TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
Current situation of the risks of early school leaving in the Brussels region
« Etat des lieux du risque de décrochage en Région bruxelloise »
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
Partnership between the school of psychology of the Catholic University of Louvain (IPSY), Benoit Galand and Virginie Hospel and the Belgian Forum for Prevention and Urban Security (FBPSU), various authors.
Dépôt Institutionnel de l’Académie Louvain (DIAL)
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
Louvain - December 2011
TYPE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Identification of students’ at risk
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
The watch unit to fight early school leaving in 15 Brussels municipalities and IPSY worked together to conduct a survey aiming to understand the early school leaving dynamics.
The results go against a determinist interpretation of the phenomenon: neither the family situation (socio-economic level, language spoken at home) nor the frequency of socio-cultural activities seem to lead to early school leaving. These are risk factors but mainly through how they influence other aspects.
According to the authors, early school leaving is a process that appear progressively, the portents of which manifest themselves through le school disengagement and truancy.
Four risk factors clearly emerge in the analyses:
• The value given to school learning (usefulness, importance and interest dedicated to school by the student),
• Withdrawal from the class (lack of commitment and involvement in the class),
• Plans to stop school nourished by the friends,
• Use of alcohol, cigarettes or cannabis reported by the student.
The survey shows that the students who are most at risk who have simultaneously those four factors and those with advanced school demotivation.
Besides, the results of the survey support the idea that the risk of early school leaving is related to how the school system works. Thus, the way students are divided up in schools and classes, repeating years or through guidance in various course of study, has an effect on the risk of early school leaving. Moreover, the way teachers supervise students and interact with them can reduce, or on the contrary raise, the risk of early school leaving.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
The authors attempted to understand the early school leaving dynamics based on a survey conducted in 2010-2011, with 3.716 3rd year students, in 66 French-speaking schools in Brussels.
The questionnaire aimed to be wide: perception of family and school environment, pedagogical practices in class and discipline management, motivation for school, school path, health, relations with peers ...
The researchers wanted to better understand the way students perceive and live in their school environment, in order to identify the possible markers to guide early school leaving prevention.
Following the survey, working sessions were organised with the local agents around the four highlighted risk factors and possible leads were suggested to prevent early school leaving and foster students’ well-being:
• Regarding “withdrawal”: fostering a participative pedagogy so that students can reinvest learning and the class group …
• Regarding “friends’ intention to leave school”: giving students more opportunities to express themselves, to equip themselves in order to find a position in the peer group and manage their friends’ influence on their school path (brainstorming, role-playing games…) …
• Regarding “the value given to learning”: starting from the students’ questions and interests, fostering the link between the school and the outside world (internship in companies, meeting various protagonists,…), fostering school from the kindergarten ...
• Regarding “drug consumption”: developing a pragmatic approach to promote health which is not focussed on addictions, developing partnerships with preschool agents …
Name of Compiler
Name of Institution
Role in the institution
Translator – project assistant