Research Methodology Into The Problem On Absenteeism

After thorough research and research on different kinds of methodologies which can be found, a chosen strategy will be elaborated and its performance in gathering data will be mentioned.

This section will be determinant in obtaining information and reviews from an exclusive college around Mauritius which has given the agreement to uncover its name. Therefore, it could act as an essential part in the analysis of the different aspects of the project all together.

The basis of this research is to bring light and clearness to the problem of absenteeism and its own evaluation. This research will also be of help to identify variables apart from results to evaluate the level of the challenge. But the first milestone will be to assess the knowing of the problem of absenteeism among HSC final calendar year students in the institution.

In this chapter the methodology and research procedures used are shown. The following parts are included; a information of the context where this study took place and a conclusion of the approach used. The data collection methods used will be reviewed and validity, reliability and moral issues will be mentioned. In short, the following issues will be reviewed

The review context

Research paradigm

Data gathering methods and instrumentation


Pilot Test


Group selection and size



Ethical issues


The analysis has been completed in an exclusive Secondary School for girls. The members were HSC final year students using their respective form instructors, subject instructors as well as the rector. This is so to be able to get a good identification of the situation and be able to make proper tips for future years.


Before undertaking the study, it's important to know which kind of data to get, how to acquire as well as how to use them (Hitchcock and Hughes, 1995).

Research can be categorised as qualitative and quantitative. Research in education has prevailed from both techniques. In quantitative research, there are clearly described questions or hypotheses from the very starting point (Fraenkel and Wallen. 1993). These methods imply collecting data that can be numerically assessed and analysed statistically to generalized quantifiable conclusions.

As for qualitative research, it identifies studies that review the quality of romantic relationships, activities, situations or materials. The attention is on the quality of a specific activity rather than about how it occurs or choice ways of analysis (Fraenkel and Wallen. 1993). The research hypotheses emerge as the analysis builds up. This paradigm right answers the questions 'how' rather than 'what, when and where'.

According to Hitchcock and Hughes (1995: 25), in education 'the most profitable way is a qualitative one'. The advantages of this approach are that the conclusions often have increased validity and less artificially as the process of observing phenomena in natural, real-life adjustments often allow analysts to develop a far more accurate knowledge of those phenomena. Qualitative research is commonly associated with small-scale studies (Denscombe, 1998), and as such is particularly suitable for the study situation.


In undertaking this study, a case study research has been opted. Case study is an ideal methodology whenever a holistic, in-depth analysis is necessary (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991). Circumstance studies can be used in every types of investigations but relating to researchers it has been used to a larger extent in the education sector. Experts (Yin, Stake as well as others) are suffering from strong procedures regarding this technique as they have got a variety of experience in this domain. When such types of procedures are implemented, the researcher will be pursuing methods, develop and test, as in virtually any scientific field. Corresponding to Stake (1995), whatever the type of review whether experimental or quasi-experimental, the data collection and analysis methods are not exact. They'll always cover some details. Case studies, on the other hand, do not cover any details. Actually, they are intended to bring out the details from the point of view of the individuals by using multiple resources of data.

Yin (1993) has recognized some definite types of case studies: Exploratory, Explanatory, and Descriptive. Stake (1995) included three others: Intrinsic - when the researcher show an interest in the case; Instrumental - when the situation is used to understand more than what look like evident to the observer; Collective - whenever a group of circumstances is researched. Exploratory cases are occasionally considered as an benefits to communal research. Explanatory case studies tend to be used for doing investigations, whereby different causes have to be identified. Descriptive cases require a descriptive theory to be developed prior to starting the task.

Case studies are multi-perspectives analysis. Which means that the researcher considers not merely the speech and point of view of the celebrities, but also of the relevant groups of actors and the conversation between them. That one aspect is a salient point in the characteristic that circumstance studies possess. They provide a tone to the powerless and voiceless. When sociological investigations present many studies of the homeless and powerless, they are doing so from the point of view of the "elite" (Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991).

