STUDENT AND INSTRUCTOR PERCEPTIONS OF SOCIAL-EDUCATIONAL RELATIONSHIPS IN A PUBLIC ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL PROGRAM.
AuthorANDERSON, THOMAS MARTIN.
Committee ChairBarnes, William D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis study focused on the perceptions of certain educationally marginal students regarding their relationships in traditional school and subsequently in an alternative school program. It also investigated the history and operation of that alternative program which featured a theory of personal processes. The investigator sought answers to the following questions regarding the above educationally marginal students: (1) What is the social-educational background of each student? (2) How does each student perceive his/her social-educational relationships within the school program? and (3) What are the perceptions of a teacher participant observer regarding each student's social-educational relationships within the program? A review of related literature suggested that a concept of marginality would be appropriate in referring to students who had experienced difficulty in traditional schools and had dropped out. The literature, moreover, indicated that there were alternative school programs which offered new opportunities for students' re-entry into the educational process. Finally, the background literature on the theory of personal processes was reviewed. A conceptual framework to organize, conduct, and report the study was developed from the theory of personal processes. The investigator functioned as a participant observer in the alternative program under scrutiny. Twenty-seven alternative school students were observed and interviewed. Six case studies were documented. Additionally, the perceptions of the remaining 21 students were presented, together with the observations of the participant observer. Some of the more significant findings were: (1) students became educationally marginal through a process of self-definition and through being labeled by teachers and others; (2) marginal students tended to perceive themselves as not being treated equally by their teachers. They saw themselves as having poor relationships with their teachers; (3) marginal students tended to dissipate their marginality by developing a new social-educational reality for themselves through group association, participation, and involvement in the alternative school program; and (4) the theory of personal processes, which was designed to promote warm and personal relationships in the classroom, was found to be most productive with the marginal students who came to this alternative program.
Degree ProgramSecondary Education