Attendance & School Connectedness: Beyond the truancy paradigm A talk by Gary MacLennan
Reform & Innovation in Indigenous Education • Is philosophy worth it? • Towards the Connected school • Othering • Innovation: The Leadbeater Grid
The Concrete Universal • Universal Common Core Humanity • Specific Mediations (gender, age, ethnicity, sport, culture,school...) • Unique Individual • TIME • (based on Bhaskar, 1993)
Identity and Culture • BEING • & • BECOMING
The Queensland Situation • The overall Average attendance rate for Queensland State Schools declined from • 91.8% in 2007 to 90.7% in 2009. • The Indigenous student attendance rate also declined from • 85.4% in 2007 to 83.9% in 2009.
WA Auditor General (2009) Everyday Counts • Attendance at public schools is in decline. • Between 2000 and 2008 average attendance at the primary school level fell from 94.5% to 92.6% • While at the secondary level attendance declined from 90.7% to 88.0%. • Attendance at Year 10 = 53% • 25% of public students are at educational risk. • Attendance in the Private sector is not declining
Every Day Counts They do not know • Why attendance is declining; • What causes poor attendance; • What to do about those who are persistently absent; • Why there is a difference between state and private sector
Contextualising Attendance • Teaching • Attendance • Retention • Transition to employment
Truancy in the UK • Seven parents were imprisoned for the offence in 2003, while 22 were in 2006, the latest available year. • In total, 71 parents were jailed between 2003 and 2006 for not stopping their children persistently avoiding school. • Since 2000, parents have faced jail sentences of up to three months for the offence in England and Wales. • Mothers are more than three times more likely to be jailed than fathers - 55 mothers were imprisoned compared with 16 fathers. • Courts are sentencing more parents for their children's absenteeism now than five years ago. In 2003, they handed out 3,295 sentences, while in 2006, it was 4,771. These were not necessarily custodial sentences. • Parents can also be fined up to £2,500 for failing to prevent truancy. The number who were fined climbed from 2,011 in 2003 to 2,952 in 2006.
Truancy in Texas • On a finding by the court that an individual has committed the offense of failure to attend school, the court may enter an order that includes one or more of the requirements listed in Article 45.054, C.C.P… [which] allows the court to require the individual to attend: • · school without unexcused absences; • · a preparatory class for the high school equivalency examination… • · an alcohol and drug abuse program; • · a rehabilitation program; • · a counseling program, including self-improvement counseling; • · a program that provides training in self-esteem and leadership; • · a work and job skills training program; • · a program that provides training in parenting, including parental responsibility; • · a program that provides training in manners; • · a program that provides training in violence avoidance; • · a program that provides sensitivity training; and • · a program that provides training in advocacy and mentoring.
Truancy: Ferris Bueller<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNPp6x7j9I8&feature=related>
The Toxic Pipe Line • Suspension→ Dropout→Prison • By the time they are in their 30s some 52% of Afro-Americans have been in jail. • Go to <http://www.aclu.org/school-prison-pipeline-game>
The Virtuous Pipeline • Child → School → Job
Four Factors that build Resilience • The presence of a caring adult • School success • School connectedness • Religiosity
Building connectedness • Rowe: The Whole school Method; • Dr Chris Sarra: Strong and Smart
Fiona Rowe: The whole school approach • Inclusiveness • Active participation of community • Equal /democratic partnerships among school community members • School policies • Organizational arrangements • Teaching & learning approaches
They try to keep us down. They try to pretend that…I mean, people…people try to put us down. They try to disempower us, but I like to think that we’re developing a sense of our own power. And it’s not the kind of power that white people give us. It’s our own thing that comes from inside, from our hearts, from our spirit. That’s the kind of power that we build, and the children are building from within themselves that we’ll take to the rest of the world and we’ll say “we’re here, and you can’t disempower us anymore, despite having done that for the last 200 or so years. No more of that. We have had enough of that. We believe in who we are, and you must accept us on our terms. This is our power. This is who we are.
The Other: Some antecedents • Upanishads • Isaiah in the Temple “Yahveh is Kadosh” • Hegel: Master-Slave dialectic • Rimbaud -“Je est un autre” • Simone De Beauvoir –Woman as Other • Sartre - The Jew as prototypical Other • Levinas – Après vous, Monsieur
The Differentiated Other • Same Other Trace Resource Exotic Comical Pitiable Resented Feared/Despised • Consumer Producer Fascinating Erotic
The Resented Other • Why should I let the toad work Squat on my life? Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork And drive the brute off? Six days of the week it soils With its sickening poison - Just for paying a few bills! That's out of proportion. Lots of folk live on their wits: Lecturers, lispers, Losels, loblolly-men, louts- They don't end as paupers; Lots of folk live up lanes With fires in a bucket, Eat windfalls and tinned sardines- they seem to like it. Their nippers have got bare feet, Their unspeakable wives Are skinny as whippets - and yet No one actually starves. Ah, were I courageous enough To shout Stuff your pension! But I know, all too well, that's the stuff That dreams are made on: For something sufficiently toad-like Squats in me, too; Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck, And cold as snow, And will never allow me to blarney My way of getting The fame and the girl and the money All at one sitting. I don't say, one bodies the other One's spiritual truth; But I do say it's hard to lose either, When you have both.
The Resented Other • Present governments are encouraging separatism in Australia by providing opportunities, land, moneys and facilities available only to Aboriginals. Along with millions of Australians, I am fed up to the back teeth with the inequalities that are being promoted by the government and paid for by the taxpayer under the assumption that Aboriginals are the most disadvantaged people in Australia. …I have done research on benefits available only to Aboriginals and challenge anyone to tell me how Aboriginals are disadvantaged when they can obtain 3 and 5 % housing loans denied to non-Aboriginals.