Students at Utrecht High School and the Organic ScoreCard

Introduction

Students, and learners too, thrive in an environment that is conducive to the development of their specific talents and abilities. As institutions such as schools and universities only have limited means to align structures and programmes with the individual needs of learners / students, it is important to guide them towards a school or university that best suits their respective needs, or to guide them towards a development journey based on what is being offered locally (at their current school or university, or based on their preferences). Once the learners and/or students have chosen an institution, it becomes important to indicate this as soon as possible and as effectively as possible, and to intervene should problems arise.

Signs of an increased risk of early school leaving already become visible in the first year. This is one of the conclusions in the thesis entitled Early school-leaving in The Netherlands. A multidisciplinary study of risk and protective factors explaining early school-leaving for which Dr T Traag, researcher at the Central Bureau of Statistics, received a doctoral degree at the University of Maastricht.

The research shows that behaviour in the first year is a significant indicator of behaviour during the remainder of the school years. There is no reason to believe that high school will be different. This means that pre-scans, or scans as early as possible in the learning career, can play a strong protective role.

The graphs and their conclusions, as presented below, are not easy to read for laymen. However, we do provide the graphs as all those familiar with the methodology of the Organic Score-Card can help to explain the meaning of the graphs.

Before we look at the figures, it needs to be emphasised that these scores are based on very limited numbers in a once-off scoring round. More groups and larger numbers will provide more objective results. The differences are also highly significant. We trust that future results will provide uniformity and clarity.

The results given below do provide direction and do support the guidance of students. However, the results do not provide ‘proof’.

We also provide brief descriptions of what the graphs represent. You are referred to TransMind for a detailed interpretation of the colours and domains.

Background of the Organic ScoreCard

The basic principles below will provide you with a quick understanding of the graphs.

The three colours represent the regions in our brains from where our behaviour originates.

  • Red represents the awareness that originates from the brain stem. Behaviour coming from this part of the brain is about fight and flight, drive and change, anger and uncertainty.
  • The blue colour represents the limbic system and stands for stability through connection. The resultant behaviour includes searching for reliability and security, the need or pressure to control, and anchoring or rigidity.
  • The yellow colour represents the neocortex and with that abstraction and trust, letting go and detachment.

The 12 domains are subdivided into three groups representing the (cultural) perspectives from which people look at themselves and their relationship to their world: I, WE and IT.
This is about the extent to which people are taking responsibility for their lives. Spending energy in the I perspective, sharing responsibility in in the WE perspective and letting go in the IT per-spective.

Part-time students

The graphs of students from the 2011 part-time group at Utrecht High School are provided be-low. This graph compares the students who went through to their second year with students who dropped out in their first year.

100%* correlation of  ‘drop-outs’

100%* correlation of ‘drop-outs’

The 100%* correlation measurements show that the ‘drop-outs’ (Figure 1) have a strong need for a familiar and predictable structure in themselves and as facilita-tion, i.e. from the institution. Their need for these types of certainties is apparently lulling them to sleep, giving them huge confidence that this is rescuing them.

We know that structured and disciplined work holds benefits in secondary school. However, during high school it seem to help only when the discipline comes from the students themselves. When the need to “be taken by the hand” becomes too big, as can be the case in secondary school, higher education can become counterproductive.

100%* correlation of second year students

100%* correlation of second year students

This study focuses on part-time students. Hence, this story does not (quite) fit. However, the scores do point to a strong need for inner and outer structural support. This is a phenomenon worth investigating.

The students (Figure 2) who have made it to their second year all have an interesting mix of self-confidence and a restless drive in common, but without the structural sense of the “drop-outs”.

*A 100% correlation of the scores of all the students in the reference group shows their huge common ground. A 75% correlation of the scores shows that three-quarters of the students have the same scores. 100% determines the unconscious drive. 75% leans towards the behavioural side or the visible behaviour that characterises a group.

75% correlation of  ‘drop-outs’

75% correlation of ‘drop-outs’

In the 75% of the graphs we see a more behavioural movement: Here, the drop-outs strengthen their need to be sure, and to know where they stand and what they need to do. At the same time, they show that they are somewhat lost and insecure among the people around them.

75% correlation of second year students

75% correlation of second year students

Those who have passed take a proper look at what is expected of them. They prefer to take their security from this rather than from the systematic rigidity of the drop-outs. They seem just like the drop-outs who see uncertainty in themselves and in the interactions among fellow students and teachers. However, the extent of their uncertainty seems to be much smaller and more accepted by themselves. The preliminary conclusions above are enhanced by this image.

Somewhat premature and insufficiently substantiated but yet interesting is the idea that those ‘structure-needy’ students who do pass will later on in their studies translate their external insecurity into the frustration we have seen with long-term students who drop out.