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Reconstructing 'Dropout'

A Critical Ethnography of the Dynamics of Black Students' Disengagement from School

by George J. Sefa Dei; Josephine Mazzuca & Elizabeth McIsaac

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social work, discrimination & race relations
list price: $76.00
also available: Paperback eBook
category: Education
published: 1997

As many as one million untrained youths will enter the Canadian labour market by the year 2000. And yet, 60 per cent of jobs being created in Canada require at least a high school education. The drop-out rate is one of the most crucial issues that Canadian educators face.

Traditionally, we have pinned dropping out on individual failure or specific situations such as pregnancy, substance abuse, and family troubles. The authors of this book suggest that the problem is more complex. Race, class, gender, and other forms of social difference can affect how education is delivered. For Black students, whose drop-out rate is disproportionately high, race is a key element in disengagement. The authors turn to the experiences of Black and non-Black students, teachers, parents, and community workers to try and reconstruct the social, structural, and institutional practices that lead Black youth to lose interest in and leave school.

Based on a three-year study in the greater Toronto area, Reconstructing 'Dropout' establishes a new frame of reference for understanding the dilemma. It is a call for social action and transformation that should not be ignored by researchers, teachers, administrators, and the Black community at large.

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About the Authors

George J. Sefa Dei

George J. Sefa Dei is Professor of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Social Justice Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.
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Josephine Mazzuca

Josephine Mazzuca and Jasmin Zine are both doctoral candidates of sociology in education at OISE/UT.

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Elizabeth McIsaac

Elizabeth McIsaac currently teaches at Centennial College.

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