Perceptions of Adolescent Males and Their Parents as to Factors That Influence the Young Men's Academic Performance
Tierney, Patrick J.
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Postsecondary enrolments of young males has been declining since the mid-1980s. The decline can be attributed, at least in part, to boys and young men being unable to compete for a fixed number of available places in institutions of higher learning, whether in community college or university. This inability to compete stems from their academic performance in secondary school. This study interviewed adolescent males and their parents as to their perceptions of a number of factors that may contribute to their academic performance. Those factors included noncognitive skills, dimensions of character, perceptions of teachers, general attitudes towards school, and likes and dislikes on a range of course subjects. One of the most important findings was that only one of the seven adolescent male participants was considering a future career that would require a university degree. Other findings showed the young men's noncognitive skills were weak, particularly in relation to time management skills and their unwillingness to ask for help with schoolwork and homework. Most of the young men expressed a dislike for mathematics beyond high school, a subject key to the study, of the natural sciences, engineering, technology, and business. Recommendations include school reforms both inside the classroom and beyond. Additionally, a framework using project management theory and practice has been proposed to improve noncognitive skills, dimensions of character, and executive function.