David Dupper, professor of social work, has a broad research agenda focused on enhancing the success of students who are at-risk of dropping out of school. His areas of interest include:
- The development, implementation, and evaluation of alternatives to out-of-school suspension.
- An examination of various forms of “low-level” school violence (e.g., bullying) and their contribution to a hostile school environment.
- The impact of school discipline policies and practices on school failure and dropping out.
In collaboration with Matthew N. Murray (professor of economics and associate director of the Center for Business and Economic Research), Dupper recently conducted a study of the dropout problem in Knox County Schools. They examined school district administrative records and administered a questionnaire to completers and dropouts in order to identify distinguishing characteristics associated with completing versus dropping out of high school. Based on these findings, they have developed a report for the general public and will be submitting manuscripts for publication in scholarly journals.
Dupper has recently signed a contract with Oxford University Press to write a volume on school bullying. In addition, he is currently serving as host professor to a visiting scholar from Turkey. They will be collaborating on a research proposal to study if and how students are being bullied for their religious beliefs in East Tennessee schools.
Visit the Quest Gallery at Trace, UT’s digital archive, to access publications of other Quest Scholars of the Week.