SETTING THE SCENE and the
ANALYSIS OF DOCUMENTARY
Jan knew that before she could consider planning her methods of data collection, she had to inform herself about truancy legislation in Western Australia and to examine the reports of research already carried out on her topic in Australia and in other Western countries. She began with an examination of previous Western Australian Education Acts, reports and other documentation in the public domain and this source material provided detailed background information about the way truancy legislation had (or had not) developed over the years.
Her reading was very thorough and very detailed and the following summary of the Western Australian 'official' documentation gives some idea of the lengths to which she went to obtain the necessary information that allowed her to start her research from an informed base.
She started with a study of definitions of truancy in the Western Australian context.
The first step was to consult Western Australian Education Acts from 1928 onwards which included definitions (though no