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Applying Educational Theory To an At Risk Student

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Applying educational theory to an at risk student


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Drug abuse among students is rampant especially so among students who come from poor background. Environment as been one of the major factors that has contributed to this vice, therefore if the student is living within the environment where drugs are in circulation, can have an easy access to the drug therefore getting involved in abuse.

Poverty is another factor that has been associated with the drug abuse trying to evade a fact of poverty or selling them as a means of survival.

This has nothing to do with poverty level, though it is individual choice either to deal with drugs or not.

There are several ways to deal with the problem, in our case a student has been affected in both ways by drugs abuse and poverty, through the application of the perennial theory of education.

Perennial theory of education

The perennial theory of education seeks to provide a lasting solution to a problem.

Perennials seek to provide or impart knowledge on students concerning great ideas from the west that will help them in solving any problem that they encounter. The knowledge rotates around Constant truth in their natural and human levels, that is they do not change

The highest priority in perennials is the introduction and sustenance of a culture of interectualism. Processes by which the truths has been arrived at are taught by perennials who at the same time shy away from teaching any information that has been found to be collect or obsolete.

More of the teaching time to perennials should be used in teaching concept and showing their importance to the students’ life. The rule of meaningful dialog between the student and the teacher where the student can inquire from the teacher to enhance more their understanding is encouraged. Students on their hand can read and analyze information written by great thinkers and writers which is meaningful to date as it were during the time of writing.

In the schools respect for authority and discipline is also taught where it is a teacher’s duty to woo away the students from non-productive behaviors like drugs abuse and alcoholism. (Wood, 2003)

Perennialists believe that men everywhere are the same and in this case their education should be the same. They still believe that men are rational

Man should use reasoning ability to direct and control his way of life and should be responsible for the action and thus no environmental or personal problem should excuse one into doing ills. Education should be used as a means of helping such children who are involved in drug abuse because of poverty to stop it.

Through accruing this knowledge the children are empowered in to initiating their social reforms and change for the better. To ensure that students are interested to whatever subjects you teach them motivations as well as self discipline of the students are required.

The case study student can be helped in a perennial manner using the following to approaches.

Guidance and Counseling

Guidance is a continuous process that involves a systematic development af an individual. Through this information about an individual is gathered, example family and educational which is then used to assist him or her in identifying their developmental needs and pursue them more effectively.

Counseling on the hand is concerned with the psychological adjustments problems of an individual and it involves assisting a person to acquire self understanding and self acceptance. It helps one to overcome wrong perceptions, distorted thinking and negative attitudes in life.

In our case, the teacher should initiate a rapport with the child in question to help him open up and provide information concerning his problem. The teacher will then analyze this information and develop mechanisms and means to help the child.

To start with, the teacher could provide to the addict information about drugs, for instance he can tell him what is drug abuse which is the use of dangerous drags that have a negative effects to the use and the environment, they include, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, tobacco and alcohol, such information can help the student open up and inform on the kind of drugs he uses. After providing the information, the teacher counselor will outline to him or her all the negative effects of indulging in to drug abuse, this include, metal retardation, spread contagious diseases incase of using needles drug syndrome and other drugs related diseases like cancer.

Consequently, the teacher will suggest means a ways to the student of averting this problem, he or she should ensure that they are reliable and offer confidentiality where need be.

Firstly the child can be advised to engage in constructive activities that will keep his mind away from focusing on drugs, such activities may include engagement in sport, music or join youth programs and other engagements like spiritual engagements. Further, her or she can be advised to avoid negative company, such companies may include fellow drug users or people who sell them. He should be advised to develop new friendship bonds with people whose thinking is positive. Through such bonds, peer counseling is possible and further it will help the child be assimilated back in to the society. In addition, rehabilitation sessions should be introduced in the school to help the child. In instances where this is not possible the child should be booked in to a drug rehabilitation center, rehabilitation can involve physical and psychotherapy. These sessions should be constant and continuous and be set to suit the individual needs.

In these sessions the addicted child will have a chance of meeting and sharing with people who have undergone the rehabilitation sessions successfully. This increases the urge of the addict to fully undergo the same in order to achieve their new found status.

