Why Do Students Drop Out?

Education News | Feb-01-2021

Why Do Students Drop Out?

Research on school dropout extends from early 20th-century pioneers so far, marking trends of causes and prevention. However, specific dropout causes reported by students from several nationally representative studies haven't been examined together, which, if done, could lead to a far better understanding of the dropout problem. Push, pull, and rupture factors provide a framework for understanding dropouts. Push factors include school-consequence on attendance or discipline. Pull factors include out-of-school enticements like jobs and family. Finally, rupture factors ask for disengagement in students not caused by school or outside pulling factors. Since 1966, most nationally representative studies depicted pull factors as ranking the very best. Also, administrators in one study corroborated pull out factors for younger dropouts, not older ones, while most up-to-date research cites push factors as highest overall. One rationale for this alteration may be a response to rising standards from No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which may be ultimately tested only by future dropout research.

To best understand school dropout as a national problem, studies with nationally representative student populations should be compared together and their findings considered as an entire. Thus, studies that were included within the current research were operationally defined as specifically addressing student-, teacher-, or administrator-reported dropout causes and being funded by the federal (either through the Department of Education or the Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]). the rationale for excluding private studies of dropout that included dropout causes had to try to to with the shortage of standardization of survey protocols, including sample selection, sample size, and therefore the incontrovertible fact that although many such studies bore fruitful intent, they often lacked representative populations or the additional advantage of increased numbers of marginalized ethnic groups, like Hispanics and African Americans (called oversampling, and performed within the nationally-representative studies). With this in mind, six large federal studies from 1966 onward satisfied these criteria; also, one earlier study which used Federal funds was included because it paved the way toward researching dropout at a national level and drew attention to the necessity for special considerations of probably marginalized ethnic groups. Overall sample sizes of those seven studies had a mean of 21,707 students per the study, peaking at over 35,000, while dropout numbers trailed behind at 1,718, or 7.3% per study.

By: Raghav Saxena

Birla School, Pilani

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