• Perceived effectiveness of alternative programming : a case study /

      Nickerson, Kate.; Department of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education (Brock University, 2000-05-21)
      The topic of this research was alternative programming in secondary public education. The purpose of this research was to explore the perceived effectiveness of two public secondary programs that are aJternative to mainstream or "regular" education. Two case study sites were used to research diverse ends of the aJtemative programming continuum. The first case study demonstrated a gifted program and the second demonstrated a behavioral program. Student needs were examined in terms of academic needs, emotional needs, career needs, and social needs. Research conducted in these sites examined how the students, teachers, onsite staff, and program administrators perceived that individual needs were met and unmet in these two programs. The study was qualitative and exploratory, using deductive and inductive research techniques. Similar themes of best practice that were identified in the case study sites aided in the development of a teaching and learning model. Four themes were identified as important within the case study sites. These themes included the commitment and motivation of teachers and the support of administration in the gifted program, and the importance of location and the flow of information and communication in the behavior program. Six themes emerged that were similar across the case study sites. These themes included the individual nature of programming, recognition of student achievement, the alternative program as a place of safety and community, importance of interpersonal capacity, priority of basic needs, and, finally, matching student capacity with program expectations. The model incorporates these themes and is designed as a resource for teachers, program administrators, parents, and policy makers of alternative educational programs.