Dropping out of School: Recommendations of Ontario Francophone Youths on how to Deal with the Problem

By Daniel Cote, Julie Boissonneault, Jacques Michaud, Cindy-Lynne Tremblay and Gratien Allaire.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

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

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.153-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 532.232KB).

Dr. Daniel Cote

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada

A life-long resident of Northern Ontario, Dr. Côté's doctoral dissertation studied the power strategies employed by staff during turbulent organizational change in a mental health context. Dr. Côté has held various clinical and senior administrative positions in health and mental health settings Northern and rural Ontario, Canada. He has used telemedicine technology extensively for providing direct clinical services, administrative planning and linkages with health partners across the North, and in educational and learning situations. Since 2003, Dr. Côté has been Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Canada. He is a member of Laurentian’s Research & Ethics Board as well as the Academic Council of the Faculty of Professional Schools. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Aid Society of the Districts of Sudbury/Manitoulin, Ontario. Dr. Côté's current research interests include psychiatry and mental health, the study of pathways for obtaining services, consent to treatment, standards of professional practice and regulation, administration and management of hospitals and mental health services, and organizational change in the human services sector.

Julie Boissonneault

Assistant Professor, Département d’études françaises et de traduction, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada

Jacques Michaud

Researcher, Institut Franco-ontarien, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada

Cindy-Lynne Tremblay

M.A. Human Development (candidate), Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada

Gratien Allaire

Professor and Director, Institut franco-Ontarien, Laurentian University, Ontario, Sudbury, Canada


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