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Social and Academic Effects of High Schooling Methods Exemplified in College

Essay by   •  November 19, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  2,334 Words (10 Pages)  •  1,706 Views

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There are various reasons behind the social and academic flaws of high school. According to the Center for Education Reform (2009), there are four major problems with American education. The first is that school choice is not prevalent in America's school system. The second is that the curriculum is poor, and students are not being challenged enough. The third is that the grading system does not tie in with the way that students learn. The fourth and final reason is that the educators are not dedicated to truly teaching the students, and there aren't enough professionals going into the education field (www.edreform.info). These are all valid points; and in order to find the answers to why these problems are occurring, research on the different schooling types will help build a foundation in trying to establish an answer. This research survey aims to find an answer to some of education's biggest questions including what schooling types produces the most social and academic achievement.

"Understanding the factors that play a role in the transition to college has important consequences. Successful adjustment; particularly during the first year, predicts academic success" (Van Heyningen, 1997). Conducting a survey and finding research on the effects of high school enrollment is important for various reasons. The first reason is that it allows one to see the different social and academic effects of high school enrollment. The second is that it will help others see that coming from a homeschooled background actually causes students to be more active in college. The third and final reason is that this study seeks to damper the stereotype of homeschoolers being non-social. All schooling types will be defined and compared along with dialogues on research findings before data is presented. This essay will examine the different opinions of scholars as to which schooling methods (i.e. public, private, and home schooling) are more prone to being socially and academically involved in college.

Literature Review

According to Beins (2009) there are many ways for a survey to be biased because of the participant's response in result of wording, order, perceived purpose, sensitivity of the issue, the nature of the researcher, pre-existing knowledge of the participant, or commitment (p. 258-259). To combat this the conducted survey questions were in random order, the wording was simplified and well defined, the purpose was not revealed to the participants, the issue was not sensitive, every participant had at least some knowledge of their high school background, and the participants did not know the name of the researcher.

Before one can determine which high school background is the most involved academically and socially in college, it is essential to examine the social and academic involvement in high school of private, home, and public schooled students having a clear understanding of the how to define social and academic success in college and high school.

Pellegrini and Smith (2000) made the observation that academic achievement is defined as the meeting or exceeding of personal and required academic goals, meeting or exceeding standardized tests, and being at, or above average in class rank and GPA (p. 63). This assertion made by Pellegrini and Smith can definitely as the definition of academic success. There are no lurking variables or certain aspects that would invalidate Pellegrini and Smith's statement in this particular area of study.

According to Decker, Fletcher, and Thatcher (2008) social success is defined as the ability to communicate efficiently with students, faculty, and family while also being able to engage with peers and be involved in the classroom (p. 580). This is an adequate definition of social success but does not appeal to the qualitative aspect of research. This flaw may lead to lurking variables; resulting in higher chances of the research being deemed as void. To counter this, the survey will include qualitative questions that pinpoint the participants' feelings on their personal view of success; which results in the participants shaping their own definition of success instead of the researcher.

Rudner (1999) conducted the largest homeschool survey and detailed research to determine what schooling type (public, home, or private) produced the most academic achievement in the United States (p. 1). He collected standardized testing scores from the Testing of Achievement and Proficiency Test from all level schools and school types in 27 states, and also had the academic standing along with background questionnaires filled out by 20,760 homeschooled students (p. 3-6). After data was collected, Rudner then compared the homeschool data to the standardized testing scores (American College Testing) and surveys provided by various schools and censuses. After review, Rudner concludes,

"Almost 25% of home school student are enrolled one or more grades above their age-level peers in public and private schools. Homes school student achievement test scores are exceptionally high. The median scores for every subtest at every grade (typically in the 70th and 80th percentile) are well above those of Catholic/Private school students...Students who have been home schooled their entire academic life have higher scholastic achievement test scores than students who have also attended other educational programs.." (p. 32).

Rudner is a great example of utilizing data to avoid loopholes in research in order to come to a solid conclusion. This research is conducive to the survey research to determine which high school background is the most involved academically and socially in college because it provides proof that while enrolled in high school, homeschooled students excel academically. It is hard to argue against the facts proposed by Rudner. These facts lead one to create a foundation on the assumption that homeschool academic achievement will follow into college years.

Daugherty (1999) stated that researchers have consistently found a link between pre-college measures of academic ability and attrition (p. 355). In Daughtery's research on the differences of eventual graduate and eventual dropouts, predictor variables were obtained early in the first year of college and attrition status was assessed after four years.

When reviewing this, an assessment can be made that if Daugherty viewed the first year of college as a contributor to the outcome of graduate school, high school can be viewed as a contributor of college outcome. One could also conclude that a student's academic and social ability partially determines their attitude towards college and what action they will take to either better their social and academic lifestyle, or maintain it. This survey and additional research mainly focused on homeschooled



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