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The School Situation for Students with a High Level of Absenteeism in Compulsory School: Is There a Pattern in Documented Support?
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. CHILD. Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. Research Platform of Social Work.
Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, HHJ. CHILD. Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, CHILD.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9597-039X
2014 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, ISSN 0031-3831, E-ISSN 1470-1170, Vol. 58, no 5, 551-569 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper is a retrospective descriptive content analysis of all identified school documents for 90 ninth-grade students with a history of truancy, collected from two Swedish compulsory schools. The study investigates individual, school, and psychosocial factors in the documents and three analyses are presented: (1) a general analysis of the documents, (2) a comparison of truant students with and without learning difficulties (LD), and (3) a comparison between students with LD who received no special educational support and those who did receive support. Predictors for truancy were credits in the fall of the eighth grade, difficulties in mathematics, and relationship problems. For 50% of the students, frequent truancy first became evident after the seventh grade. No connections were found between documented educational and social support, learning difficulties, and level of truancy.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 58, no 5, 551-569 p.
Keyword [en]
truancy, learning difficulties, school documents, school support
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-20969DOI: 10.1080/00313831.2013.773561ISI: 000340453100004Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84905494748OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-20969DiVA: diva2:616933
Available from: 2013-04-19 Created: 2013-04-19 Last updated: 2016-11-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Skolk ur elevernas och skolans perspektiv: En intervju- och dokumentstudie
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Skolk ur elevernas och skolans perspektiv: En intervju- och dokumentstudie
2013 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[en]
Truancy from student and school perspectives : An interview and document study
Abstract [sv]

Studierna genomfördes på två högstadieskolor i en kommun med cirka 30 000 invånare i södra Sverige med 90 ungdomar som hade 30 procent eller mer i ogiltig frånvaro. Fokus i avhandlingen ligger på eleverna som en del av skolsystemet. Det övergripande syftet var att kritiskt undersöka i vilken riktning ”systemkrafterna” i skolsystemet, såväl stödfaktorerna som riskfaktorerna, drar eleverna. Med systemkrafter avses allt inom och utanför skolan som kan inverka på elevernas fungerande i skolsystemet. Systemkrafterna verkar antingen i riktning mot elevernas delaktighet i skolarbetet eller så drar de eleverna i riktning bort från skolan. Avhandlingen genomfördes utifrån en multimetoddesign som inleddes med en kvantitativ retrospektiv analys av skolans dokumentation över eleverna som sedan följdes upp med kvalitativa intervjuer med ungdomarna själva och aktuell skolpersonal.

Denna avhandling har studerat, vilka systemkrafter i skolsystemet som utgör stödfaktorer respektive riskfaktorer för att systemet ska vara i balans. Detta har skett utifrån delstudier som lyft hanteringen och uppföljning av skoldokumentation, visat på skolk som ett försvar eller ursäkt utifrån ungdomarnas perspektiv, redogjort skolpersonalens självpositioneringar samt attriberingar av eleverna och till sist redovisat undersökning av olika stödfaktorer utifrån källmaterial i de tidigare studierna.

Avhandlingens resultat leder fram till en kritisk diskussion om skolk. Diskussionen tar upp skolkande ungdomar som ett socialt problem och hur detta sociala problem skulle kunna hanteras utifrån ett systemteoretiskt perspektiv, där olika systemkrafter verkar antingen som stödfaktorer eller som riskfaktorer. Slutsatserna pekar på att flera systemkrafter, som i avhandlingen fungerar som riskfaktorer, skulle kunna förändras till systemkrafter, som drar eleverna i riktning mot delaktighet i skolarbetet. Baserat på ett salutogent perspektiv kan man försöka hitta de faktorer som befrämjar elevernas och skolpersonalens välmående i skolsystemet, främst då vuxenstöd och en dokumentation som befrämjar kontinuitet. Ett positivt förändrat skolklimat innebär att flera systemkrafter kontinuerligt samverkar för att dra eleverna i riktning mot skolan, vilket i sin tur kan leda till att skolsystemet kan komma i balans.

Vid närmare betraktande av det som utgör stödfaktorer inom skolsystemet väcks också frågor om normalitet och avvikelse, det vill säga vilka som inkluderas respektive exkluderas när det gäller stödåtgärder. Eftersom vi säger att skolan är en spegelbild av samhället, kan resultaten har relevans även utanför skolsystemet för andra organisationer i samhället där gränsdragning för utanförskap kan vara avgörande för vilka människor som inkluderas.

Abstract [en]

The research was carried out at two secondary schools (13-16 ages), built on ninety truant students in a municipality of about 30.000 in the south of Sweden. The dissertation uses a systems theoretical frame where the school is an open social system affected by internal and external forces. The aim of this dissertation is to find what system forces are gravitating the truant students to participation in school work and what system forces are repelling the students away from school. In the analysis school system is viewed from a salutogenes (health promoting ) point of view where social relationships are the basis for psycho social health and well-being. Through a school document study, an interview study of students themselves and one of school staff the different system forces are identified and analyzed.

When too many system forces draw the students in the direction away from school, the school system becomes inbalanced. The synergetic effect of several system forces, which draw the students in the same direction away from school are: unclear documentations, staff´s attitude, few relationships to adults, indistinct instructions for the students, lack of challenges and expectations and even the school climate. In addition, system forces coming from the outside of the school system such as friends also draw students away from school.

The results showed that the school documentation was neither systematic nor followed up, the students had no connections to their school except the three students called “The Winners” who after adult support returned to their school. Nobody but one of fifteen students had good relations to teachers and other students. School, especially the lessons, were boreing for the group “The Unchallanged”. For the group “The Losers” was noted a lot of different kinds of support the last school years, but not all of the supports were perceived positively. The students in this group had learning difficulties. Not all of the students had an Individual Educational Plan (IEP). Though many of the students failed the national test in at least one subject, some had no support. The attitude to truant youth expressed by school staff contained negative attributes although some school staff expressed positive attributes and did a good work to help the student in the classroom. The school staff predominantly considered the young people’s difficulties as pertaining to them individually.

Based on the results of the studies follow a discussion about truancy as a social problem and how this social problem could be treated through a change on system level aimed at coordinating systems forces pulling students towards school based on the synergetic effect of the school climate/school ethos focusing on salutogenesis and well-being.

Since we say that school is a reflection of society, the results may have relevance also to other systems outside the school system, where the boundaries of exclusion may be crucial for the people who are included.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: School of Health Sciences, 2013. 150 p.
Series
Hälsohögskolans avhandlingsserie, ISSN 1654-3602 ; 43
National Category
Social Work
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-20970 (URN)978-91-85835-42-3 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-14, Forum Humanum, HHJ (School of Health Sciences), Jönköping, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-04-19 Created: 2013-04-19 Last updated: 2017-08-15Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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