Applying research -based criteria to Rhode Island's public alternative schools and programs

2002 2002

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Abstract (summary)

Alternative education programs (AEPs) have been operating in public schools for over thirty years, and there is considerable research testifying to their effectiveness. As a result of these long standing programs, the literature and research identifies criteria for exemplary alternative schools/programs. The purpose of this study was to identify the essential criteria for exemplary alternative education in public school settings via the literature and research findings, and the barriers that prevent the criteria from being fully addressed by the educational leaders of these schools/programs.

Multiple case study methods were employed to conduct the research. Individual interviews were the primary data collection methodology. The coding of qualitative data and other appropriate analysis techniques, including the use of QSR N5 software, were conducted simultaneously with the data collection, interpretation, and the writing of the research report. The process of reduction and interpretation was used to identify themes, categories, and patterns from the data collected.

From the review of related literature and research, three essential criteria of exemplary alternative education emerged: (1) positive school climate; (2) customized curriculum and instruction; (3) personal, social and emotional growth. Sub-categories of each criterion emerged. The data was then compared to the research. From this comparison, agreements, conflicts, and gaps were identified. The strongest agreement between the data and the research related to positive school climate emphasizing the importance of a caring, demanding, and well-prepared teacher. The strongest conflict between the data and the research existed in the area of personal, social, and emotional growth and the best praxis necessary to promote and develop citizenry. The gap which raised the greatest amount of concern was evident in the customized curriculum and instruction criterion. John Kellmayer (1995a) emphasizes Bloom's taxonomy in curriculum development because of a failure to emphasize higher order thinking skills. In addition, the development of affective skills is often overlooked in alternative school curricula (p. 79). This gap needs to be addressed in subsequent research of public school-based alternative education.

Findings, summaries, conclusions and recommendations from this study are to be made to the Rhode Island Department of Education, a major client of this research.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Secondary education
0514: School administration
0533: Secondary education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Alternative schools; Research-based criteria; Rhode Island
Applying research -based criteria to Rhode Island's public alternative schools and programs
Haughey, Paul Scott
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 63/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
9780493563565, 0493563563
Mojkowski, Charles
Johnson & Wales University
University location
United States -- Rhode Island
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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