimulate him, i t was not suc c e s s f u l . He never did any homework, a l -though when he had an assignment for A i r Cadets he worked w i l l i n g l y and w e l l . His mother described h i s a t t i t u d e as l i k i n g school, l i k i n g being the centre of a t t e n t i o n , but that he f e l t he knew more than the teachers d i d and that he could not learn anything from someone he did not respect. He was not intere s t e d i n sports, and never had a steady g i r l f r i e n d , which his mother thought was due to h i s being one year accelerated so that he f e l t unable to compete with the boys who were a year or more older than he was. Charles was an a t t r a c t i v e , cheerful boy, h i s face bright and a n i -mated. He said there were two kinds of people at school - those who fooled around i n cl a s s and studied at home, and those who just l i s t e n e d i n c l a s s and never did any work at home. He considered himself i n the second category. Said i t had always been easy for him to get through examinations by just l i s t e n i n g to what the teachers talked about, but that t h i s was not possible i n Grade XII. He thought, too, a contributing reason f o r his f a i l u r e that year was that he had been interes t e d i n a g i r l who sat i n front of him and he found i t d i f f i c u l t to concentrate. I t was important to him to be l i k e d by h i s f r i e n d s , " i f you crack a joke i t must be good so that people w i l l laugh"; he saw himself as an extrovert, but not the type that gets involved i n student government. His a t t i t u d e toward the school was one of p a r t i a l involvement, he had some sentiment f o r i t , was proud of i t s superior reputation. - 63 -He d i d not see himself as being d i s r u p t i v e i n c l a s s ; said that sometimes he would t a l k back to the teacher i n a way he knew no student should, but i t was only under provocation, when the teacher behaved badly. He had enjoyed several courses, law and economics, because he was i n t e r e s t e d i n them, thought the teachers were good, and had enjoyed getting a good mark i n them (B). He thought the curriculum xv-as not heavy enough, that he would have worked harder i f the courses had i n t e r e s t e d him. He said most teachers did not have the time to be i n t e r e s t e d i n how the students are doing. He did not l i k e or respect the grade counsellor, and i n d i c a t e d that he thought the r o l e of the s p e c i a l counsellor was to help students who had serious personal problems. Mentioned that on one occasion a teacher had threatened to r e f e r him to the s p e c i a l counsellor i f he did not behave.• He was aware of his parents 1 disappointment i n h i s f a i l u r e . One year hi s father made him study f o r three hours a night but he spent the time reading anything other than his assigned work. Said he f e l t too t i r e d to study, did not seem to have any energy when he came home, but that he used to play soccer or b a s e b a l l a f t e r school nearly every day. He was successful i n getting a job as a bank t e l l e r , which he enjoys because he l i k e s meeting people. He considers that anyone with a Grade VIII education could do his work but the bank demands Grade XII. When applying, he said he had Grade XII, implying graduation. He has some anxiety about t h i s , and i s taking the one course he needs at night school. He expects to pass even though he i s not doing any homework for i t . He thinks that eventually the bank w i l l require i t s s t a f f to be u n i v e r s i t y graduates. A career i n the A i r Force i n t e r e s t s him but he believes that he has to have u n i v e r s i t y graduation for t h i s . He has learned to f l y , through A i r Cadets service, but has not been able to pay f o r the required number of hours to q u a l i f y f o r a l i c e n s e . He has also considered the profession of law but i s aware that i t w i l l involve a degree of studying he has not as yet p r a c t i s e d . He i s thinking about banking as a career, but would not be s a t i s f i e d to remain a t e l l e r . This boy appears to be functioning w e l l i n many areas of h i s l i f e but not i n that of student. He i s s t i l l confused about h i s vocational choice. I t i s probable that he w i l l complete his high school graduation since he recog-nizes the need for i t i n order to q u a l i f y for an i n t e r e s t i n g career. S a l l y , eighteen years o l d , was an only c h i l d . Her father, a metal worker, died suddenly while d r i v i n g a car during her l a s t year at school. According to the counsellor she did not appear to be too much af f e c t e d by t h i s . Her mother has been working as a bookkeeper. There had been no contact with the school, but S a l l y reported that her parents had wanted her to go to u n i v e r s i t y . - 64 -Her i n t e l l i g e n c e r a tings were 116 at age nine, and 131 at age twelve. In Grade VIII her teachers f e l t that she could have a more serious a t t i -tude toward her school work, that she wasted time, fooled around, and could do better than her grades of C and C-. She was active i n school clubs, and i n Job's Daughters. During her l a s t three years at school she worked as a clerk i n a shop weekends. When she f a i l e d two courses needed for graduation, she got a job as a t y p i s t i n an o f f i c e , and was quite pleased about i t . She i s not doing anything about making up the two courses she needs f o r graduation. Even though S a l l y ' s under-achievement was recognized by the s t a f f when she was i n Grade VTII, she was not successful i n c o r r e c t i n g t h i s with the help that was a v a i l a b l e to her. Florence was eighteen, an only c h i l d whose father was a war casualty when she was two years o l d . The household i n which she was brought up consisted of three women, Florence, her mother who works as a s a l e s c l e r k , and her maternal grandmother who keeps house. They moved from England to Vancouver when Florence was s i x , to be near other members of the family. Her i n t e l l i g e n c e r a tings were 136 at nine years, and 117 at twelve. She was precocious, could write at three years of age. She was an "A" student i n elementary school, but f a i l e d a course i n Grade X. She was successful i n Grade X I , but again f a i l e d i n Grade X U , with the r e s u l t that she has two courses to make up i n order to graduate. The counsellor described her as "a nice g i r l " , who has a l o t of s e l f confidence. She has discussed her plans with the s t a f f , t o l d them she intended working f o r a year while attending night school and would then take Education at the u n i v e r s i t y or else enter the A i r Force. She was act i v e i n school clubs, the United Nations club, the Future Teachers club, and p a r t i c i p a t e d i n sports. She was a member of Job's Daughters, the church Young People's, and she taught Sunday School. In a d d i t i o n she worked i n a shop week ends, and during one summer worked at a commu-n i t y centre. She has a good voice, and i s a competent a r t i s t , doing the murals for school decorations. Her grandmother considers her to be a bright g i r l who could do bette r at school than she has done. She thinks t h i s i s because she has had too many boy f r i e n d s , and too much fun. She loved going to school, but just fooled around instead of studying; never did any homework but was always confident she was going to pass. Grandmother f e l t she would have done better i f she had not attended a coeducational school. - 65 -Florence found work immediately i n the o f f i c e of a large corporation, which she enjoys. She i s attending night school, because she wants to complete her high school graduation, which she and her family think i s important. She has no immediate plans to go to the u n i v e r s i t y , but i s having a f i n e s o c i a l time, going out on dates with boys and g i r l s . I t can be expected that Florence w i l l probably complete the require-ments f o r her high school