Term

Fall 10-22-2015

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Amy Hewett-Olatunde

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Kathryn Heinze

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Maria Marcucci

Abstract

In this qualitative study four former English learners between the ages of 21 and 24 were interviewed in order to answer the following questions: What perceptions do participants have of their K-12 educational experiences? What perceptions do participants have regarding deficit thinking in their K-12 educational experiences? What responses do participants have to deficit thinking they might have experienced? What in-school factors, if any, might have improved participants’ educational experiences? Data from individual interviews was analyzed using the constant-comparison method (Glaser & Strauss, 1967). Major findings of this study were that participants had a more positive learning experience in ESL classes than in general classes; participants experienced a minimal amount of deficit thinking in their K-12 educational experiences; and participants believed that certain in-school factors would have improved their K-12 educational experiences.

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