Barsallo Alvarado, Gabisel: Decisions, Practices and Priorities : A Qualitative Study on University Dropout and Personal Development in Panama. - Bonn, 2019. - Dissertation, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn.
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author = {{Gabisel Barsallo Alvarado}},
title = {Decisions, Practices and Priorities : A Qualitative Study on University Dropout and Personal Development in Panama},
school = {Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn},
year = 2019,
month = dec,

note = {This qualitative study examines the relationship between sociocultural factors and community practices connected to university dropouts in Panama. It also examines the outcomes that dropping out has had on former dropouts' personal development.
Previous research indicates that there is an extensive set of social, economic, cultural and other variables involved in the process of dropping out from university. This study considers socio-cultural factors associated with the dropout phenomenon in Panama City and San Miguelito, Panama. Synthesizing these factors, ideas on community, culture and perceptions on personal development also arose. This study proposes a conceptual model linking socio-cultural factors, practices within the students' community that have an effect on their dropout decision, and the negative or positive outcomes that influenced their personal development.
This study is motivated by one main research question: How do socio-cultural practices influence higher education dropout in Panama and what are its consequences on personal development? To examine this question, a phenomenological interpretative approach was conducted using qualitative research methods and was divided into two phases. A sample of former dropouts in the cohort of 2001-2010 and community members was gathered by using purposeful snowball sampling and later interviewed. Also interviews to experts and focus group discussions were performed.
In the first phase, data from existing government statistics, surveys and semi-structured interviews provided the necessary evidence to describe the university dropout phenomenon from the perspective of former dropouts and the socio-cultural influences affecting them. The second phase of the study explores former dropouts` personal development after leaving their studies out of their own experiences.
The findings of this study contribute to our understanding of the actual situation to be faced by prospective and current university students by documenting external influences that affect them on a daily basis. This study, along with other previous studies, will help policy makers in their attempts to overcome dropout rates in the Panamanian higher education system.},

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