Career and Technical Education: An Alternative Approach to Educating At-Risk Youth Seminar in Applied Theory and Research I By Nicole Morris Final Presentation Fall 2009 – 12.10.09
Table of Contents Introduction • Statement of the Problem • Review of Related Literature • Statement of the Hypothesis Method • Participants (N) • Instruments (s) References
Introduction Shadowing the so-called “well adjusted” high school student are the youth falling victim to an extensive range of risk factors that make them a member of a growing population of diverse teens labeled “at-risk”. Their risk factors, be it low achievement, retention in grade, or behavior problems all bear the unique stamp of the individual that experiences expulsion, suspension, or other forms of rejection. (Poyrazli, Ferrer-Wreder, Meister, Forthun, Coastworth,& Grahame, 2008).
Statement of the Problem At-risk behavior patterns, be it prankish or criminal, is challenging educators’ to question their professional skills and their ethics. Hence, the question remains, how will the educational system carry out the job of reaching the high school student who has become so accustomed to academic failure?
Review of Related Literature The CTE Approach Education policy cannot continue to believe all students will proceed through a traditional four years of high school followed directly by two to four years of college. Sagor, R. (1999). Education should include all members of society, not just the elite. Dewey, J. (1916)
Review of Related Literature The CTE Approach Instructional Strategy #1 Alternative high schools that incorporate CTE programs have been effective in engaging academic understanding through Experiential Learning. Alfeld, C., Hansen, D., Aragon, S., & Stone, J. (2006). Leone, P. E., & Drakeford, W. (1999).
Review of Related Literature Experiential Learning Theorist: Carl Rogers Academic understanding and learning takes place when the subject matter is relevant to the personal interests of the student: • The student participates completely in the learning process and has control over its nature and direction. • Understanding and learning is practical, social, and personal. • Students learn the method of self-evaluation to assess progress and success.
Review of Related Literature The CTE Approach Instructional Strategy #2 CTE’s positive approach uses contextualized learning to connect information to real-life understanding. Bennett, J. (2007).
Review of Related Literature Contextualized Learning Theorist: Nancy Karweit Contextualized Learning assists students to naturally seeks meaning in context, in relation to the person's current environment, by searching for relationships that make sense and appear useful: • Address basic academics like math and science in context to a career such as construction or engineering. • Provides clear transitions from education to career pathways.
Review of Related Literature The Benefits of an Alternative Education Pros Alternative education settings for at-risk youth provide a combination of intense, individualized academic instruction and behavior modification counseling in an alternative setting to assist students to achieve both personally and academically. Bennett, J. (2007).
Review of Related Literature Alternative Education for At-Risk Youth Pros An alternative academic setting transforms the school to nurture and re-engage the student who has given up on learning through: • Reduced class size • Instructional models that have a real-life approach • Access to social services • Use of technology D’Angelo, F., & Zemanick, R. (2009).
Review of Related Literature Setbacks: Why the Traditional Setting Doesn’t Work For some students, the traditional academic setting and course names are a constant reminder of their educational shortcomings, failure and overall rejection that takes place year after year. Foley, R., & Pang, L. (2006). Hughes-Hassell, S. (2008). Aron, L.Y. (2006, January ).
Review of Related Literature When the Alternative Setting Doesn’t Work Cons Exchanges between the teacher, administrator and At-risk student must remain positive, and an understanding of consequences for inappropriate actions must be established. When rules are not established for At-risk students: • Unpleasant or violent confrontations erupt. • Students become dis-engaged. • Students choose to leave or dropout of school.
Statement of the Hypothesis HR1:An alternative high school in Queens, NY that includes Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs are more effective to re-engage academic understanding of mathematics, over a 6 month period to 17 over-aged ninth graders that exhibit at-risk behavior patterns.
Method Participants • Total population of 17 over-aged ninth grade boys and girls: • 65% or 11 students are boys • 35% or 6 students are girls • Racial breakdown of ninth grade students: • 71% or 12 students are African-American • 29% or 5 students are Latino • Socio-Economic status of ninth grade students: • Lower SES to include one homeless student • Public Transfer high school located in Queens, NY
Method Instruments • Surveys, and questionnaires to parents/guardians, students and teacher. • Consent forms to parents/guardians, students and teacher. • Math Assessments: • Learning portfolio of best work • Supplemental Math games, instruction and exams from Digital Tabula • Timed Math exams • Peer to Peer assessment
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