Research Paper about Education: Why Do Students Miss Classes?

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What Are the Key Factors Which Encourage Students to Miss Classes?


The contemporary educational system faces with the abundance of problems in a daily manner. The student absenteeism composes one of the reasons, which bothers parents and teachers the most. The classes are considered to be a duty of each particular student, but the matter here is, that the 100% attendance is impossible in the realities of our world. The Department of Education, teachers, and parents for many years trying to find a reason for the chronic student absenteeism. It is hard to define precisely the primary cause of such a situation, but it is possible to analyze it and mark particular numbers of factors, which have critical affection for absenteeism phenomenon appearance. Trying to analyze the factors, which may inspire students to such model of educational behavior, it is necessary to take into the account some internal and external factors, as the two main groups of determinants, which encourage students to miss classes. Unfortunately, the current studies about the problem had not found the proper solution, creating a significant space for further investigation.


Before the analysis of the problem, it is necessary to understand an entire scope of its importance. So to say, according to the U.S. Department of Education, the average daily attendance (ADA) as a percentage of total enrollment is 93.1%. The rate of absenteeism is growing from year to year, that is why it is necessary to understand the problem and analyze it from different sides, providing a correct and exhaustive background of the issue. As it was mentioned above, the factors inspired students to miss classes is necessary to distribute on external and internal ones. First of all, there is a need to notice, that every particular determinant has predominantly psychological character, because of students, as representatives of youth, have a more romantic and sensitive perception of reality. That is why the material aspects of a question (as working load, lack of money, etc.) are not the key one but have an emphasizing effect of real factors, which would be discussed in the further research.

The family is one of the determinative factors in the process of child’s formation, that is why the affection of family should be treated as one of the most important in the question of classes missing and poor student performance. As the parents are the first behavioral examples for the child, their affection for the further life and student performance is hard to evaluate over. The investigation provided by Carl Azuz showed that parents frequently do not even know about the problem with missing classes of their children. During the research, 42% of responders who systematically lose classes, claimed, that their parents were clueless about their drops. This lack of information leads to the illusion of freedom and impunity among students. However, according to the article by Carl Azuz, in the case of the active participation of parents in the child’s life and their concernment in the educational performance, the student gets more motivated, successful and more engaged to attend the classes.

It is hard to deny that the positive influence on the student should emanate not only from parents but professors as well. The importance of the professor in the life of a child is possible to explain with another psychological phenomenon. The family is an undeniable source of support and emotional formation for a person, but the most significant part of a time child is occupied with classes. And a professor as the representative of the adult become as the example for a student. The incentive, which manifests in a high rate of becomes a critical motivational criterion for a student. Considering the problem of low attendance, the majority of researchers underline the importance of rate, as the stimuli for the active participation in the educational process. The great number of scientists defined the correlation between the rate of a student and his or her desire for attendance and active participation. The practical research on the base of several student groups showed, that “attendance and grades were significantly higher for the experimental group compared to the control group, where the instructor did not require attendance or take class roll. In a similar study” (Chenneville, Tiffany, and Cary Jordan, 30). On the other words, the attendance policies play a significant role in the attitude of students towards the classes and education itself.

As it was mentioned before, the importance of any external factors of the student absenteeism has a particular psychological ground. The matter here is that the question of rate as the determinant, which affects the performative activity of a person has a specific psychological nature. On the other words, the rate it is a sign of an evaluation of the personality of a student. Even in the case, then the professor is fair in his or her evaluation of the student’s performance, there is still a chance for the adverse effect on the consciousness of a student. The practical pieces of evidence were provided by Steven E Gump (43), who “found, as expected, a statistically significant positive relationship (r = 0.174, p < 0.05) between the importance students attributed to attendance and the rates at which they subsequently attended class.” It is worth to mention that the rate does not so important as the fact, but it impacts the person’s consciousness, affecting a motivational level during the classes. The rate should be treated by a professor as an incentive, not as a punishment. Such an attitude would impact the problem of the student absenteeism in are the result of unsatisfying rate and reduction of motivation as a consequence of it.

