Why don't I ask for help?
: examining factors influencing academic help seeking practices among primary students in Jakarta, Indonesia

  • Ratna Dyah Suryaratri

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Student academic help-seeking has been identified as an important behaviour of selfregulated learners. Following a series of policy changes, the Indonesian educational system is now shifting from a traditional teacher-centred approach to a student-centred approach, in which students are encouraged to take more responsibility for their own learning. This study is focused on understanding student academic help-seeking behaviour in primary schools located in Jakarta, Indonesia. In doing so, it used a mixed methods approach to investigate factors that influence these behaviours. It explores perceptions of academic help-seeking reported by students (N = 337) and teachers (N = 21) from eight primary schools in Jakarta. Results indicate that students find it difficult to ask for academic help even though they believe they should in order to improve academic success and despite quantitative data revealing student intentions to ask for help as high (M = 3.19; SD = 0.46; N = 331). This study confirms that teacher behaviours are a significant influence on student academic help-seeking; most teachers hold the belief that student academic help-seeking is an important behaviour that they are obliged to promote. Both teachers and students identified factors that may support or inhibit help-seeking behaviour, and overwhelming identify the teacher as the main factor. The traditional teacher-centred approach to education is thus found in this study to undermine student academic help-seeking.

    The implications of this study are that if a real paradigm shift in moving towards student-centred learning is to be achieved, teachers will need to find strategies that promote student academic help-seeking. Teachers will also need to give guidance to
    students on how to develop the required skills; however, findings indicate that for this to be achieved professional development programs will be required for teachers to develop their skills to properly support this new policy paradigm. The key question to emerge from this thesis is how the disconnection between government policy and practices in the classroom might best be addressed.
    Date of Award2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGreg Shaw (Supervisor), Ruth Wallace (Supervisor), Jon Mason (Supervisor) & Gretchen Geng (Supervisor)

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