Push-out or dropout?: A grounded theory on adolescents’ school detachment

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IJOPEC Publication: London

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The purpose of the present study is to develop a framework for explaining factors that contribute to leave education among adolescents. Because leaving compulsory education is more prevalent in the South-eastern region of Turkey, Nusaybin, a relatively large border town, is selected as a case for this study. Using a grounded theory methodology, the present study aimed to examine the process of push out through the experiences and perspectives of pushed-out adolescents and their teachers. There is limited research about school dropouts and pushouts in Turkey, with the present study we aim to contribute to the literature in this field. Participants of the study were 10 primary school teachers (ages ranging from 27 to 39) and 14 adolescents (ages ranging from 14 to 17) who are pushed out of school. Individual in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data and grounded theory approach was adopted to analyse data. In data analysis, interview transcripts were read and re-read to discover concepts, categories and their interrelationships. This process was accomplished through three stages of analysis, namely open coding, axial coding and selective coding. Results of the analysis revealed that both family and school play important roles in adolescents’ leaving school. First, factors in family life such as economic pressures, sexism, the educational background of families and language, and second, factors in school life such as the discipline practices of school, behavioural problems of students, the meaning of education and peer influence were among the main reasons of push out. Finally, according to the narratives of both the adolescents and teachers, family life was the core underlying factor leading to push out, because family factors directly influence the school life of adolescents.


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drop-out, push out, school drop out, adolescents, social context


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