Abstract for 2nd Australian Discourse, Power, and Resistance Conference Darwin, August 2012
Students’ Perspectives on Learning Environments:Factors Affecting Their Happiness in School
Ph.D student-Charles Darwin University
Children spend most of their waking time in school; therefore, experience in school is a major domain in their life. Aside from academic achievement as one of the aims of education, the pursuit of students’ happiness has been regarded as more important by parents, educators, and policy makers in some countries. There is a paradoxical finding from the research that while academic achievement has increased, many students report dissatisfaction with their school or learning. Hence, it is important to explore how students experience their school.
In this study, how the primary students in Jakarta-Indonesia feel and think about school will be explored through students’ written story and/or drawing about their school experience. Research in education has not yet given much attention to using these methods. However, these techniques of inquiry have been acknowledged as having a communicative power to highlight the realities of life in classrooms and schools. Students’ perspectives on their learning environments reflect how they construct the meaning of their school experience.
Emerging themes of this study will be used to identify what factors of the learning environments impact on the primary school students’ happiness in school. By attempting to understand the students’ voice, it means that educators have adopted a paradigm that the students are the subject of education and they respect the students as human beings who have rights to be heard.
Keywords: happiness, learning environment, students’ voice