An Examination of the Factor Influencing Truancy Among Upper School Students Ay an Inner City High School

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An Examination of the Factors Influencing Truancy among Upper School Students at an Inner City High School in St. James

by

A research submitted to the Department of Professional and Continuing Education

in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the course EDU455/487: Introduction to Educational Research

Department of Professional and Continuing Education

Montego Bay, Jamaica

February 16, 2009
Table of Contents
Abstract………………………………………………………………………………….. ..4 Chapter 1…………………………………………………………………………………...5 Introduction…………………………………………………………………………….5 Statement of the Problem…………………………………………………………….5 Purpose and Research Questions ……………………………………………………6 Definition of Terms……………………………………………………….................6 Chapter 2…………………………………………………………………………………....7 Review of the Literature………………………………………………………..............7 Chapter 3……………………………………………………………………………………9 Procedures………………………………………………………………………………9 Study Design………………………………………………………………………...9 Research Site and Purposeful sampling……..……………………………………….9 Protocol………………………………………………………………………………9 Data Gathering Strategies…………………………………………………………....10 Data Analysis and Interpretation Approach...……………………………………….10 Researcher’s Role and Potential Ethical Considerations…………..………………..11 Methods of Validation……………………………………………………………….11 Timeline……………………………………………………..…………………….....12 Chapter 4…………………………………………………………………………………....13 Findings………………………………………………………………………………...13 Description of Site or Individuals…………………………………………………...13 Restorying and Analysis of Themes…………………………………………………13 Chapter 5……………………………………………………………………………………20 Discussion………………………………………………………………………………20 Major Findings……………………………………………………………………….20 Comparison of Findings with Existing Studies………………………………………23 Implications for Future Research……………………………………………………..23 Overall Significance of the Study…………………………………………………….23 References……………………………………………………………………………………25 Appendix A…………………………………………………………………………………..26 Appendix B…………………………………………………………………………………..31 Abstract

Truancy is one of the most prevalent issues facing the educational system especially at the secondary level. Truancy is an early sign of possible delinquent activity among students and may have significant impact on the truant as well as the society. In order to get an in-depth understanding of truancy, the following questions were explored: What are the causes of truancy? What activities are truants engaged in? What impact does truant behaviour have on the life of truants? The researcher chose a narrative research design. Data was collected from a small sample through the use of documents, interviews and observation protocols. The student participant in the study was assigned the name Robert and the school was identified as Alpha High. By exploring the reasons for truancy among upper school students, parents, teachers, principals and policy makers will be better able to devise effective strategies to reduce or prevent truancy in schools. The study conducted revealed that peer pressure, low self esteem, lack of interest in a particular subject and to feel belonging to a group are reasons for truancy. The study also revealed that truants engage in gambling and smoking activities. Continued truancy may result in failure to perform academically and increase delinquent activity. Chapter 1

Introduction
Statement of the Problem
Reports in the media today indicate that there is an increase level of criminal activity among students who should be in school. For some students, skipping school was a one time activity which was short lived as shopkeepers, neighbours, friends and other family members were quick to report them to parents and school authorities. Today, truancy in high...
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