Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Students are referred to alternative schools such as the Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) for violations against the student code of conduct. Students who are referred and attend DAEPs are more likely to make failing grades and drop out of school permanently. However, a lack of understanding existed about why some students repeatedly receive referrals to the DAEP.The purpose of this case study was to gain an understanding about why some students are repeatedly being sent to the DAEP in a school district in north central Texas. The conceptual framework was based on Catalano and Hawkins' social development theory which posited that through consistent socialization, children learn prosocial or antisocial behavior patterns from the social units to which they are bonded. In this study, 14 purposefully selected classroom teachers participated in one-on-one conversational interviews to explore teachers' perceptions about why some students are repeatedly sent to the DAEP. Inductive analysis was used for coding and identifying emerging concepts, themes, and events. Six major themes emerged from analysis of the data: school structure, classroom/behavior management, class size, student labeling, extracurricular activities, and teacher-student relationships. The results illustrate the need for changes to disciplinary policies, new transition procedures, and improved staff training. This study may contribute to positive social change by suggesting strategies that schools could use to decrease the number of referrals to the DAEP. In turn, by decreasing the number of referrals school failure and dropout rates would decrease and as a result enable youth to eventually become productive members of society.