STUDENT PERCEPTIONS OF SCHOOL: An action research project regarding disaffection

Year: 1993

Author: Waugh, Russell, Hyde, Norm

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This is a report of a collaborative action research study of student perceptions of a school, their teachers and their studies in relation to disaffection. All 716 students from Year 8 (13 year olds) to Year 12 (17 year olds) from one government senior high school were surveyed in 1992. On the positive side, the majority of students enjoyed coming to school and thought that their work was interesting. Most students perceived that the majority of their teachers were understanding and that the most of their teachers respected them. On the negative side there was a proportion of students in each year group who thought otherwise. Disaffection perceptions, with age and gender effects, focussed on safety at school, organisation at the school, uninteresting and irrelevant lessons, and teachers uninterested in the opinions of students. It is suggested that at least part of the disaffection problem is due to unintentional effects resulting from the way that teachers interact with students.