graduation. Dorothy, eighteen, was another only c h i l d . Both her parents worked, her f a t h e r was a responsible craftsman s t e a d i l y employed i n a newspaper publishing company, her mother had her own i n t e r i o r decorating business. Both parents were concerned about her poor performance at school and were i n frequent touch with the s t a f f about t h i s during the l a s t four years. F r i c t i o n between the parents over a period of years was apparent from the mother's remarks to the school s t a f f . She reported that Dorothy d i d not get along with her father and t h i s explained why she was insecure, that the f a t h e r was to blame f o r Dorothy's poor school record, he vtas too im-patient with her, could not handle her as w e l l as the mother could, that the c h i l d d i d not have a happy home. The mother was described as having had "a nervous breakdown" when Dorothy was t h i r t e e n . Dorothy's i n t e l l i g e n c e r atings were 123 at age nine and 117 at age eleven. She was described as a l o n e l y only c h i l d , shy and worried, who b i t her n a i l s , complained of headaches, and was i n c l i n e d to worry about and exaggerate p h y s i c a l symptoms. She attended the convent f o r her elementary school. The school counsellors described her as "sulky and r e s e n t f u l " . "She balked at hard work", "has a stubborn and l a z y streak", "enjoys a t t e n t i o n " . One counsellor f e l t i t "was a waste of time t a l k i n g to her". She p a r t i c i p a t e d i n some school a c t i v i t i e s , sang i n the c h o i r , was a member of the United Nations club, and the French club. During several summers she enjoyed being on a ranch i n the Cariboo and indicated that she would l i k e to make a career of t h i s . Dorothy had f a i l e d one course i n Grade IX, was successful i n Grades X and XI and f a i l e d again i n Grade XTI, being short one course f o r graduation. Dorothy s a i d she had been bored at school, not interes t e d i n the work because i t was too simple. She had enjoyed E n g l i s h , and had l i k e d French up to her l a s t year when she d i s l i k e d the teacher. She never d i d any homework, and said she would have studied i f she had been i n t e r e s t e d . She d i d not minimize i n t e l l e c t u a l a b i l i t y , r e f e r r e d to her f r i e n d as "a br a i n " . She exhibited some h o s t i l i t y toward the counselling s t a f f , d i d not think they had been in t e r e s t e d i n her, or h e l p f u l . She thought the grade counsellors suggested the easiest courses so that the students would get through school. She thinks she was given wrong information by the counsellor about the a g r i c u l t u r e course at the u n i v e r s i t y . - 66 -She i s attending night school and expects to make up the course she needs f o r high school graduation. She i s not doing anything during the day, but plans to enter u n i v e r s i t y t h i s year. She i s s t i l l looking forward to owning a ranch some day and i s considering a g r i c u l t u r e as a course, but she i s also considering entering s o c i a l work because she i s e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t e d i n paraplegics.* * A student i n her c l a s s became a quadriplegic as a r e s u l t of an accident. Dorothy w i l l probably be successful i n obtaining her high school graduation and w i l l probably enter the u n i v e r s i t y since there i s no f i n a n c i a l obstacle and her f r i e n d s are attending. Of the t o t a l twelve students here discussed, f i v e are working at c l e r i c a l jobs, two at u n s k i l l e d work, one i s i n j a i l , two are married, one i s at a commercial school, and one at home. Seven were able to get jobs quickly, i n s p i t e of t h e i r lack of high school graduation, but, with one exception, they were jobs which l e d nowhere, which would become boring a f t e r a few years. These " b l i n d a l l e y " jobs d i d not challenge t h e i r a b i l i t y , nor u t i l i z e t h e i r p o t e n t i a l . The one exception was the bank t e l l e r ' s job, but the keeping of t h i s job depended on the completion of the high school program. Four of the seven had taken steps to complete t h e i r high school courses within the year, although one had given up the e f f o r t . I t i s recognized that i t i s much harder to go back to take courses once the c o n t r o l of attending school i s removed than i t i s to continue at school, e s p e c i a l l y i f lack of i n t e r e s t i n education has been a f a c t o r i n a t t i t u d e s toward school. Behaviour while i n school i s w e l l characterized by nine of the stu-dents being bored and d i s i n t e r e s t e d , considering the work too simple t o merit t h e i r spending time studying. In a d d i t i o n , two of the boys acted out within the school s e t t i n g , one other boy displayed a n t i - s o c i a l behaviour outside of school, and three of the g i r l s exhibited some deviant sex a c t i v i t y . - 67 -I t was s i g n i f i c a n t that ten of the twelve had outside i n t e r e s t s such as a i r cadets, horses, music, club work, sports, teaching Sunday school. The two g i r l s i n whose l i v e s "no dominant i n t e r e s t " had been noticed were both dating young men rather than boys. P a r t i c i p a t i o n i n organized club a c t i v i t y involved f i v e students who were ac t i v e in two or more clubs, f i v e who were ac t i v e i n one club, and two who did not p a r t i c i p a t e i n any organized a c t i v i t y . A l l but two boys expressed some vocational a s p i r a t i o n , and these were the two who were part of a non-academic group who "partied" and drove around i n cars aimlessly. Three of the students were described as working during the school year. The common f a c t o r present i n a l l twelve young people i s that these students of b e t t e r than average capacity were not able to orga-nize t h e i r study habits. They did not have the d i s c i p l i n e necessary to post-pone recreation i n order to do homework. The f a m i l i e s of a l l but two students placed a high value on educa-t i o n and the importance of graduation from high school. Of these two, one was a ward of the Children's Aid Society. The f a m i l i e s ' attitudes towards t h e i r f a i l u r e to graduate were disappointment but acceptance. In eight of the f a m i l i e s there existed stresses of a long term nature, and i n two other f a m i l i e s there were current stresses present. These included one-parent fami-l i e s , emotional i n s t a b i l i t y of one parent, marital c o n f l i c t , and parent-child c o n f l i c t . I t i s probable that many young people who come from homes where these tensions e x i s t are nevertheless able to complete t h e i r school work su c c e s s f u l l y . A study i n which a c o n t r o l group i s examined simultaneously with a "drop-out" group i s needed to provide i n s i g h t s i n t o t h i s . Apparently, - 68 -the young people i n t h i s study were not able to mobilize t h e i r resources to counteract the negative influences, with the use of whatever help was a v a i l a b l e to them. There i s as yet no evidence to i n d i c a t e that they would have continued at school or s u c c e s s f u l l y completed Grade X U i f such help had been forthcoming. The experience of case work and group work p r a c t i c e , with i t s emphasis on r e l a t i o n s h i p as a means of energizing s e l f help, has demonstrated the p o s s i b i l i t y of re l e a s i n g energy which can then be dir e c t e d toward Improving the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n h i s l i f e s i t u a t i o n . The question n a t u r a l l y a r i s e s : what help i s available and how can i t be t t e r be brought to these young people i n need? CHAPTER IV IMPLICATIOKS FOR PREVENTIVE AND REMEDIAL SERVICES This i s a l i m i t e d and exploratory study. I t can only begin to point out the f a c t o r s associated with the f a i l u r e of c h i l d r e n of superior