The teacher can also reach out to the parents and spiritual leaders to help him to guide the child out of drug besides offering spiritual nourishment. (Nutt, 2007)


Motivation is the force or impetus behind behavior and actions. This energizes behavior and directs behavior towards a goal. In most cases, teachers are always expected to create a desire of learning to students by creating conducive environment and a favoring atmosphere for learning.

The use of reinforcement by rewarding an attractive object or event is supplied as a consequence of a particular work done perfectly. According to behavior approach to motivation, teachers have an understanding of students’ motivation which begins with careful analysis of incentive and rewards that are present in the school or institution. These incentives are like privileges and money. It’s always teachers’ responsibility to identify behaviors that need to be reinforced like outstanding performance, punctuality, neatness and completion of work given.

The teachers are always alert to notice the desired behavior occur. Occurrence is always accompanied by reinforcement. A student who shows an improved performance is rewarded.

The principle is that reinforcement strengthens individual behavior and gives that exact behavior a chance to occur again. Cognitive approach state that behavior is determiner by over thinking and not through reward or punishment; it is initiated and regulated by mental process and not external events.

Teachers’ role in motivation is to help students develop on curiosity and help them develop methods for searching for information. Students should be trained to be intrinsically motivated. (Rowland, 1993)

The social working approach is an integration of cognitive and behavior aspect. This theory sees motivation as a product of two main forces, individual expectations of success in a task and vicarious experience. Individual expectation of success is determined by personal effectiveness; personal effectiveness is also called self efficiency and refers to personal confidence. The teacher should empower the student to become competent in performing a task. If the student knows that he will succeed in doing a task, then his motivation will be high.

Vicarious experience constitutes the observation of other students and compares performance. If the student discovers that his performance is poor, he may lose his sense of competence. In this respect the teacher should encourage the student to keep up with level of performance of other students so that motivation is highlighted.

            Though intrinsic motivation comes from the student, is referred to as ego involvement. This results from students’ identification with desired goal. The student is fully involved in learning a task. Teachers’ task is to empower the student to identify with that work if the need for confidence is made. (Competence means ability to perform)

            Ability to master every a task also mean competitiveness. In a task every students has interest and desire to perform confidently in a school’s task. Teachers’ role is to discover how to empower the students to achieve. Teachers should assist students by providing them with opportunity to become competent and help them to avoid failure. They achieve this by giving them a task that they are intellectually capable of achieving. When a student is successful in performing a task, his self concept is enhanced and this gives great respect to the institute.

Motivation should be displayed in personal goals and that very many motives are personalized depending on what the teacher wants to achieve. These personalized goals determine individual level of aspiration.

Several motivational factors can be instituted by teachers that will help serve the purpose to motivate them. Students from poor back grounds are often faced with several material as well as financial problem that hinder them in their quest for education. However there are measures which can be introduced by the teachers in to the system to alleviate these problems.

Some schools charges prohibitive fees to students, in most cases many students are unable to raise to raise the money subsequently keeping them in school and wasting their valuable learning time. This problem can be done away with by introducing free tuition for the affected student in to the system. Waiving of tuition and other contingences fees like sports fee will provide a level playing ground for children from rich and poor families and this will enhance equal access to the education.

However in instances where free tuition is not possible, the teachers can advocate for scholarship or and bursaries to the needy student. This guaranties uninterrupted learning. The bursaries can come from the government or can be sought from organizations that helps the needy students, this will motivate this student from the poor family to attend school as there are no reasons to do so.

In addition to this, the student should be provided with free learning equipments like stationeries and uniform. These will further relive the parent the burden of providing for the same thus motivating the student to learning.

By providing the above services to the affected child, will lower the chances of him getting involve in to the drug abuse. It is the teacher’s task to maneuver through the institutions authority so as this student may be considered and given these services.

Moreover students from the poor families can be motivated to learning by introducing feeding program in the school. Poor parents who do not have food resources often opt their children out of school to help them in gathering food. However the above program ca is used to rectify the situation. Students can be provided with lunch and supper and this can serve as a motivator to come frequently to school and learn.

