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ERIC Number: EJ1101818
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1911
Beyond the Excused/Unexcused Absence Binary: Classifying Absenteeism through a Voluntary/Involuntary Absence Framework
Birioukov, Anton
Educational Review, v68 n3 p340-357 2016
Student absenteeism in secondary schools has received international academic attention for quite some time. Absenteeism has been linked to diminished academic outcomes and is one of the leading causes of high school dropout. Although absenteeism is a serious concern for educational scholars, the definitions of absences and their subtypes are inadequately developed in academic literature. The overreliance on excused/unexcused absences that posit the school and the family as the arbitrators of the validity of an absence is a troubling concern, as it glosses over the underlying causes for an absence. This study outlines and critiques the varying conceptions of absenteeism found in the literature and proposes the use of the voluntary/involuntary absenteeism framework as a viable approach to studying non-attendance. The voluntary absence concept is cognizant of the motivational factors affecting student attendance. When the school is perceived as a hostile environment that is often equated with failure some pupils may voluntarily choose to avoid the institution. Involuntary absences refer to absences that are imposed on the student by the conditions of her or his life. Having to work to supplement familial income can often negate a youth's ability to be present in school. This framework provides an opportunity to both acknowledge the students' agency in deciding when to attend and to investigate deeper the students' life circumstances that hinder regular attendance.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A