A Mixed Methods Research Study on School Dropout and Mathematics-Related School Dropout
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Keywords:school dropout, absenteeism, mathematics, mathematics anxiety, MAXQDA, mixed-method
School dropout is a persistent problem in educational sciences, and sample research has been conducted on this issue. Research has associated school dropout with various reasons, including academic failure. The current study aims to investigate the reasons of mathematics-related school dropout, as a sub-area of academic failure. The study adopted a mixed methods research design. In the quantitative phase, 955 adults completed a questionnaire regarding their school dropout and not continuing to a further school level. The quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS 25.0 program. The descriptive statistics revealed the reasons of general school dropout as family-related reasons, academic failure, environmental conditions, personal reasons, social reasons, teacher factor, health problems, and financial reasons. The inferential statistics (the chi-square test of independence) confirmed that adults’ school dropout was not independent of mathematics failure. The qualitative data analysis program, MAXQDA 2020, was used to account for the reasons of mathematics-related middle school and high school dropout in detail. To this end, interviews were held with two participants who dropped out of middle and high school, and their statements revealed that the reasons of mathematicsrelated school dropout or not continuing to a further school level were mathematics attitude, test anxiety, mathematics anxiety, teacher’s attitude, social factors, and main shortcomings. The qualitative data were analyzed through the singlecase model and two-cases model and presented with MAXmaps. The results demonstrated that the qualitative findings explained and confirmed the quantitative findings. The study offers several recommendations for various disciplines based on the findings.
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