HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 18 no. 2 (2009)

A Qualitative Research Study on School Absenteeism Among College Students

Michael A. Clores

Discipline: Education



School absenteeism is an alarming problem for administrators, teachers, parents, and the society, in general, as well as for the students, in particular. It may indicate low performance of teachers, students’ dissatisfaction of the school’s services, or lack of or poor academic and non-academic structures or policies that address the problems or factors influencing or reinforcing this behavior. Parents are financially burdened for having their children to stay longer in the school, having to re-enroll them in subjects where they fail due to excessive absences. The present study aimed to explore the process by which the phenomenon of school absenteeism evolves or is experienced by the college students. In-depth interviews of ten absentee students and the use of editing style analysis and a method described by Colaizzi (1978) yielded three category schemes of experience of school absenteeism: (a) disempowering circumstances - feeling of helplessness; (b) misguided value system - mixed up priorities; and (c) pedagogical dilemmas – unappealing academic environments. Based on the findings, the pedagogical, psychological and socio-cultural implications are discussed.