Case study is known as a triangulated research strategy. Snow and Anderson (cited in Feagin, Orum, & Sjoberg, 1991) asserted that triangulation can occur with data, investigators, ideas, and even methodologies. Stake (1995) argued that the protocols that are being used to ensure correctness and choice explanations are called triangulation. The necessity for triangulation is important in order to ensure validity of the procedure. In case studies, multiple sources of data can be used (Yin, 1984). However, the condition in case studies is to determine meaning rather than location.

Thus, from the above books, the exploratory and descriptive approaches have been discarded as these methods do unfit the research study. Alternatively, the explanatory design will be highly suited as this research is dependant on the analysis of the causal factors of the condition. At all levels of data collection and analysis consideration has been taken to the fact that there could be distortion, misinterpretation and bias that can prove to be misleading.


When it involves selecting a method for the assortment of data, certain strategies will have a tendency to be from the use of certain research methods. The decision is influenced by the strategy, but at the same time it reflects tastes about the type of data that the researcher wishes to acquire and practical concerns related to time, resources and access to the sources of data. Each one of the methods has its strengths and weaknesses. M. Denscombe (1998) advises the researcher to choose the most appropriate method suited to the task at hand, rather than to feel that one data collection method is more advanced than others. Cohen and Manion (1994) support the views that exclusive reliance on one method may distort the researcher's picture of truth. They also assume that the more the techniques contrast with each other, the higher the researcher's self-confidence.

For this specific research, two popularly utilized data collection techniques were resorted to, namely, questionnaires and interviews. Data was gathered in Oct 2010 in Keats College. Two types of questionnaires were prepared: one for subject teachers and form masters of Top Six classes and the other one for students of Upper Six. Furthermore, an individual dental interview was completed with the rector of the organization. [See Appendix I]


A questionnaire is a sequential group of questions specially made to tackle a specific target. Hence it is an inexpensive way to get the mandatory information from a huge range of respondents. Often they are the only practicable way to reach a large quantity of reviewers so that statistical evaluation can be carried out. A questionnaire may permit to gather subjective and objective data. Likewise, it could also collect quantitative and qualitative data. Henceforth, it is considered to be the mostly used instrument by most researchers.

In the formulation of the questions, particular attention to the content, to the wording of the questions, to the proper execution of answers and to the series of questions was paid. Another aspect to which credited attention was given was to create questions which required no great mental effort as a result from the respondents. Also, special importance to the entire design and design of the questionnaire was attached (Munn and Drever, 1995; Johnson and Johnson, 1999). A questionnaire should be designed so that it allows for assortment of information that can be used consequently as data for research. It is important that key matters are covered.


A questionnaire is not hard to administer, quick to fill in and can be solved by all the respondents all together (Hopkins, 1993). Desire to, therefore, was to have a quick responses on the study as time was limited. The questionnaires contains close-format, rating size and some open-ended questions to be able to elicit more profound replies (Cohen, Manion and Morrisson, 2000). The questions dealt about both facts and ideas. Fraenkel and Wallen (1993: 349) emphasize that "close-ended questions are simple to use, credit score and code for evaluation".


However, sometimes respondents just answer the questionnaire for the sake of the institution as it can be an anonymous tool. They may also give bias information as they may well not have the info regarding the concern dealt with. Moreover, questionnaires may be sometimes too challenging in conditions of plenty of small personal questions. In addition, the space of the questionnaires may often discourage the respondents to answer it.

Nevertheless, a questionnaire is very helpful in the gathering of principal data and sometimes it unveils the real real truth of the actual situations. The questionnaire will be utilized only to accumulate information for the coaching staff and students section.


The questionnaire was completely made to look upon the key aims of the task and in length of the books review work in order to reflect the real content of the research. In clear words, each portion of the questionnaire relates to a particular aim.

Structure of Questionnaire 1: Students (Appendix I)

Section A: Backdrop Information.

This part of the questionnaire will consider the several information regarding the profile of the college student. This part will target areas like

Number of years at the institution

Field of study

Number of siblings in family

It is also important to notice that only HSC last year woman students were used for the questionnaire as they are more subjected to the problem and that the majority of them has been in the college for several years. You can find 3 questions in this part.

