Case Studies - Systematic Student Development (Norway)
At the beginning of the year 2001 the drop out rate at Haugaland Upper Secondary school was very high (approx. 13%). This rate was very high and needed to be reduced drastically. The reasons for the students dropping out varied, but for many it was a case of the students being tired with the school system, personal problems, re-election of their program area or a combination of these facts. As part of combating these problems, the “Systematic Student Development” program was introduced.
2. Institutional implementation
The aims of the Systematic Student Development program are to provide a closer follow-up of the learner during their time at school as well as improving the teachers view of the student. The method will also develop the student’s ability both professionally and personally.
Purpose of systematic student development:
Systematic Student Development is a system for continuous student monitoring, throughout the school year. It is regular, it involves all parties (student, parent, mentor, teacher, school management) and is used as a tool for the entire teaching staff.
It is a hands on, pedagogical method which aim is to provide a close follow up of each student, to really SEE each student - through positive glasses. It includes adjusted teaching and the opportunity for each student to participate in his/her own learning, by looking for each students stronger sides. The core of the method is a systematic systems of conversations between the student and the mentor. An important aim is to strengthen the relationship between the student and the mentor in order to help the student develop in a personal way and of course in his / her education. This process takes place by helping the students to discover their strengths / resources and what is functioning at school. In addition the student must learn to look upon themselves and their own school experiences with the same appreciative eyes.
The main goal is to see something great with all students. When these virtues are identified, the school will use these as the basis of discussions to help the student to see their future opportunities and to help the student to create a career plan.
c. Outcomes - quantitative
Systematic Student Development is a system we are very pleased with. Based on the feedback of the various participants, students, parents and teachers, we can say that it is a system which helps us to make sure that the follow up of our students takes place systematically and not at random. The feedback given to our social councillors in their meetings with staff from other lower secondary education schools, is that being a student at Haugaland means that you are “cared for and looked after”. Students choose our institution for a number of reasons, but a very typical reason is that a student at Haugaland is ensured to be taken care of. Based on the experience we have achieved over a number of years, our conclusion is that Systematic Student Development helps a number of students to stay on and not drop out as stated earlier adapted learning is stated by the Norwegian Department of Education as a right that all students have. Systematic Student Development is one way of accommodating this directive.