Student mobility - reasons, consequences and interventions

Year: 2003

Author: Sorin, Reesa, Iloste, Rosemary

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Mobility in education can mean families moving from city to city or state to state as employment and housing changes for them. However, it can also mean families moving their children from one school to another within the same area, for other, more personal reasons. As student mobility increases, concerns about its impact on the young learner increase (Wright, 1999). Research studies report mobile students to be lower achievers in academic as well as social domains of schooling (Mantzicopoulos & Knutson, 2000; Rumberger & Larson, 1998; Wright, 1999).

Student mobility can adversely affect children's success rate in school, leading to lower levels of engagement and reduced chance of high school completion. This research investigated student mobility in Cairns, where mobility rates increase each year. This included factors in families' lives that appear to give rise to mobility; perceptions of the effects of mobility on children, families and schools; and intervention strategies to address perceived negative effects of mobility. This paper discusses findings based on interviews with families and school personnel in five state primary schools.