a b i l i t y to graduate from high school. Evidently there are many who have enough a b i l i t y to complete high school s u c c e s s f u l l y , but they are blocked from accomplishing t h i s goal by t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to be students. The recurrent pattern of behaviour that emerges i s the i n a b i l i t y to solve the problem of how to study, how to d i s c i p l i n e themselves by not indulging the impulse of the moment. I n t e l l e c t u a l l y they are aware of the need to study but they are unable to use the help offered to change t h e i r h a b i t u a l way of a c t i n g . They lac k motivation. For the most part these young people are functioning f a i r l y adequately i n other areas of t h e i r l i v e s . With a few exceptions they get along f a i r l y w e l l with t h e i r f a m i l i e s ; they have f r i e n d s , and p a r t i c i p a t e i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s . They are a t t r a c t i v e , energetic i n d i v i d u a l s , with i n t e r e s t s i n cars, music, hor-ses, world events, as w e l l as having heterosexual i n t e r e s t s . There are sources of tension i n t h e i r f a m i l i e s , - death, broken homes, f i n a n c i a l need, disturbed p e r s o n a l i t i e s , c o n f l i c t s between parents and c h i l d r e n , but t h i s i s not to say there are no such s t r a i n s present i n the f a m i l i e s of c h i l d r e n who graduated. An assessment of the personality development of students who leave school prematurely would be a rewarding subject of f u r t h e r study. An analysis of t h e i r developmental h i s t o r y , t h e i r psychic structure, t h e i r r o l e network, that i s , the way i n which they function as students with school s t a f f , as members - 70 -of a family with t h e i r parents and s i b l i n g s , and as members of groups, such an intensive analysis would throw some l i g h t on whether t h e i r i n a b i l i t y to work hard at studying i s part of a psychic d i s a b i l i t y . Some fa c t o r s associated with the phenomenon of dropping out of school appear to have some s i g n i f i c a n c e , others do not. Something i s wrong with the dynamics of the i n d i v i d u a l who has the capacity to succeed but who f a i l s courses. F a i l u r e i n these instances can be regarded as a warning s i g n a l l i n g the presence of malfunction. Absence from school i s another i n d i c a t i o n that something i s wrong with the student's motivation. When he i s absent frequently f o r no r e a l reason, he i s advertising the fact that he i s having d i f f i c u l t y i n the student r o l e . M o b i l i t y does not appear to be a f a c t o r adversely a f f e c t i n g the c h i l -dren i n t h i s study. Although there i s a degree of r e s i d e n t i a l m o b i l i t y , f o r the most part students had attended only the one high school. I n a few cases, however, the student's performance at school seemed to be disturbed by changing homes and schools. Some upward s o c i a l m o b i l i t y i s apparent. While there i s a s i g n i f i c a n t number of students i n the t o t a l group studied who were retarded f o r t h e i r age and grade, the number i s not of conse-quence for the superior students studied. The members of t h i s group are l a r g e l y at the average age f o r t h e i r grade, and the d i f f i c u l t i e s of being bigger or older than t h e i r classmates i s not a s i g n i f i c a n t influence i n causing them to withdraw from school. Nor does the f a c t of "blue c o l l a r " background seem to adversely e f f e c t these students' attitudes toward education. Almost without exception parents i n these homes professed to value education highly. Many brought pressure to - 71 -bear on t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n an e f f o r t to correct the s i t u a t i o n which they recog-nized as leading to f a i l u r e . But t h i s parental behaviour was s e l f - d e f e a t i n g , inasmuch as i t created resistance to studying, and the parent-child c o n f l i c t i n i t s e l f became s t r e s s f u l and impeded the student's desire to study. The decade of the ' f i f t i e s has been characterized by generally i n -creased r e t e n t i o n rates, and a higher school-leaving age, as noted i n both 1 ? Canada and the United States. Concomitant with t h i s trend i s an increasing emphasis on high school graduation. For a hundred years i t has been a r e q u i -s i t e f o r u n i v e r s i t y entrance, and i t has r e c e n t l y become in c r e a s i n g l y required as a badge or l a b e l to c e r t i f y a degree of i n t e l l i g e n c e and competence. Emplo-yers now l a r g e l y demand i t even i n c l e r i c a l occupations. This i s i l l u s t r a t e d by the mass advertising of correspondence courses through radio, newspapers, and i s even to be found nowadays i n match f o l d e r s - "Did you leave high school before graduation? See f r e e o f f e r i n s i d e ! " Because of t h i s p r e v a i l i n g a t t i t u d e that the high school graduation " l a b e l " i s an open-sesame to employment, the f a i l u r e to achieve i t i s a source of f r u s t r a t i o n and of lowering of s e l f esteem. I t i s t h i s that made one student i n the study group f e a r f u l that she was wasting her money taking a business course since she would never get a job without having achieved Grade XXI. I t i s t h i s also that stimulates the attendance at night school to make up the courses needed f o r graduation. A s p e c i f i c f i n d i n g which emerged from t h i s study i s that some of these superior young people are able to f i n d u s e f u l employment, even when unemployment Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s . Student Progress Through the Schools. I 9 6 0 . Catalogue No. 81 - 5 1 3 , p. 4 5 . 2 Segel, David and Schwarm, Oscar J . Retention i n High Schools i n Large  C i t i e s . U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, O f f i c e of Education, B u l l e t i n No. 1 5 , 1 9 5 7 . P. 1 5 . - 72 -i s high, and i n s p i t e of t h e i r f a i l u r e to graduate from high school. I t would seem that they were thus able to compete s u c c e s s f u l l y with graduates. One explanation might be that they were b r i g h t , a l e r t people, whose value employers could r e a d i l y recognize. These young people were enjoying t h e i r work, getting considerable s a t i s f a c t i o n out of being f u l l - t i m e workers i n an adult world, complete with s a l a r y cheque. The l e v e l of employment which they found, however, was undemanding and below t h e i r capacity. Some of them recognized t h i s e a r l y when they s a i d : "I would not want to do t h i s f o r the r e s t of my l i f e ' 1 ; or again, "Any Grade T i l l student could do the work I am doing." In a few years when the glamour and excitement w i l l have diminished, and the monotony and l i m i t a t i o n s of the job predominate, they may become f r u s t r a t e d and d i s s a t i s f i e d i n d i v i d u a l s . The world at l a r g e , and Canada i n p a r t i c u l a r , needs the kind of thinking and planning that i n t e l l i g e n t c i t i z e n s can provide. The b r i g h t young people who could contribute to the growth and development of societ y need the d i s c i p l i n e d t r a i n i n g and stimulation that further education can provide. I t i s noteworthy that, i n the information derived from school and mental health personnel, two divergent a t t i t u d e s toward higher education emerged. One i s that too much emphasis i s being placed on "the value of education"; that we are being stampeded by the atmosphere of s c i e n t i f i c competition abroad into a headlong rush toward more and better education; parents are pushing t h e i r youngsters toward goals of higher achievement than they formerly d i d . This point of view was i l l u s t r a t e d when a capable student selected a goal that was obviously below her capacity - stenography - and the a t