Section B: Awareness of the problem

This section contains a complete of 3 questions. It assesses the next points

Awareness of the problem of absenteeism

Relationship between absenteeism and performance

Days on which students absent themselves the most

Section C: Causal Factors

This part lays focus on the main factors behind absenteeism. It'll concentrate on areas like

Contribution of private tuitions

Contribution of technology

School environment

Curriculum development

Relationship with teachers

Relationship with peers

Relationship with family

Economic factors

Psychological factors

This will permit to know the level to which absenteeism influences the day to day activities and performance of students.

Structure of Questionnaire 2: Educators (Appendix I)

Section A: Qualifications Information.

This part caters for questions regarding specific information about the respondent. These questions cover areas like



Age group


The range of working experience.

These questions will directly be in collection with the amount of the staff of the organization, the age group of the respondents and about the knowledge of the labor force. Although, it isn't a primary part which relate to the goals, but it's important to truly have a proper classification of the population to which research has been made. About 5 Questions have been dealt with in this part.

Section B: Knowing of the problem

This area of the questionnaire analyses issues like

Awareness of the problem

The relationship of absenteeism with performance

The condition of scholar absenteeism at the institution

The days on which students absent themselves more often

This part comprises of lots of 6 questions.

Section C: Causal Factors

In this portion of the questionnaire, the views of educators about the various factors behind absenteeism as elaborated from the books reviews will be analysed. This part is completely in length to make a consistent technique to adjust the various areas which donate to the problem and will also help identify the main reasons. This part comprises of a number of 2 questions.

Section D: Strategies

The last area of the questionnaire involves teachers' proposals to cure the condition.


Thus, the analysis of the questionnaires for both students and educators are of utmost importance as it would give an indication about the ranking of the research instrument. For this reason, a pilot test was found to make a difference. This pre-testing will make light on issues like

Whether the questions occur both research tools are well known and is easy to comprehend.

Whether respondents are hesitant to answer questions.

The timeframe to answer the questionnaire.

The amount of the questionnaire. If it's too much time or short.

What would discourage these to complete the questionnaire

Therefore, because of this research the pilot test was completed with a sample of 5 teachers and 10 students for the pre-testing stage. With qualitative research every precaution should be taken to interpret the data as they are offered by the respondents. Thus, by including various resources of data in the pilot test, more correctness, objectivity and rigor have been brought. Triangulation of data sources increases the likelihood of making the research authentic.


Data was also gathered via an interview of the rector as he is the sole person who is likely to be alert to all the resources of the problem associated with his establishment. The interview took place during my free period so as never to disturb the smooth jogging of the classes. A semi-structured interview was opted which allowed deeper exploration. A list of main questions for the interview was planned and salient points regarding the rector's answers were known down. Afterwards, an exact consideration of the interview was written.


Face-to-face interview is the most substantial way to obtain information for a research study as it attempts to take a look at and understand experience of the interviewee in comparison to impersonal and too formal written questionnaires. This is particularly important in cases where small sample sizes are considered for analysis, which is the case for the study. Also, interviews tend to be more flexible and versatile to certain requirements of any given situation. The interviewer can orient the questions to suit the needs of the interviewee and clarify regions of confusion. This technique makes it possible for an extension of the belief also as new related ideas may crop up.


As Cohen and Manion (1994) explain, one disadvantage of the method is that it is susceptible to subjectivity and bias as the interview is conducted by the teacher and the interviewee, in this case, is the rector. Responding to questions may be quite uncomfortable especially if the interviewee and the interviewer aren't very near each other of course, if the issue mentioned is sensitive. This system may well not be quite reliable to acquire enough information about the problem as the researcher's point of views may effect the interviewee to answer questions in a certain way.


The research sample consisted of 15 educators including 3 form masters and 12 subject educators of HSC classes out of a complete of 50 teachers from women' section of Keats College. Thus, a 30% participation of educators was observed in the study. Among the list of 15, both male and female are represented.

