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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The experimental dynamic of early school leavers who return to school via an alternate program Arcand, Connie


The purpose of this study was to examine the experience of dropping out of and returning to school from the perspective of the early school leaver. The co-researchers interviewed for this study were twelve students currently enrolled in an alternate program in one school district in the lower mainland of British Columbia, Canada. The alternate program was a self-paced academic program leading to Grade 12 graduation. The interviews were analyzed according to both the progression of events from the time of first thinking about leaving school until the time of enrollment in the alternate program, and according to categories of situations leading to dropping out of and to returning to school. The results of this study support the literature on the significance of the family, peers, school and alienation in early school leaving. This study also found that these students exhibited developmental delay according to both Erikson's (1963) and Kegan's (1982) models. This study suggests that developmental delay may be important in determining whether individuals will drop out and when they might return to school.

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