“Engaging the Voices of Students: A Report on the 2007 & 2008 High School Survey of Student Engagement” from the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University is an important piece of research that I think everyone in education should read.
High school drop-out rates are a national crisis caused in large part by a lack of student engagement. This report looks at what students say about school and engagement. Among the findings are the following.
- Despite high drop-out rates, the aspirations of students are high with 91.4% reporting that they expect to graduate.
- Students report attending school not only because they have to (58%; the third most common response), but because they want to graduate and go on to higher education (74%).
- 67% of respondents report being bored in school every day. Their top reasons:
- Material isn’t interesting (82%).
- Material lacks relevance (41%).
- Work isn’t challenging enough (33%).
- Work is too difficult (27%).
- Rigor, relevance, and relationships are critical to engagement. Students need to feel some connection to an adult in the school.
There is so much more powerful information in this report, including a collection of student responses to an open-ended prompt. Read it. It might change how you feel about education.
Credit: Matthew Stinson, CC BY NC