ERIC Number: ED362322
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
School Engagement & Students at Risk.
Finn, Jeremy D.
To examine the proposition that students who do not remain active participants in class or school may be at risk for school failure, regardless of status characteristics such as ethnicity or family income, two studies of engagement and achievement were conducted. The studies used a nationwide sample of eighth-grade students from the U.S. Department of Education's National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 (NELS:88) survey. The first study examined the association of participation in school and classroom activities with academic achievement in 15,737 eighth-graders attending public schools. The study found that participation and academic achievement were positively related, even after controlling for gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The second study examined behaviors that distinguish students who are at risk, but who are successful in school subjects, from their less successful peers. A sample of 5,945 eighth-graders identified as at risk by virtue of race, home language or socioeconomic status were classified as unsuccessful, passing, or successful, based on reading and mathematics achievement tests. It was found that achievement groups were distinct in terms of variety of classroom participation behaviors, out-of-class participation, and interactions with their parents regarding school. Three major conclusions were drawn from the investigation: (1) behavioral risk factors are indeed related to significant outcomes of schooling; (2) risk behaviors have their roots in the early school years or before; and (3) more attention should be given by educators and researchers to encouraging the potential of "marginal" students. Further research is needed to identify manipulable aspects of classroom and school processes that encourage student engagement. Appendices provide details of the measures used in the studies and the standard deviations and correlations of the measures. Contains 91 references. (MDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
IES Cited: ED505962; ED512029