Preventing High School Dropout: Is Early Intervention Enough?

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December 8, 2017


10:00am - 11:00am


Sanchez Building (SZB) Room 435

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Eric Dion’s work on early prevention of reading problems and social determinants of dropout has significantly influenced educational policies in Quebec. Dion has conducted randomized field studies exploring the effectiveness of reading instruction programs with young at-risk or learning-disabled students. The resulting findings clearly show the usefulness of early evidence-based intervention. Findings from one of Dion’s recent studies, published in Child Development, suggest that dropout frequently occurs because of social turmoil in a student’s life (e.g., bullying), even among students without a history of academic or behavioral difficulties. To disseminate the programs that were found to be effective, Dion has started Randomistes, a non-profit organization that has trained hundreds of French-speaking teachers in four Canadian provinces and in the U.S. Because early intervention programs are essential but probably insufficient, he has also become interested in the short-term, social determinants of dropout among high-school students. Dion is professor in the Department of Special Education at University du Quebec a Montreal (Montreal, Quebec, Canada).