t i t u d e was expressed by some s t a f f that she should not be put under any pressure to upgrade her aspira-t i o n s , that a s a t i s f a c t o r y performance at a l i m i t e d l e v e l was j u s t as much to - 73 -be desired as s t r i v i n g f o r greater achievements. The other point of view that also emerged from interviews during the study i s a p o s i t i v e emphasis on developing every man's natural endowment to i t s maximum, including among other areas that of i n t e l l e c t u a l achievement. I t recognized that our problem i s not merely to make more s c i e n t i f i c d i s c o v e r i e s , but to develop s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s even towards world scale. The under-educated i n d i v i d u a l i s the one who looks no further than the t e l e v i s i o n screen or the sports page for stimulation. Present-day complex world c i v i l i z a t i o n requires i t s c i t i z e n s to be thoughtful, comprehending, knowledgeable; i n other words, to be educated. The recent Royal Commission on Education supports t h i s point of view when i t states that the primary or general aim of the educational system should be "promoting the i n t e l l e c t u a l development of the p u p i l s " . They define " i n t e l l e c t u a l development" as the a c q u i s i t i o n of s k i l l to use the basic methods f o r dealing with the accurate use of words and numbers, an understanding of man's heritage of knowledge, the a b i l i t y to think e f f e c t i v e l y , and an appre-c i a t i o n of the human values and p r i n c i p l e s by which the a f f a i r s of l i f e are 2 judged to be worthy or otherwise. Education i s a goal to be achieved not be-cause of the status that a u n i v e r s i t y education confers, but because of the s e l f - f u l f i l l m e n t that can ensue. Students who are exposed to educators and other adults who subscribe to the f i r s t point of view are not l i k e l y to be motivated to study. They w i l l not push themselves to get t h e i r homework done i f there i s an amusing program Report of the Roval Commission on Education, province of B r i t i s h Colum-b i a , I 9 6 0 , pp. 1 7 - 18. 2 I b i d . , pp. 18 - 1 9 . - 74 -on t e l e v i s i o n . Their behaviour w i l l r e f l e c t the values of the m i l i e u i n which they f i n d themselves. "Fun" and "happiness" and a c q u i s i t i o n s - cars, boats, clothes, - are the goals of l i v i n g , and these can be achieved more quickly, they think, by getting any kind of a job and buying them on the installment plan. There are, of course, contrary forces, as exemplified by current planning i n B r i t i s h Columbia and elsewhere i n Canada f o r the c r e a t i o n of Junior Colleges, and the B. C. I n s t i t u t e of Technology, and by the recent establishment of seve-r a l new u n i v e r s i t i e s i n England and Canada. The p i c t u r e of students with I Q's over 120 indicates that these young people were depriving themselves, by t h e i r own behaviour, of an education which could open the door to a more i n t e r e s t i n g and s a t i s f y i n g future than would be t h e i r s as s e m i - s k i l l e d or u n s k i l l e d workers. I t i s evident that many young people are helped by a v a r i e t y of r e -sources to f u l f i l l t h e i r r o l e as students s u c c e s s f u l l y . I t may be the parents who were able to r e l a t e to t h e i r c h i l d r e n i n such a way as to e s t a b l i s h and confirm the goals of education as a preparation f o r l i f e . F a i l i n g t h i s , many adolescents f i n d stimulation i n teachers, group leaders, neighbours, f r i e n d s . There i s a f u r t h e r group of troubled young people who manage to f i n d the s k i l l e d help they need e i t h e r i n the school or a s o c i a l agency, to mobilize themselves to overcome t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s s u f f i c i e n t l y to complete t h e i r education, and prepare f o r t h e i r future. There are many examples of t h i s i n the s o c i a l work and education l i t e r a t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y i n the area where these two f i e l d s of com-i petence merge - school s o c i a l work. I Lee, Grace, ed., Helping the Troubled School C h i l d . National Association of S o c i a l Workers, New York, 1959. Pearman, Jean R., and.Burrows, A. H., S o c i a l Services i n the School. P u b l i c A f f a i r s Press, Washington, 1955* Kvaraceus, W i l l i a m C., Juvenile Delinquency and the School. World Book Company, New York, 1945. School s o c i a l s e r v i c e i s described as a s k i l l e d method of working with i n d i v i d u a l c h i l d r e n and t h e i r f a m i l i e s when the c h i l d i s unable to make use of the educational process of the school. This i n d i v i d u a l face-to-face casework r e l a t i o n s h i p between the student and a s k i l l e d worker or counsellor supplements the services of the other school personnel and i s c a r r i e d out i n cooperation with them. Worker and teacher share understanding of the c h i l d ' s behaviour, plan together f o r the c h i l d and add to the teacher's understanding of emotional i n t e r a c t i o n and human behaviour.* School s o c i a l work services are not the primary purpose of the educational system. There i s a s i m i l a r i t y between school s o c i a l work and medical s o c i a l work, or court s o c i a l work, where i n each instance s o c i a l work i s a part of a l a r g e r whole, and must under-stand and represent the purpose of the whole. In s e t t i n g s such as these, the r e l a t i n g of s o c i a l work to other d i s c i p l i n e s i n a purposeful manner becomes a 2 major task. Counselling Services %j\ the Vancouver School System-Concurrent with the development of school s o c i a l work i n c i t y school systems throughout Canada and the United States, the C i t y of Vancouver has de-veloped i t s own program of S p e c i a l School Counsellors, formerly c a l l e d Mental Hygiene Coordinators. When a troubled student i s considering leaving school prematurely, what counselling services are a v a i l a b l e t o him to help him make r e a l i s t i c plans Lee, op, Qit«» P. 3 3 . 2 Alderson, John J . , "The S p e c i f i c Content of School S o c i a l Work", i n Helping, the Troubled School C h i l d . Grace Lee, ed., National Association of S o c i a l Workers, New York, 1 9 5 9 . pp. 3 7 - 3 8 . - 76 -f o r h i s future? A study made i n 1959 of school s o c i a l services i n Vancouver describes these as being provided through two sources, the Vancouver Board of School Trustees, and the Mental Hygiene D i v i s i o n of the Metropolitan Health 1 Committee. The School Board employees d i r e c t l y concerned are the p r i n c i p a l s , teachers, grade counsellors, s p e c i a l counsellors and the attendance o f f i c e r . The f i r s t three named are p r i m a r i l y concerned with the student's l e a r n i n g pro-cess. The grade counsellor, who usu a l l y teaches part time, i s concerned with the s e l e c t i o n of courses, helping each student obtain an i n d i v i d u a l program which w i l l best s u i t h i s needs and capacity. He may have up to 5 0 0 students to counsel. The s p e c i a l counsellor i s a former teacher who has had a s p e c i a l course of t r a i n i n g , and whose function includes i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of mental health p r i n c i p l e s to teachers, parent education, l i a i s o n between the school and commu-n i t y agencies, as w e l l as work with i n d i v i d u a l teachers, parents and ch i l d r e n o around s p e c i f i c problems. The establishment allows f o r one s p e c i a l counsellor f o r each 1 , 5 0 0 students. The attendance o f f i c e r , of which there i s one f o r the e n t i r e c i t y school population, functions as a consultant to s t a f f - p r i n c i p a l s , teachers and counsellors, - and i n addition c a r r i e s a small caseload. The p o s i t i o n car-r i e s no administrative authority over personnel i n the school system, or l e g a l authority with respect to truancy. Truants may be r e f e r r e d to the courts, and may be charged with e i t h e r i n c o r r i g i b i l i t y or truancy, the former in v o l v i n g the 1 Watson, E. L., S o c i a l Services i n the Vancouver Public School System. Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 5 9 . P» 2 9 . 2 I b i d . , p. 4 7 . -11 -1 parents to a greater degree than the l a t t e r . The services of the Metropolitan Health Committee are purchased by the Vancouver School Board, amounting to $495,780. i n 1959, covering medical, dental and mental health s e r v i c e s . Though these are mainly of a preventative 2 nature some treatment i s provided through the Mental Hygiene C l i n i c . The annual report of the Mental Hygiene D i v i s i o n f o r the year 1959 dealt with 428 cases which had been r e f e r r e d by School Health Service, schools, parents, agencies, School Board s p e c i a l s e r v i c e , p r i v a t e physicians, and the Health Centre f o r Children. The types of problems treated were - poor school progress (249), s p e c i f i c learning d i f f i c u l t i e s , speech and reading, habit d i s o r -ders, childhood p e r s o n a l i t y disorders, a u t i s t i c trend, psychosomatic problems, conduct disorders, temporary interpersonal d i f f i c u l t i e s associated with adoles-cence, adolescent character disorders, psychoneuroses, psychoses, d u l l normal 3 and borderline i n t e l l i g e n c e , mental d e f i c i e n c y , epilepsy and deafness. Their s t a f f c o nsists of psychologists, s o c i a l work consultants, pub-l i c health nurses and p s y c h i a t r i s t s . The main portion of the work i s performed by the p u b l i c health nurses who are responsible f o r carrying the p u b l i c health program i n t o the homes and schools of the c i t y . They are required to under-stand the p h y s i c a l , mental, s o c i a l and emotional needs of people, and to know the a v a i l a b l e resources f o r care and treatment of the p h y s i c a l l y and mentally i l l . They make r e f e r r a l s t o , and p a r t i c i p a t e i n , Mental Hygiene C l i n i c s , write s o c i a l h i s t o r i e s , and are responsible f o r carrying out the recommendations of 4 the p s y c h i a t r i s t . Their mental hygiene case load count f o r October, 19591 was 1 Watson, oo. c i t . . p. 57. Board of School Trustees, Annual Report. 1959-6Q. Vancouver, B. C. 3 Mental Hygiene D i v i s i o n , Metropolitan Health Committee, Annual Report, 1959, Vancouver. 4 Watson, op. c i t . , pp. 31 - 32. - 78 -, 1 active clinic cases, 5 ^ 3 ; inactive clinic cases, 9 0 0 ; non clinic cases, 7 0 6 . It will be noted that the description of the function of the public health nurse is similar to that of the social worker in some respects. In the Mental Hygiene Division, however, the function of the social worker is that of consultant to the nurses, and not consultant to the teachers as is usual in other school social work settings. The social workers coordinate the work of the health units with other community resources, and are responsible for staff training programmes in areas such as interpersonal relationships and inter-viewing. They may be assigned some mental health problems which require 2 skilled casework techniques as treatment. In their annual report for 1959 the social work section states that There is a danger that the consultants' time may become dispropor-tionately devoted to treatment with consequent neglect of the main function of helping the nurse, through individual conferencing and group discussions, become more comfortable and competent in her Mental Hygiene work. Also in keeping with our philosophy, treatment should not be given priority over the preventive programme.-' The psychologists administer various types of psychological tests and conduct therapeutic interviews with emotionally disturbed children under psychiatric supervision. There would appear to be some duplication of effort in the roles of the public health nurse and of the special counsellor. Again quoting from the annual report of the social work consultants: In some districts difficulty is being experienced in arriving at a mutually satisfactory working relationship between nurse and special counsellor. Hopefully, as roles become more clearly defined and Mental Hygiene Division, OP. cit .-p. 7» Watson, op. QX%., p. 3 4 . Mental Hygiene Division, OP. cit.. p. 5 . - 79 -communicated, the special counsellor could assume more responsibility for referrals of children from the older age groups, so freeing the nurse to concentrate on what is her primary area of competence, viz: pre-school, kindergarten and junior grades, with emphasis being brought back to prevention as our main purpose.* The special counsellors also describe themselves as oriented toward concentrating on children in the elementary grades in order to prevent more serious behaviour disorders later in l i f e . They recognize the tremendous value to be obtained by helping children before they become too seriously disturbed, by helping parents to modify their relationship with their children so as to achieve more satisfying complementary role functions. While this preventive point of view has great validity, at the same time the older, more complex and more challenging young person, who may have become disoriented later in his school career, also needs and should have treatment faci l i t ies at his disposal. It also, unfortunately, tends to inhibit the referral of secondary school children to the special counsellor, unless they have a grossly disturbing emotional disorder. The problem of under-achievement is not considered to be of sufficiently serious magnitude as a rule to warrant referral to the special counsellor. During interviews with staff of the school and the Metropolitan Health Service, i t was apparent that they were alert to the presence of under-achievement, and attempted to change the students' attitudes and behaviour. The results of the students' intelligence and aptitude tests are available to each teacher so that he can recognize when a particular student's academic performance does not measure up to the expectations indicated. If he Mental Hygiene Division, op. c i t . . p. 6 - 80 -cannot stimulate the student to do bett e r work he w i l l r e f e r him to the grade counsellor who w i l l also t a l k to him i n an e f f o r t to motivate him. I n some cases one or two interviews are s u f f i c i e n t t o activate the c h i l d i n t o b e t t e r performance. I t i s the unsuccessful e f f o r t s of the counsellors that are r e -f l e c t e d i n t h i s study. When interviewed, the students involved said that following t h e i r interviews with the grade counsellor they were i n t e l l e c t u a l l y aware that they were capable of doing b e t t e r work, that they should apply themselves and study, but they had no incentive to change. I t would seem that t h e i r f e e l i n g s were not involved, and they d i d not reach out f o r help to change. There was no r e -lease of whatever i t was that was impairing t h e i r performance. The case work process which creates within the i n d i v i d u a l a wish to modify h i s behaviour i s an i n t r i c a t e , d i s c i p l i n e d technique, achieved through a r e l a t i o n s h i p used i n a dis c r i m i n a t i n g , purposeful manner. S k i l l i n the use of such a r e l a t i o n s h i p i s a r e s u l t of t r a i n i n g and experience, and except i n rare cases of n a t u r a l l y en-dowed i n d i v i d u a l s , would not be within the scope of s k i l l s taught to teachers or grade counsellors. In a study of the school counselling services at the junior high school l e v e l , i t was noted that the t r a i n i n g of the s p e c i a l counsellor (Mental Health Coordinator) seems to provide them with a good bas i s f o r understanding the problems of c h i l d r e n , but t h e i r program seems d i r e c t e d toward the prevention rather than the treatment of emotional problems. The c h i l d and