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Less successful pathways through secondary school. Studies on grade retention and early school leaving

Not every pupil proceeds through secondary school
at the same pace. There are students who repeat one (or more) years or even
students who never get a certificate of secondary education. This grade
retention and dropout issues will be the main focus of our study. 

Grade retention is a common practice in our
educational system, with as many proponents as opponents. The variety of
conclusions concerningeffects of grade retention is a problem. Does grade
retention give the pupil a gift of time to catch up, or is he just labelled
as stupid by his new classmates? In this research, we focus on the academic
and psycho-social development of those pupils who were retained in secondary
education, and compare them with their age-mates and grade-mates. This allows
us to draw strong inferences about the effect and theusefulness of grade
retention. Besides the effects in secondary education, we examine the effects
of grade retention on succes in furthersecondary education and enrolment and
success in higher education. There is one effect where research is almost
unanimously: grade retention increases the risk of dropout. This is a serious
issue, because of the strong link between dropout and future perspectives on
the labour market. 
The research on dropout is always focused on the background
variables of the pupil (e.g. SES, gender). In this study, we try to explain the
dropout decision by focussing on the engagement ofthe student, as perceived by
the student, as well as by the teacher.

Date:1 Sep 2009 →  25 Nov 2013
Keywords:Educational, Flemish
Disciplines:Education curriculum, Education systems, General pedagogical and educational sciences, Specialist studies in education, Other pedagogical and educational sciences
Project type:PhD project