This longitudinal case study explores the evolving identity constructions and schooling perspectives of former alternative education program members, at an early stage of their adult lives. Using a critical sociocultural lens and in-depth semi-structured interviews, I revisited three young women, five years after their participation in research I had previously undertaken in a middle school, alternative program. This current effort provides individual participant profiles detailing the present life circumstances and thinking of each participant, along with brief middle school recaps and five-year interval updates. This work illustrates its participants’ evolving perspectives on selves and schooling and their present recognition of a critically important caring element in their former program. Its resulting implications highlight the influence of social and institutional practices to determinations made by, and about, youth, and imply a need for their continual reassessment. Additionally, this study addresses a call in the literature for longitudinal efforts to determine the long-term effects of alternative education programs and advocates for an inclusion of the voices of marginalized youth in measures towards reform.
Alternative Education, At-Risk Students, Identity Construction, Longitudinal Case Study, Caring Education, Social Practices
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.
Recommended APA Citation
Harnischfeger, A. M. (2018). Thoughts from the Margins: A Five-Year Longitudinal Exploration with Former Alternative Education Youth. The Qualitative Report, 23(4), 801-822. Retrieved from https://nsuworks.nova.edu/tqr/vol23/iss4/6