Putting the Blame Where It Belongs: A Study of Causes Attributing to Drop Outs

By Dewi Amat Sapuan.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

A study was carried out to determine the real reasons causing students to drop out from a higher learning institution. Sources of data included the dropouts themselves, and teachers. Surveys and interviews were carried out and findings from individual group analyses clearly showed opposing perceptions between dropouts and teachers on causes attributing to drop outs. A synthesis of these data analyses revealed that the opposing perceptions fitted a social psychology concept of Fundamental Attribution Error. Where attribution error has occurred, the concern was that these perceptions would likely lead to flawed impressions. The situation leading to consequences of flawed impressions feeding on ideas or suggestions for institutional improvements describes what is commonly known as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Keywords: Drop Out, Multiple Sources of Data, Fundamental Attribution Error, Self-fulfilling Prophecy

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 14, Issue 12, pp.73-82. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 615.353KB).

Dewi Amat Sapuan

Lecturer, Faculty of Business Administration, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

A PhD candidate with a research interest in the dropout phenomena. Has been with UNITAR, a private higher learning institution in Malaysia, for the past seven years.


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