Absences and disengagement appear to be at a high in secondary schools with seemingly disinterested or apathetic students avoiding classes. While student absences have been studied extensively, the new phenomenon of 'internal truancy' (students attending school but avoid classes) is still a mystery evading most educators. Using a phenomenological case study approach, and exploring the experiences of a single, chronically avoidant, high school student, the causes of this recently increased avoidant behaviour are explored in hopes of supporting future interventions and further research into re-engagement for our avoidant students. Insights provided highlighted challenges with the self, family, peers and, interestingly, a struggle with the transition from elementary to secondary school and the implicit impact this has had on the longitudinal educational experiences of a single high school student. Overarching themes pointed toward issues with visibility, consistency and a struggle between power and powerlessness. The findings within will aid in informing future strategies to support vulnerable students in high school settings.
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Thesis advisor: Nilson, Michelle
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