ERIC Number: EJ972325
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
"Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder": Students with Chronic Illness Seeking Academic Continuity through Interaction with Their Teachers at School
Wilkie, Karina J.
Australasian Journal of Special Education, v36 n1 p1-20 Jul 2012
Increasing numbers of young people experience disruption to their schooling owing to chronic illness. Absence from the day-to-day life of their school for prolonged or accumulative periods of time can erode their sense of belonging and create anxiety about falling behind academically. Maintaining positive connections to school can meet their desire for normalcy and realisable educational goals. Part of a project called "Link "n" Learn," funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage grant (2008-2010), this in-depth qualitative case study of 22 participants--senior secondary students and their mathematics teachers--investigated "academic continuity": students' access to and utilisation of opportunities to learn effectively so that academic progress is made despite disruption to full-time schooling. The students experienced diverse types of chronic illness, medical interventions, and patterns of absence from school. They all sought to continue their school studies. Their teachers highlighted surprise, concern and discomfort related to students studying during serious illness, and school workload issues. Ambiguities about educational responsibility for students during absence were widespread. Teachers demonstrated hesitance to initiate contact with students, but students nevertheless expressed their desire for teachers to remain involved with them. Implications for the educational support of young people with chronic illness are presented.
Descriptors: Chronic Illness, Student School Relationship, Secondary School Students, Mathematics Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Student Relationship, Attendance, Access to Education, Teacher Attitudes, Educational Responsibility, Case Studies, Foreign Countries
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia