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Commuting to middle school in the family car : student and parent perceptions of what occurs and how it influences schooling

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Item Summary

Title: Commuting to middle school in the family car : student and parent perceptions of what occurs and how it influences schooling
Authors: Wong, Frances Joy Chow
Keywords: commuting
Issue Date: Dec 2011
Publisher: [Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [December 2011]
Abstract: This qualitative case study explored ten middle school students and their families, who commuted to one small private school in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi, in the family car. The lengthy drive to and from school, at least forty-five minutes each way, was the consequence of home ownership coupled with the desire to pursue a private school education. Although there has been an increase in new students who commute to school, in general, there have been few interventions in place that have spoken to adolescent needs and bolstered student success in school. The primary aims of this study were to discover parent and student perceptions of the commute, how commuting families adapted, how the long road times affected home and school life, and what types of assistance schools could provide to support commuters.
Data were gathered from individual one hour interviews with ten commuting students and their parents. Follow up interviews were conducted a few months later. Teachers were also interviewed in order to gain a perspective of commuting students' needs and strengths, and commuting students' blogs on five consecutive days described their immediate impressions of daily experiences.
Findings indicated that long distance commuters had developed their own culture and that resiliency factors were reflected in both students and adults. The car emerged as an extension of the home and served as an environment conducive to the continuation of family life while on the road. Substantial parent involvement at home, in the car, and at school was central in maintaining normalcy despite the challenges of long travel times. Unless commuters were specifically identified, teachers did not notice a difference between commuters and non-commuters in their classes. Among the most notable identified areas of support for commuting students in school were the provision of early morning supervision on campus; afternoon study halls open to all students; the use of hands-on and collaborative instructional strategies to keep students focused and engaged; and increased communication between school and parents.
Description: Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2011.
Includes bibliographical references.
Appears in Collections:Ph.D. - Education

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