Context: There is a strong link between a country’s social and economic well-being and literacy of its population, yet recent Canadian estimates show that at least 12% of the country’s students do not graduate from high school. For the Francophone population of Ontario, Canada’s largest province, dropping out before obtaining the high school diploma continues to be a problem and it has become a strong focus for government policy and intervention. Purpose: In this province-wide qualitative study, Francophone youths from Ontario, Canada, expressed their views on why they disengaged from school before completing their high school diploma. The study documents their recommendations for dealing with the problem. Methods: This qualitative research analysed 84 in-depth interviews with youths at various stages of leaving school prior to obtaining their high school diploma. Findings: The interview data reveal that youth-to-youth recommendations include thinking seriously about hugely increased job and life opportunities resulting from obtaining the high school diploma, making healthy lifestyle choices such as avoiding drugs, and maintaining strong personal discipline. Youth-to-school recommendations include individualized, flexible and stimulating teaching methods, curriculum that better reflects the life ambitions and career plans of those at risk and those who are not likely to pursue post-secondary education, and more recognition and respect for youth culture on the part of school staff. Conclusions: Early school leaving is a multi-dimensional process occurring over time. Youths identified several avenues to deal with the problem.
|Keywords:||Early School Leavers, School Dropouts, School Disengagement, Education, Francophone Youth, Ontario Canada, Recommendations|
Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada
Assistant Professor, Département d’études françaises et de traduction, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada
Researcher, Institut Franco-ontarien, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada
M.A. Human Development (candidate), Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada
Professor and Director, Institut franco-Ontarien, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada
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