Thesis

Middle school students' perceptions of teacher characteristics that contribute to culmination

There is an alarming rate of students dropping out of high school, and students with learning disabilities (LD) tend to be at a higher risk for not completing high school than their general education counterparts. In order to address this issue contributing factors that influence school completion must be identified. The literature suggests that having a positive relationship with an adult on a school campus influences middle school culmination, which is a predictor of successful high school graduation. This paper examines students' perceptions of teacher support and effectiveness on middle school completion for middle school students with LD. One-hundred male and female middle school students with LD completed a survey, and of those, 10 were interviewed. Findings suggest that students make clear distinctions about qualities of effective teachers and ineffective teachers, students seek out teachers who they perceive as effective, and finally, many different people and factors influence students going beyond the school setting.

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