Underachievers: A study on switching from TTO Athenaeum to Dutch HAVO
Quarles van Ufford-Thomson, S.S.
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The research school received favorable reviews from the European Platform in 2011 for its TTO program. Nonetheless, a serious concern has been identified: a significant percentage of students that enroll in the TTO Athenaeum stream, graduate from secondary school in the Dutch HAVO stream. In some years, this percentage has been as high as 30 per cent. This research investigated the causes of this phenomenon from the perspective of students, using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods. The study concluded that the majority of the students highly valued the TTO program and stated that they would not have switched back to their native language, had the TTO program been offered at the HAVO level. Furthermore, students saw the need for the use of more interactive learning techniques in TTO classes, in order to stimulate their learning of English. Finally, the central role that some teachers and mentors played in students’ decision to switch from TTO Athenaeum to Dutch HAVO was surprising and remarkable.