his parents who have been interviewed by several people p r i o r to and during the c l i n i c McCubbin, Frances A„, Counselling Services at the Junior High School L e v e l , Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1953* pp. 6 0 - 63. - 81 -examination do not seem to be l e f t w i t h any one person q u a l i f i e d to develop an enabling r e l a t i o n s h i p t o help them recognize t h e i r problems and together w i t h t h a t person work toward some p o s i t i v e change i n the s i t u a t i o n . I n o n l y two of the twelve cases s t u d i e d i n t e n s i v e l y was the student r e f e r r e d t o the s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r f o r h e l p . When a s i t u a t i o n c a l l s f o r long term f o l l o w up, or s u s t a i n e d i n t e r v i e w i n g , the grade c o u n s e l l o r i s supposed t o r e f e r the student t o the s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r , s i n c e the l a t t e r has more time and more t r a i n i n g . I n p r a c t i c e , there was noted some i n d i c a t i o n s of r i v a l r y , both concealed and o v e r t , some competitive f e e l i n g , which could m i l i t a t e a gainst the increased use of the s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r s . There i s a need f o r continued i n t e r -p r e t a t i o n and demonstration i n order t o achieve the acceptance and b e t t e r use of s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r s . The students a l s o i n d i c a t e d some negative f e e l i n g about the r o l e of the s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r . T h e i r a t t i t u d e was t h a t he was only i n t e r e s t e d i n people w i t h s e r i o u s problems, and t h a t they d i d not need h i s s e r -v i c e s . There i s a p a r a l l e l here between t h e i r a t t i t u d e and the g e n e r a l p u b l i c ' s f e e l i n g toward s o c i a l work or p s y c h i a t r i c s e r v i c e . I t would appear t h e r e f o r e t h a t w h i l e the s c h o o l s t a f f were able t o recognize problems of underachievement, they were l e s s s u c c e s s f u l i n p r o v i d i n g treatment so as t o b r i n g about a change i n behaviour. I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t grade c o u n s e l l o r s should be more ready to r e f e r such problems to the s p e c i a l c o u n s e l l o r s . A wide v a r i a t i o n became evident i n the course of the study i n the c a p a c i t i e s of the grade c o u n s e l l o r s t o o f f e r help to students. This v a r i e d from a s i t u a t i o n where one c o u n s e l l o r helped a student t o decide t o remain i n the u n i v e r s i t y program when she was c o n s i d e r i n g t r a n s f e r r i n g t o the general - 82 -program, to the counsellor who recorded "waste of time t a l k i n g to her", "stubborn and l a z y streak". The thinking of the B. C. Royal Commission on Education supports the a t t i t u d e that the school i s concerned with the emotional problems of i t s s t u -dents. I t s t a t e s : Counselling should help pupils make a more adequate adjustment to t h e i r school l i f e and should help to prevent f a i l u r e by i d e n t i f y i n g and c o r r e c t i n g conditions hindering progress .... I t i s recommended that (1) a properly t r a i n e d o f f i c i a l be responsible f o r the d i r e c t i o n of counselling s e r v i c e s i n the Province; (2) that the number of pupi l s per counsellor be reduced; (3) that counsellors be chosen with care; (4) that some counsellors be not continued i n these positions; (5) that counsellors be allowed ample time f o r counselling duties; (6) that school d i s t r i c t s be encouraged to carry out i n - s e r v i c e t r a i n i n g f o r counsellors. About s p e c i a l counsellors the report s t a t e s : S p e c i a l counsellors are provided to counsel p u p i l s with extreme behaviour problems and to supplement the work of t r a v e l l i n g c l i n i c s . I t i s recommended the use of s p e c i a l counsellors be extended, and that the F a c u l t y of Education conduct s p e c i a l courses of t r a i n i n g . I t i s recommended that such t r a i n i n g be made a v a i l a b l e during the summer .... These s p e c i a l services can better be handled by t r a i n e d teachers than by other professional persons. • I t i s s u r p r i s i n g to note that the Commission considered teachers b e t t e r equipped a f t e r a short course to deal with mental health problems than other p r o f e s s i o n a l persons who have had intensive t r a i n i n g i n handling problems of mental hygiene. School s t a f f s , as a r e s u l t of the f l o o d of mental hygiene information, are i n c r e a s i n g l y able to recognize symptoms of overt behaviour needing treatment, just as parents, and students too, tend to be f a m i l i a r with the language of c h i l d psychology. Although awareness i s an e s s e n t i a l f i r s t Report of tbe Royal Commission on Education. Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, i960, pp. 370 - 376. - 83 -step, i t i s not enough. The problems with which the s p e c i a l counsellor i s c a l l e d upon to deal, require t r a i n i n g and i n s i g h t and the support of s p e c i a l i z e d s e r v i c e s . Grace Lee writes of t h i s : This service c a l l s f o r personnel s k i l l e d i n the knowledge and understanding of the p r i n c i p l e s of c h i l d growth and development, the dynamics of human behaviour, a knowledge of both the physical and emotional components of i l l n e s s , and of a v a i l a b l e community resources and necessary procedures i n helping c h i l d r e n and t h e i r f a m i l i e s to obtain the use of these resources. Most important of a l l , i t requires a worker with an i n t e r e s t i n and a keen s e n s i t i v i t y to people, the s k i l l to develop s a t i s f y i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s , and the s k i l l and w i l l i n g -ness to use h e r s e l f i n the i n d i v i d u a l casework r e l a t i o n s h i p , whereby the c h i l d may be enabled to work out the problem that i s hindering his s a t i s f a c t o r y use of the school s i t u a t i o n . Ruth E . Smalley has also s p e l l e d out the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and q u a l i t i e s of the s p e c i a l counsellor: I t i s the task of the school counsellor ... to discover with the c h i l d and with the school what i s i n t e r f e r i n g with a c h i l d ' s use of school f o r h i s own growth .... This c a l l s f o r a s e r i e s of interviews between counsellor and c h i l d through which a r e l a t i o n s h i p of s i g n i f i -cance can develop. I t c a l l s f o r interviews with h i s parents, who may be able to f i n d through a r e l a t i o n s h i p with the school counsellor a way of being more h e l p f u l parents of a c h i l d i n school .... I t means work with the teacher f o r a mutual discovery and a f f i r m a t i o n of the separate and valued part of both teacher and counsellor i n f u r t h e r i n g the c h i l d ' s growth. Although the openly deviant school c h i l d i s recognized and r e f e r r e d f o r treatment, the c h i l d who does not on the surface portray serious d i f f i c u l -t i e s i s not recognized as needing s e r v i c e . The "under-achiever" may be recog-nized, but most of the c h i l d r e n studied f a i l e d to receive the help they needed. While they represent only a small percentage of the school population, i t i s Lee, op. c y t . . p. 3 4 . Smalley, Ruth E . , "The Philosophy and Objectives of Adjustment Services as Expressed i n P r a c t i c e " , Helping the Troubled School C h i l d . Grace Lee, ed. National A s s o c i a t i o n of S o c i a l Workers, New York, 1 9 5 9 . ' P« 25 . - m -important to each i n d i v i d u a l involved. The problem of the needs of the one among the many i s a challenging one. One emotionally disturbed c h i l d can s e r i o u s l y disrupt the l e a r n i n g • process of the