|dc.description.abstract||This research, a qualitative phenomenological study, identified, and analyzed critical
incidents of perceptions of young adult Black male drop-outs believed to be directly
related to their departure from high schools without graduating. The focus of the study
was to find possible connections between school programs, policies, and practices of the
senior high school level and the drop-out problem.
Devised methods analyzed reported critical incidents from several perspectives within
the school setting. Some cases were referenced by using cross-matrix analyses to
compare and contrast patterns of happenings.
What do young Black male students having “failed”, whether personally and/or by their
high schools, perceive in later years, as adults, to have been critical incidents
discouraging and/or alienating them from completing a program that leads to
Critical incidents will focus on four questions:
1. What are there things that happened to them at school that made them
want to dropout?
2. What are the varieties of critical incidents reported as those that bear
some relevance to dropping out?
3. What is the in-school context reported in their critical incidents?
4. What are the given titles of dominant persons, programs or policies
related to the recalled incidents?
Interview respondents were tape recorded as they gave detailed descriptions of their inschool
perceptions of critical incidents. The identity of respondents, school personnel
and the district remained completely anonymous.
Tape recorded reports were analyzed to extract critical incidents and specifics related to
the research questions. Critical incidents were coded and categorized to produce themes
of types of incidents.
Hearing first-hand from dropouts, of a “failed” system is the first step in a process of
efforts to make it widely known and to prevent such “critical incidents” from continuing
to occur when high school students forfeit a diploma and full K-12 education. This
study provides alterable factors with implications for school policy, teaching and
leadership practices that relate to the whole child theory of learning at every stage and
level. This research supports the “whole child” concept of cultural sensitivity, diverse
learning and multiculturalism. It contributes to established basics for further research
and theory on institutionalized malpractices.||