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Despite the significant number of attempts to gain positive affection on the youth in the aspect of active propaganda of the value of education, it is necessary to mention, that the student absenteeism remains high. The research provided by Ross J Longhurst showed a considerable correlation between the level of the student concernment in attendance of classes and different external aspects of the influence. So to say, the author defined, that despite the rate value for a student, there is plenty of additional factors, which deteriorate the situation. The author explained the social pressure as one of the most important in the entire pattern of decision making about the attendance of some particular course by a student. The future perspectives play one of the most essential roles in the performance of undergraduate students. Back to the psychological aspect of the problem, it is necessary to understand, that an extended period of studies could not help to find a desirable profession or future perspectives for a student, according to the research of Ross J Longhurst. That is why this problem has so crucial in the process of the analysis of the student absenteeism.

The external factors may vary from the student to student. And it is hard to define some prevalent factor, which causes the student absenteeism. The social problems in relationships with classmates and teachers, family problems, the dissatisfaction of a material obtained during the classes, and the financial situation compose an another group of external determinants, which is necessary to take into the account during the process of investigation and analysis of reasons, which encourage students to miss the classes. All of this aspects are closely related to the changes in the behavioral paradigm of the student, according to Paul Friedman et al., and may serve as the trigger for a poor attendance in the future.

As it was mentioned above, the external factors closely connect to the internal aspects, which affect the student performance and attendance. It is hard to deny, that each particular determinant from outside, provoke changes in the consciousness of a person. And students are more subjected to the influence of inside changes inspired by the environment and relationships with other people. So to say, the environment is a space, which creates a background of a person, giving him or her a particular base for the further reciprocity. That is why it is possible to say, that specific atmosphere, which students experience during the classes, plays another important role in the pattern of an attitude of a student towards the attendance and the education at all. The research by Kidger et al. was aimed to provide coherent information about the impact of the atmosphere during the educational process on the performance of students and the level of attendance. The analysis of obtained data showed that the majority of students were more inclined to attend and participate actively in the classes with a positive atmosphere. “Although efforts to improve schools have typically focused on issues such as behavior and academic performance, various reviews have examined the potential for school-based interventions to improve emotional health.” (Kidger et al.) The emotional well-beingness of a student is predetermined within the means of different aspects of the scholar life. So, it is possible to make a conclusion, that external factors are closely connected to the internal factors, which have a particular affection for students, and may provoke the adverse attitude towards attention of classes.

Discussing the variety of external factors, which encourage students to miss classes, it was mentioned above, that the correlation between them and psychological aspect of a student formation should be treated as one of the most important in the process of analysis of the question itself. The matter here is that students only start their process of personal development, that is why the environment and interpersonal relations compose such importance for them. Everything mentioned before contributes to the emotional sphere of a person and impacts a particular pattern of psychological development. That is why, it is possible to say, that exactly the emotional health has critical importance for the student in the aspect of a decision making about the attendance of classes. Also, the gender has a matter in the process of the analysis of factors, which cause the student absenteeism too. According to the research provided by Cortright et al. evidenced, that women are more likely to drop the classes compared with male students. The scientist underlined, that emotional spectrum of a female part of students predominately broader, that is why the impressions from the classes have more significance for them. Also, Ross J Longhurst, mentioned, that exactly emotional stability and psychological health determine the entire paradigm of the attitude of a student towards the desire to attend classes. But the matter here is, that exactly the problem of psychological health is one of the less developed in a practical aspect of the educational process. That is why the necessity of further investigation is obvious for the majority of contemporary psychologists.


The problem of the student absenteeism comes all along of an educational system history. Earlier, it was associated only with the listlessness and laziness, but the current investigations underline different factors, which affect the student in such negative way. Taking into the account all scope of information analyzed above, it is possible to confirm, that external factors have the greatest importance in the pattern of a student attendance. But at the same time, the number of internal aspects of personality, like mental health, etc. should be observed by parents and government as very important, due to the complicated psychological character of the question. On the other words, the scientists had not defined the reasons for the growth rate of the student absenteeism, that is why it is necessary to provide additional studies on the problem. Before the discovery of the correct solution, there is a sense to follow the recommendations of psychologists and try to support the personality of each particular student, using different bounties during the educational process.

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