A High School Drop-Out Prevention Program for the At-Risk Sophomore Students

Article excerpt

Peter Drucker, father of management (1989), insists that schools need to change and begin to prepare students for the "world of tomorrow." He insists that we are in a social and technological revolution that will drastically changed the meaning of education and the art of teaching. The American economy is rapidly shifting from heavy industry to high technology goods and services, and schools will need to change more than in the last 300 years. Drucker insists that the critical point for change is that "knowledge" is rapidly becoming our true capital base and premier wealth producing resource. In order to prepare for this post-business society in the brave new world, education will be everything. Here the worker will know more about h/her area of expertise than the boss, and, thus, an associate rather than a subordinate. In this new world direction will come from within, not from above, and always through interaction among colleagues at all levels.

High School Drop-Out Problem

In this "brave new world" Drucker paints, the consequence to society where the high school drop-out rate becomes crucial and important in relation to competitiveness and our economy. One million of the two million prison inmates are high school drop-outs, and for many of them it means manpower never to be regained. First, and most important for all inmates "truth and creditability" of the individual is lost forever, and second because 80 percent of inmates are addicted to alcohol or drugs, and the success rate of addiction rehabilitation is low (around 15% success), much manpower is lost. High School Principals across our nation must take immediate action to prevent such high school drop-outs before there is the contagion of being a prison inmate with lack of trust, and before there is the loss of manpower through addiction.

Identifying the At-risk students

Today in America one million of the two million prison inmates are high school dropout students, and the primary reason for their dropping out of school is a general lack of personal development. The Personal Development Test (PDT) was administered to 1,005 of such incarcerated Juvenile Delinquents and adult prison inmates (about equally divided). A comparison was made between the scores of that 1,005 inmates and 2,131 typical individuals. Every single PDT score showed a statistically significant lack of personal; development for those inmates. It is clear that an absence of personal development is the basic cause for students who dropout of high school, and the second million of our two million prison inmates are largely college drop-out students who show the same lack of personal development.

Third Force Psychology

Third Force Psychology is quite new (since the 1960s) in relation to the understanding of human behavior, human development, and learning. It has little or no interest in rats like First Force Psychology, or sick people like Second Force Psychology. The individual is considered to be an intellectual thinking planning person where full responsibility for the action takes place through own personal decision making; as opposed to the "contingency management" action in First Force Psychology, where all thinking and planning was done by others; usually a generation or two older (Cassel,2000a).

Typically, the activity begins with a very careful analysis of where he/she presently is in relation to the problem at hand--their own ego-status. This is followed by just as careful an analysis of the full range of alternatives in relation to same problem of where they would like to be or go-their "ego-ideal." It involves a continuous process of personal decision making, and where there is a testing of one alternative after another to formulate an acceptable and functional ego-ideal. When one or more ego-ideals has been established, then the problem becomes one of planning the best way to achieve that ego-ideal, and the building of a bridge from the ego-status to the ego-ideal (Cassel, 1986). …