Don’t Fence Me In: Essays on the Rational Truant

Edited by Dr Michael Conolly and Dennis O’Keeffe “One of the most intriguing ideas advanced in this book is that, at least in some circumstances, truancy represents a rational choice, a better and more productive use of time than the pointless tedium of the classroom. If that is true rigid enforcement of attendance is not only oppressive but also irrational.” John Clarke Don’t Fence Me In: Essays on the Rational Truant assumes that most truancy is the logical outcome of rational decisions made by students in the face of the circumstances that characterise their school experience. It declines to attribute and consign all acts of truancy to the dustbin of deviance and anti-social behaviour. While it does not seek to absolve young people from responsibility for their actions, it seeks to show that structural weaknesses in the state-supported school system play a significant role in the causation of truancy both from class and school. The book consists of a series of essays written from a perspective that seeks to explain and understand truancy rationally. Some contributors report on recent research including the relation of teaching style to truancy, the incidence of truancy as a function of ethnic group and linguistic proficiency, the student as consumer, and the importance of establishing a literate order to decrease truancy rates. Other essays are more speculative and theoretical, including an assessment of political attitudes to truancy, a personal account by a recalcitrant former truant, a study of conflicting explanations of the phenomenon, an examination of the measurement of truancy and an account of ‘truant’ and its numerous synonyms. Don’t Fence Me In is intended for those who have a critical interest in education and schooling including teachers, headteachers and principals, administrators, students of education, education departments, inspectors and superintendents and not least citizens with a commitment to good education. ISBN 978-0955464263 15.99 Paperback

Price: £15.99

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