Posts Tagged ‘engagement’

The engagement gap: listening to student voices

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

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