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“Nothing about us without us!” Youth-led solutions to improve high school completion rates
Fred Chou (author)Janelle Kwee (thesis supervisor)Robert Lees (thesis supervisor)Marla Buchanan (external examiner)Trinity Western University SGS (Degree granting institution)
This Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) study collaborated with six students from alternate education to inquire about the experiences of vulnerable youth--students who have disengaged from mainstream education. Utilizing the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique, youth researchers asked their peers: what helped and hindered their retention and success in mainstream and alternate education? Youth researchers engaged in authentic participation and took part in the iterative phases of YPAR--critical reflection and social action. Their involvement empowered them to advocate for their peers by disseminating the results and recommendations to key stakeholders within the community. Youth researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with 18 participants. Overall, the findings show that relationships with staff and peers, flexibility, psychosocial and academic supports, and personal circumstances are vital in helping vulnerable students succeed in school. Engagement in YPAR provided insight on how to work with vulnerable youth in a manner that promotes agency and social change.
Youth – Social conditions – Research.High school graduates.High school dropouts.