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To our school days-A Narrative Research on Macau Students with experiences of grade retention
The high occurrence of grade retention has been a difficult problem in educational development in Macau. However, there seems to have a lack of academic research on the related topic. Caring about students who experienced grade retention, this research uses narrative methodology as the research tool. The data collection is conducted through in-depth interviews. The purpose is to investigate into the influence of experiences of grade retention on students. There are two research subjects invited to the in-depth interviews, both of them were students that experienced grade retention in school days. Based on the data gathered in the interviews, the author interprets and analyzes their life stories. Subsequently, their stories can be concluded into three major viewpoints: 1. “Cause”: the subjects lived in complicated and complex circumstances. They were also affected by multiple factors, such as social cultural thoughts, educational systems, personalities and family backgrounds. Profoundly influenced by these factors, a conflict between the needs of the subjects and the expectations of social systems was generated. Therefore, they were caused to repeat a year. 2. “Strategy”: Not only repeating a year brought negative influence on their emotion, but also gave pressure to their social relationships, even pushing them in danger. Fortunately, acceptance and care from teachers and classmates, as well as important life supports, were crucial strategies helping them back to stability. On the other hand, they had initiative to confront the imposed expectations. 3. “Significance”: The subjects believed that the experience of grade retention was a significant intersection of their life experiences. Last but not least, the author raises several suggestions regarding research restrictions and auto-criticism.
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