According to these authors, the research that has been conducted over the past two decades or so regarding the transition to high school has also generally reported negative effects in terms of Small learning community dissertation in GPA, attendance, and extra-curricular participation Isakson and Jarvis.
It is known that students experiencing academic difficulties in the ninth-grade school year also tend to have more absences, more office discipline referrals, and lack a feeling of attachment to the school, which puts them at an increased risk for failing the ninth-grade and greatly increases the likelihood that these students will drop out of high school before completion and graduation.
In fact, one of the primary constraints to the literature review was the fact that many of these important issues are discussed in highly general terms or are simply restatements of what others have found, but fail to identify what, if any, steps have been taken to address the issues of emotional and physical withdrawal from the learning environment.
In addition, they note that, "Anxiety concerning school procedures and the presence of older students, and initial transition problems in the larger high school were found, as well as decreased adjustment associated with life stress.
These researchers concluded that feelings of connectedness may be adversely affected in students as they make school transitions, but here again, this area remains understudied with regard to transitions to high school Resnick et al.
This data will then be compared to the achievement and attendance data for ninth-grade students in the school year prior to the implementation of the Freshman Academy at Wildwood High School.
It follows that because high school is a new environment for the adolescent, a sense of belongingness or feeling of school membership may indeed be lower than it was when the student was in junior high school, at least during the transition period" p.
Academic interventions including small learning communities decrease the risk of academic failure and high school attrition. As these authors point out, "Regardless of gender, examining stressors adolescents experience as they enter high school and coping strategies employed remains an important area to consider.
Transition Facts Research has indicated that a successful transition of the middle school student into the ninth-grade is a specific milestone in the life of a student. This study demonstrated an ability to predict a very large amount of variance in freshman year cumulative academic achievement based on a brief and comprehensive assessment of students during their first week of classes.
Given that these types of specific demands continue to increase through Small learning community dissertation high school and college years, it is vitally important to resolve any transitional problems when they occur and before they have a chance to adversely affect the continued enrollment of these at-risk youths.
Download this Dissertation in word format. For instance, Isakson and Jarvis note that, "Whether the eighth-grade year was spent in a kindergarten through eighth-grade school Grades K-8a middle school Gradesor a junior high school Gradeshigh school represents a different environment, replete with many new academic and social challenges.
Total level of social support was a significant independent predictor of academic achievement. A higher level of stressors than what the student faced in the junior high environment may be the result" p.
The importance of this study is the knowledge it will add to existing knowledge in the subject area of ninth-grade student transition and the impacts that small learning communities have upon academic achievement of students and the retention of students in high school until graduation.
Engagement in learning has been the focus of educators for several decades. Qualitative and quantitative data will be used for comparison of the differences in academic achievement retention of ninth-grade students. There have been some gender differences identified in some studies, though, with males reporting more school problems, while females have reported more problems with interpersonal relations in the studies to date; consequently, adaptive coping strategies on the part of the adolescent will likely be important when faced with such stressors but this area remains better described than understood in the scholarly literature to date and more research is needed Isakson and Jarvis.
While this study does not seek to specifically measure the impacts that the Freshman Academy has had upon the graduation rates of students since implementation of this program, according to the literature reviewed in this area of study it is believed that increased graduation rates of ninth-grade students who attended the Wildwood Freshman Academy will result and may be addressed in a future study on the advantages of the Freshman Academy in the transition of ninth-grade students to high school.
One rare longitudinal study by Resnick et al. According to Isakson and Jarvis, "The amount of time spent in school serves not only to educate students, but also to shape their social world, contributing to overall development.
Toward this end, this study intends to conduct research in order to determine the degree to which small learning communities, and in this case the Freshman Academy, has upon the academic achievement of ninth-grade students at a small rural high school in Central Florida. Finally, the Freshman Academy assists the student in the transition into the ninth-grade and provides the students with a sense of belonging and being a part of the school climate, setting, and environment.
