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ERIC Number: EJ914114
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1881
The Dynamics of Absence Behaviour: Interrelations between Absence from Class and Absence in Class
Jonasson, Charlotte
Educational Research, v53 n1 p17-32 Mar 2011
Background: Studies of absence in educational settings have primarily been concerned with the causes for and results of student absence. However, recent research has argued that distinguishing between different forms of absence could be important. In consequence, studying the way in which different forms of absence are interrelated provides important novel insights into student absence behaviour. Purpose: The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine the concept of absence and the way absence behaviour is developed. This may help to provide a basis for further research on how and when absence is best prevented. Sample: Fieldwork was conducted at a vocational school containing 850 students. In this particular study, 24 student interviews were used in combination with interviews from four teachers and three school managers. Design and methods: The study is an ethnographic case study of a single school conducted over a continuous six-month period. It used participant observation followed by semi-structured interviews and school documents. Results: Findings suggest that student absence consists of interrelated forms of absence behaviour that have specific consequences for student performance. It is helpful to describe these findings using theoretical frameworks from sociology and psychology: specifically, spill-over theory and symbolic capital theory. Conclusions: This study has demonstrated how different forms of absence become dynamically interrelated through ongoing negotiations in the social practice of students, teachers and school managers. Evaluations of both absence "from" class and absence "in" class are important for understanding how absence behaviour can be identified and prevented.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Denmark