An interpretative phenomenological analysis of a multi-modal attendance program [thesis]

Mary Katherine Stevens
This qualitative study examined the perceptions and experiences of teachers and administrators in delivering a multi-modal attendance program aimed at combatting chronic absenteeism through student engagement practices. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with six participants, three administrators and three teachers, at a public elementary school in a suburban setting. The purpose of the interview-directed questions was to better understand the shared experiences of teachers and
more » ... ators in their delivery of the programming. Questions were specific to the participant's role working with students identified as chronically absent, how leadership relates to the implementation of the school's attendance program, and opportunities offered for professional development regarding absenteeism. Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) was used to frame the three research questions and data analysis process. The theoretical framework, distributed leadership (DL), was used as a lens to better understand the perceptions and experiences of teachers and administrators. The four most prevalent and consistent findings revealed from the interviews were the perceived importance of connectedness between student and school community, the importance of communication and collaboration between all stakeholders in addressing the needs of students who are chronically absent, the use of multiple interventions, as opposed to one singular intervention, and the issue of control and the observed finding that teachers and administrators cannot control all aspects of a student's attendance. The multi-modal programming, executed using a distributed leadership model, was effective as demonstrated by lower absentee rates than projected after one year of program implementation at the research site.
doi:10.17760/d20316467 fatcat:fkktupdf7fa3la5emjyr4bzdw4