TITLE OF THE PUBLICATION
Truancy and dropout: a unique situation of educational exclusion
SURNAME AND NAME OF AUTHOR(S)
González González, Mª Teresa
REICE. Iberoamerican Journal on Quality, Efficiency and Change in Education
PLACE AND DATE OF PUBLICATION
TYPE OF PUBLICATION
LANGUAGE OF THE DOCUMENT
LANGUAGE OF THE REVIEW
Students with learning difficulties
DESCRIPTION OF CONTENTS
This work pretends to cover partially the lack of information that there is inside the Spanish educative system about the problems of school absenteeism and early school leaving. According to the author, these are phenomena that have hardly been studied rigorously, we do not know the prevalence figures, the circumstances in which it occurs, the risk and protective factors, or what the educative system in general, or the schools specifically, do to face them.
The article revises, without negating their complexity, the multiple factors that intervene in it: individual factors, bound, in many cases, to the learning difficulties that the students present; and social, political, economic or school factors. Therefore, it is a problem that schools cannot, in most cases, give an isolated response when facing it; so this response must be integrated into broader plans of action in which several structures of the community participate.
The article is organized around the three key aspects for the understanding of the problems of school absenteeism and early school leaving. Firstly, it will be attempted to clarify the nature of these concepts, and it will be made reference to the variety of situations in which these are used (usually in an imprecise manner). Secondly, the article revises the main contributions that have been done to this field of study from investigation. In this section, special mention is given to the results obtained from countries with a greater working tradition in this field. Finally, it offers some general considerations, in which the role that schools possess in the fight against these phenomena, are highlighted, as well as the necessity to rely on them for any response that is developed from an educative approach.
COMMENTS ON THIS PUBLICATION
This work supposes an interesting contribution to all those who are interested in the study of absenteeism and early school leaving in Spanish. As the articles points out, this is a topic that has not been approached in a rigorous or exhaustive manner within our socio-cultural context. Precisely for this reason, because of what it supposes as a critical revision of the standpoints that have been applied on this field in Spain, González's work is worth of being admired.
Moreover, this work joins the conceptual revision about both phenomena and the practical analysis, in the form of final considerations, where it suggests possible lines of work to act against school absenteeism and early school leaving, both from the institutions and organs of communitarian attention, which mostly depend of social services, and from the educative institution itself, in the form of schools. The search of a precise definition for both problems results of great utility for those who want to approach the problem from an investigator's point of view, as well as for those who start from an applied or professional positioning.
The point of view used in the analysis of the problem also supposes a great contribution. The author runs from individualist perspectives, where all the problems are focused on the absentee students or in risk of early leaving (due to personal problems, difficulties in learning or socio-economic class, among others), to focus in a more systematic plan, in which institutions have a clear responsibility, whether it be on the detection and early approach of the cases, or on the design of effective responses to help the students that are already involved in these situations.
This article, given its practical focus and closeness to the professional practice, will be, without any doubt, of great utility for all the professionals in education and, in general, for all those who are part of educative institutions.
Name of Compiler
Joaquín Mora Merchán
Name of Institution
University of Seville
Role in the institution