Context Of Risk: Status And Motivational Predictors Of Alienation In Middle School

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The Social Context of Risk: Status and Motivational Predictors of Alienation in Middle School

The Social Context of Risk: Status and Motivational Predictors of Alienation in Middle School by Tamara B. Murdock was published in the Journal of Educational Psychology in 1999. Murdock uses Qualitative Research to study risk factors in students dropping out. She say “National estimates range from 15% to 25% and many urban districts report school completion rates below 50% (Murdock 1999). In the state of Pennsylvania according to the Department of Education the Pennsylvania had a graduation rate of 86.58% for the 2015-2016 School year. That is an increase from 84.75% For the 2014-2015 School Year. However, that number is deceiving because 90.28%
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Because of these findings Murdock studies risk factors that might drive those students to drop out. Her study is relevant because if students who are “at risk” in middle school where her research demographic is, then possible …show more content…
The questions varied about the student’s background and their perceptions about school, their teachers, their peers, and motivation to complete tasks. Murdock claims that teacher perception, peer acceptance, and economic opportunity structure are predictive of students dropping out. The questions in the survey were answered based on a 5 point scale and the data was subcategorized. In the Teachers Academic Support category Murdock breaks the student’s answers into three categories Teachers disinterest and criticism, Teachers long term expectations and teachers support and encouragement. For the student’s peers she breaks the findings into three categories as well. Peers academic aspirations, peers resistance to school norms, and Peers academic support. Finally, for the Economic Value of Education scale she categorizes the data into limitations of education and benefits of education. She uses these categories to classify their responses and then uses the data to test which of her socioeconomic groups have the greatest chance of leaving school early based on student discipline and engagement in school. Murdock follows the McMillan structure of qualitative research by continuously falling back on previous studies, “because the exact research focus and questions evolve as the research progresses” (McMillan 96). This is true of her study because she compares her results to previous studies

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