According to Newmann (1992), Wehlage et al (1989), and Finn (1989), engagement in the milieu of academic and social aspects in schools can be influential in helping students with learning and behavioral problems to overcome their sense of academic failure, alienation and their decision to drop out. Educational and social engagement both call for some essential teacher qualities and characteristics and school reform practices. This is a study of 21 dropouts’ reasons of dropping out and their perceptions of suitable schooling for them. In their perceived aspects of ideal schooling, some desirable teacher characteristics and efficacies of pedagogical, cultural, personal and interactional (teacher-student) nature are identified. Personal teacher traits identified include mutual respect, equity, and care. Teacher-student interactional characteristics include accommodation of students’ standards and personal needs and problems, acting as the mediator between students and the school and more open to student participation in decision-making as well as mindful of the feeling of social engagement of students to their classmates, teachers and the school. In the realms of pedagogy and curricular knowledge, a successful teacher with at-risk students should teach authentic content and employ various stimulating and success-building teaching strategies. Comparisons with the research findings in the west will be made to highlight the similarities and differences between different contexts (Crowley, 1993; Miller et al., 1988; Wehlage et al 1989; Australian Curriculum Studies Association, 1997; Peterson et al, 1991; Baron et al., 1992). Implications of the findings to the teacher education and school reforms are also discussed. Copyright © 2000 The Hong Kong Institute of Education.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of International Conference on Teacher Education 1999: Teaching effectiveness and teacher development in the new century|
|Place of Publication||Hong Kong|
|Publisher||Hong Kong Institute of Education|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|