Perceptions of public school: a quantitative study comparing and contrasting the way current students and dropouts view school success factors

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Phillip Bradley Rice (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Ulrich Reitzug

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify factors that are necessary for school success. The purpose of identifying these factors is to provide schools a basis to build strategies that prevent students from dropping out of school. This study reviewed the literature to identify factors that contribute to dropping out of schools and factors that contribute to school success. During the review of the research literature, it was discovered that The Quaglia Institute has completed over 20 years of research on student aspirations. The Quaglia Institute’s research identified 8 Conditions that make a difference in student success. The Quaglia Institute claims that these 8 Conditions need to be in place in order for students to be successful in school. This study investigated whether students who had dropped out of school perceived the 8 Conditions the same or differently than students who were still enrolled in school. The study was conducted using a multifocus affective inventory and subsequent statistical analysis. The multifocus affective inventory was given to 991 enrolled students in a rural North Carolina high school and to 41 students who had dropped out of that same high school. A chi-square analysis was performed to see if there were statistically significant differences between the observed frequencies and the expected frequencies on each individual question. An independent t-test was performed on the grouped means to see if there was a statistically significant difference in the means of questions grouped by each dimension of the 8 Conditions. Conclusions drawn as result of the study were mixed. Research of the literature confirmed the importance of the 8 Conditions in the lives of students. Conclusions drawn from the statistical analysis were varied. “Confidence to Take Action” and “The Role of the Parent” showed statically significant differences in both the chi-square analysis and the t-test. Despite not having statistically significant t-test results on the entire scale, the dimensions of “Spirit of Adventure,” “Sense of Accomplishment,” and “Belonging” all had a majority of questions with statistically significant chi-square results indicating enrolled students had a higher perception of those dimensions in their lives than did dropouts. While three of the dimensions did not have statistically different t-test or chi-square results: “Curiosity and Creativity,” “Fun and Excitement,” and “Heroes,” their importance was supported by the literature.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2009
Keywords
Dropout, Perceptions, Quantitative, School, Success
Subjects
Prediction of scholastic success $x Evaluation.
High school students $z North Carolina $x Attitudes.
High school dropouts $x Attitudes.
Rural schools $z North Carolina.