School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Patricia Ferrin


homeless, highly mobile, resiliency, McKinney-Vento Act




The purpose of this phenomenological study was to discover how educators identified homeless and highly mobile students and encouraged the characteristics of resiliency. This study was conducted using the educators at an urban school district in southern California. The theory guiding this study was Garmezy’s theory on resiliency as it pertained to the development and encouragement of the characteristics of resiliency in homeless and highly mobile students. The study was a transcendental phenomenological study. The sample were volunteers who are educators at the urban southern California school district. To facilitate triangulation, data collection was conducted by semi-structured interviews, a focus group, and the participants participated in letter writing to facilitate expanding on ideas or adding additional thoughts on the subject. The analysis was conducted using a modification of the Van Kaam method as described by Moustakas. Results from this study were that educators were at a disadvantage when identifying homeless and highly mobile students. However, once these students were identified, the relationships between students and teachers were of the utmost importance. Peer-to-peer relationships in extracurricular activities were also found to be a positive aspect for homeless and highly mobile students.

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