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Farber, Matthew

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This qualitative phenomenological study utilized high school graduate perceptions to identify pedagogical methods, educational structures, and school supports that improved their participation, inclusion, and growth within their classrooms and coursework. The research was focused on students identified at-risk to graduate high school and how educational supports affected the success or constraint in attaining their diploma. The research design applied a connected learning framework structure with a focus on student interest, relationships, and opportunities as defined by the Connected Learning Alliance. One component of connected learning was student-centered learning; therefore, an examination of John Dewey’s educational philosophy of student-centered practices and its effect on facilitation was a supportive argument, as well as Nel Noddings’ use of care theory, and accommodations were provided within that learning paradigm. The methods of data collection within this study included interviews and focus groups that were analyzed using in vivo and focused coding methods to make organized and meaningful use of the participants’ opinions of educational practices. The epistemology associated with the study was an interpretivist outlook which, through the participants’ viewpoints, provided understanding of the perceptions of this marginalized group of students. Sixteen participants were chosen who met all the requirements for the study; they each participated in an individual interview and a focus group of three to six participants. The interviews and focus groups were conducted on the Zoom platform to accommodate state regulations caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Six themes emerged from the data collection that were directly associated to the two research questions: Environmental Supports, Social-Emotional Supports, Course Supports, Exterior Supports, Teaching Supports, and Post-Secondary Supports. This study could support the construction of accommodations available at all educational facilities for students who have dealt with adverse childhood experiences.


174 pages

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