Transitioning Students to the Middle school: a Case Study
Dutrow, Anita Marceca
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The purpose of this study was to describe how students moving from a school for students with learning disabilities to a regular public school classroom adjusted to the new school setting. The questions guiding the study were derived from issues identified by Dweck and Elliot in Fisher and Cooper (1990) as important to students when they change schools. The guiding questions are: What are the education settings in each school and how does the student adjust to the differences? How does the student react to the presentation of structured, sequential instruction in one school and to varied instructional techniques in another? What is the student's relationship with the teachers in each school? What is the student's relationship with peers in each school? Three students participated in this case study. They were observed and interviewed in both the private and public school settings. Data include school histories, academic records, observations and interviews. Student observations took place in classes, school hallways and while they participated in school programs. Interviews were conducted with the students, their parents and their teachers in both schools. The findings of the data analysis indicated that when the students changed schools they adjusted easily to the larger school setting and to the new instructional methods. Two of the students worried about grades and their academic progress in both settings and were able to find ways to meet their learning needs in their new environment. The three students described themselves as being happy, making friends and establishing relationships with their teachers within the first six weeks in their new school. Suggestions for further research include following these students for a longer period of time. Another study might compare the school experience of students with similar learning characteristics who are not considered to be students with a learning disability.
- Doctoral Dissertations