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Participation by students in the senior class day show as part of the extra-curriculum at an urban high school: A case study

by Halkopoulos, H. Elaine

Abstract (Summary)
Disaffected students have an extra need for activities which bolster self-confidence, add to self-esteem, and address their sense of alienation from more advantaged students. Without on-going efforts to compensate for their perceived inadequacies they are likely to fail in career and educational goals. Urban high schools do not have staff and programs available to assist these students. Hope lies in extra-curricular programs which attempt to bridge the gap between needs of the students and lack of resources available to alleviate the problem. The Senior Class Day Show is a successful extra-curricular program which has benefited many students who feel otherwise alienated from the mainstream. This is a qualitative descriptive case study in which I, as a participant-observer of this yearly event, examined 161 secondary school student Show participants of the total defined population of 1,285 students involved in the Show from 1969-1992 concentrating on years 1987, 1989, and 1991. A triangular methodology was used including the following: (1) Attendance statistics from 157 (100%) secondary school student Show participants from three graduating classes were analyzed and compared with non-participants from the same years. (2) Survey results from 115 (73%) secondary school student Show participants of the same three graduating classes were collected immediately after the Show. These results were coded into six categories which were developed after an examination of all the surveys. (3) Open-ended interviews with four alumni who had been Show participants and selected to represented different classes, sexes and background were coded and excerpts were aligned with the six categories examined in the surveys. The data shows that the absence rate for participants decreased during the fourth quarter when students were actively preparing for the Show and the mean absence percentage rate for quarter 1-4 were found to be significantly lower for participants than for non-participants. Surveys from 115 student participants expressed six positive benefits attributed to their participation. The most significant benefits expressed by these students were (1) improved attendance; (2) sense of community or "Esprit de Corps;" (3) heightened self-esteem; (4) opportunity for self-expression, (5) a sense of accomplishment, and (6) the thought of theater as a career.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:University of Massachusetts Amherst

School Location:USA - Massachusetts

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/1997

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