Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




The less talented pupils are being eliminated from the schools and caused to meet adult problems without adequate preparation due to the unflexible definition entertained of what constitutes an education. Efforts to achieve a high level of scholarship have been causing schools to be more selective than they should according to the spirit of the public school laws. The discouraged low-ability pupil tends to drop out of school at a lower grade level than would have been necessary providing the school programs were more adaptable to the individual differences of pupils. Schools have had a tendency to attempt to prepare all pupils for college entrance despite of the fact that only a minority of them actually do attend college. Many feel that there is a definite need for the high schools to set up separate programs for the prospective college students and for those who do not intend to continue their education in college. It is reasonable to believe that if the high school had a life career-program of studies for those not going to college then pupils would remain in school and complete such a program. Early drop-outs have terminated their formal education before they should thereby lowering the educational level of the community below that which the level would be had the drop-outs remained through high school and graduated. A greater recognition of individual differences and an adjustment of the school program to these differences in ability and personality would have helped prevent students from leaving school before graduation. Advance recognition of which pupils are likely to drop out of school early, in order that they may receive additional guidance or have their programs adjusted where necessary, would have enabled the school to hold some of them in school and prevented them from becoming drop-outs. In some ways the drop-out problem which is quite a serious and critical one for the individuals, for the schools, and for society needs critical study. As it affects the standard public schools, it also affects the Indian boys and girls enrolled in the schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It is just as important that someone make a study of the facts and factors influencing drop-outs in the schools for the Indians as that these important matters be studied in the ordinary public schools attended by the whites. Doubtless a different pattern of factors will be found due to the fact of the Indians living under reservation conditions and situations with unlike background of traditions and a dissimilar set of social mores. Just now the writer does not know of any similar study on the matter having been made at this school at Fort Yates. However the school staff recognizes the lack of holding power of the school as a serious handicap in the process of achieving the educational objectives of the school. The next part of this paper seeks to give a clear description and explanation of the Indian School situation at Fort Yates, North Dakota.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

School attendance -- North Dakota -- Fort Yates
High Schools -- North Dakota -- Fort Yates
Dakota Indians
Dropouts -- North Dakota -- Fort Yates


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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