Why Do Students Drop Out of High School? Narrative Studies and Social Critiques

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This study will address the international, national and local issues and solutions pertaining to early school leaving and youth disengagement from school. The various contributors examine the impacts of social class, ethnicity, gender and sexuality on the issue of school leaving. The study also reviews past policy in addressing the problem of youth disengagement from school and offers recommendations for reform.


“Educational disengagement is not a process that has captured the interests of contemporary researchers in the social sciences. ... In this volume, Kate Tilleczek and her colleagues move beyond the more common focus on social class and disengagement and scrutinize a whole range of cultural factors that can impact on patterns of educational engagement. ... Kate Tilleczek and her colleagues have taken an important first step by producing an informed, comprehensive and balanced discussion of disengagement that will surely stimulate further research and debate in this area.” – Dr. Andy Furlong, Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow

“Kate Tilleczek and her co-authors have provided readers with a rare collection of rich, respectful and renewing insights into the worlds of adolescence disconnected from schooling. They have accomplished this by taking us, in an accessible, hopeful way beyond the generalizable to the particularities of school, beyond the empirical-analytical and ethical-political.” – Dr. John R. Wiens, Dean and Professor, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba

“Early school leaving is emerging as an intractable and enduring problem in many countries, as a sizeable minority of young people continue to discontinue school. ... This book provides an important perspective on these issues and will be of interest to practitioners, academics and those who are concerned to make a difference in young people’s lives.” – Dr. Johanna Wyn, Youth Research Centre, Faculty of Education, University of Melbourne

Table of Contents

Foreword by Andy Furlong
1 Reconsidering School Disengagement: A Sociological View from the Margins – Kate Tilleczek, Bruce Ferguson, Dara Rother Edney, Joanna Anneke Rummens, Katherine Boydell, and Michael P. Mueller
2 Methodological Considerations for the Study of Early School Leaving – Michael P. Mueller, Kate Tilleczek, Joanna Anneke Rummens, and Katherine Boydell
3 Understanding and Addressing Early School Leaving among Immigrant and Refugee Youth – Joanna Anneke Rummens, Kate Tilleczek, Katherine Boydell and Bruce Ferguson
4 Gender and Sexuality as Issues in School of Disengagement – Dara Roth Edney and Katherine Boydell
5 On Francophone Disengagement from High School: Youth, Parents, and Educators Speak Out – Daniel Côtém Julie Boissonneault, Jacques Michaud, Cindy Tremblay and Gratien Allaire
6 Rural Youth and School Cultures: Rethinking “Place” and School Disengagement – Kate Tilleczek and Dana Cudney
7 Aboriginal Student Disengagement with Schooling – A Living Story of Hope for Our Future – Pamela Rose Toulouse
8 Early School Leaving as Viewed by Parents and Educators – Katherine Boydell and Tiziana Volpe
9 A Critical Review of Initiatives to Redress Youth and School Disengagement – Kate Tilleczek, Bruce Ferguson, Dara Roth Edney, Joanna Anneke Rummens and Katherine Boydell

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