Karlie Ross

Hunting for Ghost Learners: Insights from Middle Years Students on Passive Disengagement

A student’s cognitive, affective and behavioural disengagement, or disconnection with schooling, has implications on academic outcomes, marginalization in classrooms, and emotional wellbeing. Whilst significant research efforts in Australia have focused on understanding the broader student disengagement phenomenon, the complexity and ambiguity of passive disengagement has remained a gap in literature and thus a problem in practice. This thesis explores the concept of passive disengagement in the classroom through a conceptual framework that integrates psychological and ecological understandings of engagement. The research will use visual ethnography to explore the experiences of disengagement with middle years students. By understanding more about student experiences, it is intended that the research will inform guiding principles for the research site’s future decisions around curriculum, pedagogy and assessment during this phase of schooling. Student perspectives gleaned from this project will also contribute to the research in this important and under-researched field of study.

Principal Supervisor: Dr Jill Willis

Associate Supervisor: Prof Linda Graham