other c h i l d r e n i n a classroom and can add considerably to the teacher's d i f f i c u l t i e s . While the i n t e r e s t s of the one cannot be permitted to i n t e r f e r e with the i n t e r e s t s of the many, nevertheless, i t i s not a s o l u -t i o n to merely exclude such a c h i l d from the classroom. Eventually the d i s -turbed c h i l d w i l l require the expensive services of some s o c i a l organization, whether i t i s the c o r r e c t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n or the mental h o s p i t a l . Sooner or l a t e r society w i l l have to face the problem of what to do with t h i s i n d i v i d u a l . There i s a question as to whose r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i t i s to deal with those c h i l d r e n whose b i z a r r e behaviour causes them to be excluded from the school program. There i s also the p o l i c y of how much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y the school should carry i n following up c h i l d r e n who have l e f t school prematurely. There was a time when the school administration f e l t no r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for c h i l d r e n who withdrew from the educational process at any age, but t h i s i s now changed. Education has been described as "rooted i n our democratic philosophy which assures each c h i l d an opportunity f o r the best educational experience possible 1 f o r him." I f the p o l i c y i s adopted that the school i s responsible f o r the edu-cation of c h i l d r e n even though they are withdrawing from school, i t would require a s u b s t a n t i a l increase i n properly q u a l i f i e d s t a f f . Counsellors would need to be a l e r t at the f i r s t appearance of symptoms of f a i l u r e , so that preventive work Boston, Opal, "School S o c i a l Services", S o c i a l Work Year Book. I960. p. 517. - 85 -could be accomplished. I f the student should drop out of school, the s t a f f would follow him up to o f f e r help i n planning. 1 In a "Study of Male Adolescents, r e f e r r e d f o r Academic F a i l u r e " , f i f t y Vancouver boys, whose f a i l u r e was not due to l a c k of a b i l i t y , were assessed. F i f t e e n seemed able to respond to the treatment program, the other t h i r t y - f i v e d i d not. The recommendation was that the t h i r t y - f i v e required a r e s i d e n t i a l treatment centre of a type that does not yet e x i s t i n Vancouver. Such a centre i s urgently needed, and might have proven h e l p f u l to boys l i k e Richard i f i t had been a v a i l a b l e . But before a c h i l d i s r e f e r r e d to a r e s i -d e n t i a l u n i t , there i s room f o r improved treatment services i n the school and community. The t r a i n i n g and competence of s p e c i a l counsellors, the s i z e of t h e i r case load, and the amount of time they have a v a i l a b l e , a l l have a d i r e c t bearing on whether or not the c h i l d w i l l respond to treatment. One of the a n c i l l a r y aspects of p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a i n i n g i s the use of case h i s t o r i e s i n the treatment process. But because of the l a c k of coordina-t i o n between s p e c i a l counsellors i n d i f f e r e n t schools, treatment of records i s not uniform, nor do procedures f o r t r a n s f e r r i n g of f i l e s when c h i l d r e n change schools operate smoothly. In some cases the f i l e w i l l be sent automatically, or i t may be held pending a request f o r i t . I f there i s no request, i t may be stored or simply thrown out. At present the s p e c i a l counsellor i s responsible only to the p r i n c i p a l of each school to which he i s attached. There would appear to be a need f o r 1 Mental Hygiene D i v i s i o n , Metropolitan Health Committee, Annual Report. 1959, Vancouver. - 86 -overall integration of the work of the special counsellors so that they would be professionally responsible to a supervisor of special counselling, as well as to the principal of each school. Some schools are organized so that a grade counsellor w i l l be attached to grade IX students and w i l l remain as their counsellor each year as they move from IX to XU, after which he w i l l start Xiiith the next Grade IX students. This system of rotation provides for continuity of relationship, a most essential ingredient in working with people. In other schools the admi-nistrative arrangements are such that students may have two or three grade counsellors as they proceed through high school. Reasons for this may be be-cause of d i f f i c u l t i e s imposed by the physical structure of the school, as when higher and lower grades may be housed in different buildings, or some counsel-lors may prefer to work with only senior students. One instance which i l l u s -trates the need for a continuing relationship i s that of the 18-year-old boy referred to on page 42. I f the one interview, i n which he appeared to accept the nurse's interest since she described his attitude as "good", had been f o l -lowed up by other interviews over a period of time, he might have been helped to resolve some of his d i f f i c u l t i e s so that he would have stayed on at school for his f i n a l year. Relationships take time to become effective. The students who are impelled to leave school because of financial pressure could be helped to continue their education i f special financial sub-sidies were available for competent students. The concept of bursaries are now taken for granted at the university l e v e l , and there i s no reason that they should not be made available also for capable high school students on the basis of achievement and financial need. - 87 -Free higher education on an achievement t e s t i s one way to stimulate the motivation f o r young people with a b i l i t y but no f i n a n c i a l resources to remain at school. The p r o v i n c i a l government of B r i t i s h Columbia has taken the f i r s t step i n t h i s democratization of education by reducing u n i v e r s i t y fees by one h a l f to students with f i r s t - c l a s s standing, and by one t h i r d f o r some students with second-class standing. I t i s to be hoped that t h i s trend w i l l continue so that the means of education w i l l be a v a i l a b l e to a l l those who can use i t . The Open Door P o l i c y f o r "Drop-outs" I n e v i t a b l y there w i l l be some young people who withdraw from school even when the maximum servi c e s are a v a i l a b l e to help them complete t h e i r edu-cati o n . For these i n d i v i d u a l s i t i s imperative that the way be l e f t open f o r them to continue t h e i r education at some point i n the future. The p o l i c y of the Vancouver Board of School Trustees to operate a summer school meets an urgent need. The program was i n i t i a t e d i n i 9 6 0 f o r four weeks at the elemen-t a r y and secondary school l e v e l s . For secondary students i t offered make-up courses i n academic and commercial subjects f o r Grades IX to XTI, and inten-sive courses t o students w r i t i n g the u n i v e r s i t y entrance supplementals. The fee of $ 2 5 . 0 0 was charged f o r the make-up courses, and $ 3 0 . 0 0 f o r the intensive courses, with the p o s s i b i l i t y that i t w i l l be reduced next year.* This type of course w i l l provide an opportunity to students such as the Grade XTI's i n the s p e c i a l group of superior c h i l d r e n who expected to graduate but found they Board of School Trustees, Annual Report. 