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NCJ Number: 227849 Find in a Library
Title: Are Students Failing School or Are Schools Failing Students?: Class Cutting in High School
Journal: Journal of Social Issues  Volume:59  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:103-119
Author(s): R. Kirk Fallis; Susan Opotow
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper reports on a study of class-cutting in urban public high schools in two cities in the Northeastern United States.
Abstract: The study found that class-cutting (using breaks in the school day to selectively skip class) is done by a substantial number of students in large public high schools in low-income urban communities. Class cutting is typically viewed by school administrators and teachers as the fault of deviant students rather than the outcome of a flawed educational approach. Complaints by students are dismissed as groundless griping. In spite of the prevalence of class-cutting and its harmful effect on students, responses to this problem have been victim-blaming and ineffective. Violence can result from processes that exclude students from school because of class-cutting. Violence also occurs as a consequence of including students in an institutional context in which they have no choice about what is taught and how it is taught. The study data and analysis suggest that rather than getting tough and investing time and money in punitive interventions and security systems, schools can approach class-cutting with a stronger knowledge base by fostering student input and engagement. Class-cutting can be an opportunity to solicit student input about their experiences, perspectives, and expectations for specific classes. This approach not only encourages students to air their feelings, but to begin to appreciate that school administrators are interested in what they have to say about how they are being taught and managed by the school system. They must also sense that this is not a manipulative and meaningless process, but rather a genuine search for ways in which the school can provide more effective learning experiences for students. 50 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention
Index Term(s): Adolescent attitudes; High school education; School discipline; School maladjustment; Schools
Note: For other articles in this issue, see NCJ-227844-48 and NCJ-227850-52.
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