The work of Rosser et al. Experiences that result in students failing to remain in school which occur in the ninth-grade year include the inability of the student to establish a feeling of connectedness with the school or to properly correlate the idea of the amount of time and effort required in order to achieve academic success.
The work of Marks conceptualizes student involvement or engagement as: Indeed, in an era of high-stakes testing regimens where high school students are required to pass a rigorous battery of tests in order to graduate, these pressures may appear to be overwhelming for students who are already struggling or who are in an emotional state of shock as a result of their new and more demanding environment.
Beyond the foregoing considerations, students entering high school may also experience significant changes in their lives from the perspective that there is increased pressure to perform well so that they can be successful after graduation compared to their junior high school experiences, whether that means going to college or getting a job Isakson and Jarvis.
The Impact of a Freshman Academy on Ninth Grade Student Achievement Many factors affect the transition of the individual into the environment of the high school including peer-pressure, multi-age classrooms, increased responsibilities, more strenuous coursework, part-time jobs, family obligations, athletic participation as well as other extra-curricular activities.
Likewise, negative correlations between number of life changes, including entering junior high, extra-curricular participation, self-esteem and grade point average GPA have been identified; however, still other studies have provided some positive views of the junior high transition, indicating that individual differences between adolescents and characteristics of the school may be important factors for successful student adjustment Isakson and Jarvis.
According to Isakson and Jarvis, "Overall, teacher expectations and demands may also increase, creating the need for adjustments on the part of the student.
The Freshman Academy is important because of the basis that it provides the transitioning ninth-grade students in terms of engagement, building relationships among students and among students and teachers. In this regard, Isakson and Jarvis report that, "Increased emphasis on social interactions in high school may create an environment where fitting in and belonging serves as an added source of pressure.
The work of Goodenow and Willingham, Pollack and Lewis states findings that higher grades are earned by students who are engaged in school and that student engagement decreases drop out rates.
Even here, though, there are some fundamental limitations to the existing body of knowledge concerning the transition to high school, especially in the United States. The methodology of this study will be both of a qualitative and a quantitative nature in order to determine the success of the Freshman Academy in increasing student achievement, overall level of satisfaction, and attendance in the ninth grade.
The Freshman Academy opens the door for communication in and among students and teachers and provides the student an orientation to the school.
This transitional period is particularly difficult for some students for the reasons described further below, but the important point is that a difficult transition can result in academic difficulty that spans the entire course of high school for the student if the student is indeed retained in high school until graduation at all.
With this knowledge, educators can facilitate adjustment by recommending use of different coping strategies when adolescents need additional guidance" Isakson and Jarvis, p. Likewise, as Isakson and Jarvis emphasize, while some adverse outcomes have been clearly shown to be related to how well adolescents manage the transition to high school, there remains a gap in the existing body of literature concerning what specific stressors are typically experienced by ninth graders and what coping strategies have been shown to be effective, if any.
Surveys of high school students have found that their main problems to be in the areas of school, parents, friends, and dating, findings that are congruent with the types of developmental adjustments adolescents typically encounter and the high school atmosphere itself Isakson and Jarvis.The smaller learning community (SLC) places students with a core group of teachers, as evaluated by Davis, Chang, Andrzejewski, & Poirier (), focusing on the importance of the relationship between teacher and student.
"A Quantitative Study of Teacher Perceptions of Professional Learning Communities' Context, Process, and Content" (). Seton Hall University Dissertations. The small learning community (SLC), a specific type of professional learning community, represents an effort to improve the achievement of high school students by making the learning experience more personal.
the effect of small learning communities on indicators of student progress a dissertation submitted to the faculty of the graduate school of the university of minnesota.
Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs) Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses The Impact of a Freshman Academy Small Fulco, Christopher M., "The Impact of a Freshman Academy Small Learning Community on Student Achievement and Engagement" ().Seton Hall University Dissertations.
Jones, James L. Jr, "A case study of teachers' and counselors' perceptions of the factors relating to student absenteeism, discipline, and retention in a high school small learning community" (). ETD Collection for AUC Robert W. Woodruff Library.Download