What are the reasons for absenteeism in secondary education in New Zealand/Aotearoa? A systematic review of the qualitative literature using student voice research
Keywords:Absenteeism, student voice, relationships, secondary education
In New Zealand/Aotearoa, high levels of secondary school absenteeism are a nationwide problem. Absenteeism is associated with a range of adverse outcomes for individuals and has detrimental effects on society. Since the global COVID-19 pandemic, with the government closing schools during lockdowns, absenteeism has reached epidemic proportions as students have failed to return to school. Despite the considerable concerns around absenteeism, there remains a significant gap in the research literature regarding the circumstances that influence students’ decisions not to attend school. This systematic literature review of qualitative research conducted in Aotearoa through student voice examines adolescents’ reasons for being absent from school. The review found that many underlying factors influence absenteeism, including teacher/student relationships, the school environment, peer relationships, curriculum and pedagogy, and family and personal well-being. This review found that the most critical theme that influenced student non-attendance at school is relationships. These findings indicate that relational pedagogies and restorative practices in schools, which serve to support and sustain student relationships with their teachers and peers, could reduce absenteeism.
Copyright (c) 2023 Anna Richards, Kayleen Clark-Howard
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