Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a secondary school in a southeastern state a large number of overage students who are at least 2 grade levels behind where they should be in academic terms, have struggled with academic performance and have often dropped out of school. Educational researchers have found that the implementation of instructional interventions is important in meeting the learning needs of these students. The purpose of this bounded case study was to determine educators' perspectives of possible intervention strategies to improve the academic performance of overage students in grades 9 and 10 at the school. Constructivism was used as the conceptual framework. The research questions were focused on what teachers, counselors, and administrators viewed as the best possible intervention for improving the academic performance of overage students at the school. Interviews were conducted with 4 classroom teachers, 2 counselors, and 2 administrators who had worked with overage students at the school. Interview data were coded and analyzed for common themes. Participants identified small group instruction as the best possible instructional intervention to support constructivist learning for overage students. Using study findings, a policy white paper was created for local school officials and administrators, which included the recommendation that small group instruction be used for overage students along monitoring student progress by a school leadership team. Implementation of the recommendations may help overage students at the study site improve their critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making skills which may result in positive social change as they experience academic success and become productive members of the school and larger surrounding community.