Follow PACE on:

New Research on How to Prevent Dropouts
posted by: Melissa | November 09, 2017, 07:13 PM   

A recent practice guide from What Works Clearinghouse provides recommendations on how to prevent student dropouts. What Works Clearinghouse is a subdivision of the Institute of Education Sciences which focuses on boiling research down into key takeaways. Unlike research papers, this new practice guide is a compilation of all research on the subject, meaning that the recommendations are the ones shown to be most effective.

From this solid research base, the practice guide has four recommendations for educators:

  1. Monitor all students to enable proactive intervention. Students who are going to drop out of school often give early warning signs that include changes in attendance, behavior, and grades. If students begin to fall off track in these areas, early intervention can ensure that they remain on track for graduation. Interventions should be designed to meet the needs of the student and school and can be designed for individuals, groups of students, or even the whole school. When intervention is needed, it should begin with checking in on the student and be adjusted throughout the intervention period to make sure the student continues to improve.
  2. Provide intensive, individualized support to students facing significant challenges. Even when trying to intervene early, some students may still fall so far off track that they face significant challenges in school. For these students, intensive support may be necessary. This support should include a person that acts as the student’s advocate who works with the student individually. This advocate needs a menu of support options they can provide for the student along with professional learning on how they can best help that student succeed.
  3. Offer curricula that engage students and help them face challenges. Students need to see that their success and desires in life are tied to what they learn in school. A curriculum that helps make the connection between a student’s potential career and what they’re learning now can help keep students engaged. The curriculum should also help students meet the challenges they face and help them form supportive relationships.
  4. Schools with many at-risk students should create small, personalized communities. In some large schools, there are too many students needing support to provide them all with individualized support. In these cases, schools should group students into small communities of no more than a hundred or so students. In these communities, teachers will have fewer students to monitor and manage and will be better able to engage with the students they teach. Teachers are essential parts of the community and the community should include a core group of teachers that all teach the same students and share a common planning time. The communities should also help students identify with them by promoting a community theme.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to prevent dropouts, the entire practice guide can be downloaded as an ebook from the What Works Clearinghouse website.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Submit a comment
 (not published)
smaller | bigger