Moreover, 25 learners out of a total of 65 participated in the analysis. This symbolized a participation around 40% on the part of students. All of them were from Ladies' division as these were easily accessible. Also, these were in the average age group 18 to 19. A little sample size was enough as the study was of qualitative nature. The decision to perform the evaluation only on the HSC final calendar year students was considered as they are more subjected to the problem. Since it was impossible to investigate the views and meet all the students mutually during October, random sampling was done. The necessary arrangements for the filling of the 25 questionnaires on the days that the students were present for the Cambridge examinations 2010 were made. Concerning the educators, they were asked to fill in the questionnaires through the recess in order not to disrupt the smooth running of these classes.

The relatively small sample that was chosen might provide a alternatively limited view of the analysis and the question of generalization might always appear. But I am among those who highly believe that there's a certain degree of truth in whatever any person might say as his responses are related to standard attitudes existing around him.


Reliability has been made certain by taking the next steps. Some competent and experienced folks in neuro-scientific education were asked to check this content of the questionnaires and also to judge whether they are appropriate. They were also asked to make reasoned and critical assessments of questions and possible answers. Weaknesses of the instruments were detected and consequently eradicated.


An agreement between two initiatives to gauge the same thing with different methods

[Campbell and Fisk as cited in Hammersley, 1987]

Degree of approximation of 'reality'

[Johnston and Pennypacker, 1980, pp. 190-191]

The following activities were taken for the validity reason for the analysis

Detailed home elevators the themes was obtained; unambiguous, easy and appropriate responses.

I made certain that value be evidently and carefully mentioned on the questionnaire; Moreover, the questions were attractive to look at, neatly arranged, and plainly duplicated.

Care has been taken up to minimize lack of things as the last mentioned not only limits generalization but also introduces bias.

Care was also taken to avoid the data enthusiasts from, consciously or unconsciously, distorting the info.

The questionnaires were in person allocated. This helped me to administer the tool properly, to explain the purpose of the analysis and this is of items that was not clear. Questions were invited and responded prior to the distribution of the questionnaires. Regarding the students' questionnaires, I had them crammed in by the students under guidance. Above all, it was important that questionnaires be sent out only to those who possessed the required information.

Obviously, I had fashioned to ensure that the questions weren't long and sophisticated, negative, misleading, double-barreled, emotionally filled and embarrassing

The questions were offered in good emotional order, proceeding from basic to more specific replies.

This research was based upon four characteristics which ensured the validity in communication.

- Truthfulness of declaration.

- Comprehensibility of conversation.

- Authenticity and sincerity of loudspeakers.

-Appropriateness of the situation. (Habermas in McNiff, 1988)

I can say with significant amounts of real truth that the instrumentations were executed in this manner, so that without doubt the results and results were valid and reliable because validity enables the researcher to address his research with integrity and objectivity. In addition, it is evident that through this style of instrumentation, I shall be applying the strategy of qualitative examination.


Miles and Huberman (1994) warn the analysts about moral issues; these are of the opinion that the first ethical concern is how suitable the analysis is. The test pupils and educators concerned with the research have been evidently prepared of my intent and they were promised of my integrity and the worthiness of my research.

Other honest issues include anonymity and confidentiality of the respondents.

According to Creswell (1994), the researcher must take the welfare of the respondents under consideration. In his words, 'first and most important the researcher comes with an obligation to respect his rights, needs, ideals and the wants of the informants'. Before the conversation with the respondents, I put to see their emotions in this respect. I had to get their authorization to involve them in the study.

Arksey and Knight (1999) explain

' Confidentiality is about not disclosing the individuality of study members, and not attributing reviews to individuals with techniques that can let the individuals or organizations with which they are associated to be recognized, unless they have expressly consented to being determined. '

To that effect, the respondents' brands weren't used in order not to injure anybody's thoughts in disclosing the reality and contents in the info research. Furthermore, all the respondents were reassured that the information they have got disseminated in the questionnaires would be produced available only to my supervisor and me. Moreover, I reiterated that the analysis was exclusively for academics purposes. Prior arrangement to my engagement with the potential participants had been come to through negotiation with the manager of the school.

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