The role of relationships, curriculum design, and program culture in improving academic and behavioral outcomes in a disciplinary alternative education program: A photovoice study
Daria Shamrova, Breanna Boppre, Joana Lampe & Michaela Hastings (2023) The role of relationships, curriculum design, and program culture in improving academic and behavioral outcomes in a disciplinary alternative education program: A photovoice study, Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth, DOI: 10.1080/1045988X.2023.2222678
The literature on "what works" in disciplinary alternative education is inconclusive. Our current understanding of effective disciplinary alternative education programs is based primarily on quantitative data collected for administrative purposes. The voices of youth directly affected by disciplinary alternative education programs are often excluded from the conversation. To fill this gap in the literature, our study utilizes Photovoice methodology with 11 youth in disciplinary alternative education programs in the Midwest. The findings suggest the importance of positive relationships with adults, having tailored educational curriculum delivery, and addressing punitive elements of program culture for the academic and behavioral outcomes for youth with moderate to high-risk behaviors in a disciplinary alternative education setting. Youth recommend modification of the curriculum, increase in socialization activities, and improvement of disciplinary and incentive procedures.