1959 -60. Vancouver. - 88 -were one or two courses short f o r high school graduation. Another valuable resource open to those who want to enrich or r e b u i l d t h e i r education i s the adult education program of the Vancouver School Board. This program provides day and evening classes at the Vancouver Vocational I n s t i t u t e , the Vancouver School of A r t , the Radio E l e c t r o n i c s Centre, and the night school classes f o r adults, i n c l u d i n g some l a t e afternoon senior m a t r i c u l a t i o n c l a s s e s , s t a r t i n g at k p.m. Through t h i s excellent prog-ram of varied opportunities, i t i s possible f o r adults to choose from among hundreds of courses. These include not only academic courses f o r high school graduation and u n i v e r s i t y entrance, but al s o includes courses such as "Reading and Writing f o r I l l i t e r a t e s " , "Foreign Languages", "Letter Writing f o r Execu-t i v e s " , and "Gift-Wrapping" and " T e l e v i s i o n S e r v i c i n g " . This adult education program i s supported e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y by the population of the c i t y . An experiment that i s s t i l l i n process, the evaluation of which w i l l be eagerly awaited, i s the program of providing Grade X and Grade XII courses f o r some unemployed men and women during the winter of 1960-61. This program made i t possible f o r men and women who had dropped out of school years before to take i n s t r u c t i o n which would q u a l i f y them as e i t h e r Grade X or Grade XII graduates. The program was i n i t i a t e d because of the awareness that the labour market was demanding high school graduates, whereas the bulk of the unemployed had l e f t school before graduation, and because voca t i o n a l t r a i n i n g courses were not open to i n d i v i d u a l s with l e s s than Grade X l e v e l of education. A study of t h i s program and of i t s p a r t i c i p a n t s would be valuable i n providing i n s i g h t s i n t o what happens to people who l e f t school prematurely, and how and why t h e i r a t t i t u d e s toward education have changed. - 89 -Suggestions f pr Farther Study and Action Further studies are obviously needed to c l a r i f y the problem of e a r l y school-leaving. An i n t e r e s t i n g area of study would be an assessment of the personality d i f f i c u l t i e s that obstruct the successful accomplishment of school programs. Other suggested studies would be the influence of school retardation; d i f f e r e n t parental value systems; parents' occupational status; absences, and other r e l a t e d phenomena, such as e x t r a - c u r r i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s and paid work during the school term. The work now done by personal counselling s e r v i c e s i n the schools can be extended and improved. Case loads should be smaller; a b e t t e r d i v i s i o n of labour needs to be worked out between s p e c i a l counsellors and nurses; and there should be better coordination between s p e c i a l counsellors, while continu-ing t h e i r l i n e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to the p r i n c i p a l s of the schools to which they are attached. The case h i s t o r i e s recorded by the s p e c i a l counsellors xrould be more us e f u l i f they r o u t i n e l y followed students when they changed schools, and were tr a n s f e r r e d when a change of counsellors occurred. The Permanent School Record cards -would be more h e l p f u l f o r research purposes i f information about reasons f o r leaving school were recorded c o n s i s t e n t l y f o r a l l c h i l d r e n leaving the school system. D i f f e r e n t d i s c i p l i n e s w i l l perceive s i t u a t i o n s from d i f f e r e n t points of view. A student's behaviour i n school w i l l have d i f f e r e n t i m p l i c a t i o n s to the teacher and to the case worker who understands the dynamics of human be-haviour. The c h i l d who does poorly i n h i s school work i n s p i t e of good i n t e l -ligence w i l l not be helped to change h i s way of behaving i f the teacher or counsellor considers him stupid or l a z y . When a s t a f f member considers a c h i l d - 90 -"not worth wasting time on", he i s c e r t a i n l y not going to be able to r e f e r him f o r the help he needs. I t i s important, therefore, that school s t a f f members be trained to understand underlying causes of behaviour, and to recognize symp-toms, so that they can recognize needs f o r r e f e r r a l . Most young people who leave school prematurely are not aware of t h e i r need; they may not ask f o r help. Expansion of the technical t r a i n i n g f a c i l i t i e s a v a i l a b l e to students who are not i n t e r e s t e d i n the academic program would encourage them to remain at school long enough so that the t r a n s i t i o n from school to work would be made smoothly and productively. Economic a i d should be made a v a i l a b l e to a l l capable students who require i t . School s o c i a l work o f f e r s a wide f i e l d of worthwhile e f f o r t i n pre-venting wasteful "drop-outs". I t i s able to contribute g r e a t l y of i t s s k i l l and understanding by helping troubled adolescents resolve t h e i r d i f f i c u l t i e s so that they can function more adequately as students and as people. Superior students whose achievements f a l l below t h e i r a b i l i t y should have access to treatment services to enable them to continue at school i n preparation f o r careers i n keeping with t h e i r capacity. - 91 -APPENDIX A BIBLIOGRAPHY. Alderson, John J . "The S p e c i f i c Content of School S o c i a l Work", Helping the  Troubled School C h i l d . Grace Lee, ed. National Association of S o c i a l Workers, New York, 1959. Bach, Frank. Vocational Problems of the Adolescent Offender. Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961. Board of School Trustees, Vancouver, B. C. 19*>8-59 Annual Report. Board of School Trustees, Vancouver, B. C. 19".9-60 Annual Report. Board of School Trustees, Vancouver, B. C. Fees (Tuition,!. Revised, June 6, i960. Mimeographed b u l l e t i n . Boston, Opal. "School S o c i a l Services", S o c i a l Work Year Book, i960. Brook, George C. "High School Dropouts and Corrective Measures", Federal  Probation. September, 1959. Cobb, Sidney. "Contained H o s t i l i t y i n Rheumatoid A r t h r i t i s " , A r t h r i t i s and  Rheumatism. Volume 2, No. 5» October, 1959* Davis, A l l i s o n . Socio-Economic Influences Upon Children's Learning. An address at the White House Conference on Children and Youth. Washington. Department of Education, V i c t o r i a , B. C. Current Notes on Enrolment. Mimeo-graphed B u l l e t i n , November, i960. D i v i s i o n of Mental Hygiene, Metropolitan Health Committee. Annual Report. 19*.9. Dominion Bureau of S t a t i s t i c s . Student Progress Through the Schools. I960. Catalogue No. 81-513. Garrett, Henry E. Testing f o r Teachers. American Book Company, New York, 1959. Greene, H. A., and Jorgensen, A. N. The Use and Inter p r e t a t i o n of Elementary School Tests. Longmans Green and Company, New York, 1938. J o l l i f f e , Penny. "Today's Dropouts, Tomorrow's Unemployed", Canadian Welfare. January 15, 1961, Volume 37, No. 1. - 9 2 -King, Stanley ,H. "Psychosocial Factors Associated with Rheumatoid A r t h r i t i s " , Journal of Chronic Diseases. No. 2 , 1 9 5 5 . Kvaraceus, W i l l i a m C. C. Delinquent Behaviour. Volumes I and I I . 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Master of S o c i a l Work Thesis, U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1 9 5 3 . Marsh, Leonard C. Canadians In and Out of Work. Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1 9 4 0 . Pearman, Jean R., and Furrows, A. H. S o c i a l Services i n the School. Public A f f a i r s Press, Washington, 1 9 5 5 . P u p i l F a i l u r e and NonPromotion. Research B u l l e t i n . Research D i v i s i o n of the National Education Association, Volume 3 7 . No. 1 , February, 1 9 5 9 . Report of the Royal Comml,ssiqn on, Education. Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, V i c t o r i a , B. C., i 9 6 0 . Research B u l l e t i n . Research D i v i s i o n of the National Education A s s o c i a t i o n , Volume 3 7 . No. 1 . February, I959. Segel, David and Schwann, Oscar J . Retention i n High Schools i n Large C i t i e s . U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, O f f i c e of Education, B u l l e t i n No. 1 5 , 1 9 5 7 . S k e l l y , Frank J . 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