The other factor that can help the student to stop using drug is through rewarding of any notable change. After the student are given counseling, the councilor should promise the student of any reward or punishment if found engaging in to drugs. The teacher should use all means of possible ways to detect any sign of drug abuse. The student may be approached differently depending on what types of drugs he uses, incase of injections, the teacher should be well informed about the drags and strategies to use in order to achieve his goal of completely convincing the student to stop the behavior.

The schooling system can develop a curriculum that will suit the needs of a student; this can include the teaching of a syllabus that will provide and enhance the acquisition of practical skills like carpentry, tailoring and masonry. Using these skills one can get self employed thus reducing the dependency level and that will set an example to other in the same problem thus motivating the affected students. (Spector, 1998)


From the above, it’s evident that the problem of drug use among the poor children cannot be wished away, the two are intertwined. However all is not lost. Efforts geared toward findings a lasting solution can be evoked.

The most effective method of approaching this matter is through a perennial method in which the counselor is determined to get a lasting solution to the problem. Through guiding and counseling the victim is one of the most effective means of looking for the solution. Therefore it is the teacher’s responsibility to see that the student has completely stopped using the drug.

It is also the teacher’s duty to evaluate the progress of the child by presetting some condition that the student is supposed to achieve at a given time. When the time comes the teacher will gauge the actual performance against the preset condition hence tracking a student’s progress.

Motivation, though a joint venture of many players it’s the teachers main role to provide information on how to motivate, who to motivate and be the overall guiding principal in this motivation, and by so doing he/she play a very pivotal role in a students progress and subsequent successes.

Annotated Bibiography

Nutt, D. (2007) Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs,

PMID 17382831

Nutt was advocating for guidance and counseling to the drug abusers. In his book that was published in 2007, he wrote on the need of a strategy to access the harmful drug and how to completely stop their circulation in the society. Nutt conducted his research solely on finding solutions to the drug abuse among the young people in the society. He said the most effective way to curb this problem ids through counseling the affected people so as they may get to know more about the harm coursed by the drugs and the benefits of in being drug free society.

In the process of counseling he found a notable success after some of the most affected people stopped and was able to live on other means than drugs trafficking. This was one of the successes he achieved in his research that also encouraged him to write and advocate the issue of guidance and counseling.

Rowland, M. (1993) Drug abuse in poor environment, The New York times, p.17

Rowland, in his article that was published it the New York Times in 1993, 2nd May page 17, he described the poor as more prone to the drug abuse. He said among the people whom he had talked with, 80% of those addicted to drugs are from the poor families, he said that they had the same argument that if the government had strict rules concerning the drug abuse, they could stop, he further said that if there could be an alternative way to face life and get something else to do rather than taking and trafficking drugs they were ready to stop.

He said the most effective method of curbing this problem was through reinforcement by the joint venture of the government and the society. In his research he was talking to various individuals from different walks of life but the bigger percent were the suspected drug traffickers and abusers.

Spector, B. (1998) Reading in human psychology, Free press, New York, P.5

The researcher Dr Spector, B. conducted a research in 1998 concerning the human psychology and how it can be improved and directed. He concluded that human way of thinking can be changed through motivation on the expected rout. He said that if one wants a person to alter his behavior and do things in a different way, there should always be an option way to follow. This was supported by conducting motivating a group of street boys from abusing drugs and engaged them to garbage collection in the tow for a pay, with time the boys abandoned their former behaviors and involved themselves fully in garbage collection and later they ware able to mobilize other street boys and joined them in the work. This reduced the drug abuse among the street boys notably in the whole town.

Wood, E. (2003) Drug supply and abuse, Canadian medical Association journal 168: (9) p.165.

This journal was written and published by Canadian medical Association in the late 2002. It talks about how drug supply has been growing in the United States and in Canada; it describes how barons are using young people in trafficking of drugs. In addition it tries to analyze how perennialists are trying to curb the problem to a long lasting solution. This however has tried to talk about how drug abuse has been growing among the young people especially from those from the poor families.

It came up with a statistics that shows that between every 10 grade 11 students from the two nations, 4 are drug addicts. The journal was authored by Edward wood.


Cite this Applying Educational Theory To an At Risk Student

Applying Educational Theory To an At Risk Student. (2016, Jul 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/applying-educational-theory-to-an-at-risk-student/

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