ERIC Number: ED390823
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Apr-20
Reference Count: N/A
A Longitudinal Study of Students' Engagement and Perceptions in a RE:Learning High School.
Riedel, James A.
The RE:Learning movement is an attempt to alter the education system from the bottom up, encouraging schools to simplify their structures and focus on students' intellectual growth. RE:Learning is based on the principles of Theodore Sizer which address the simplicity and universality of a school's goals; the personalization of teaching and learning; helping students to learn effectively and demonstrate competency; attitude of the school regarding expectations, trust, decency, and tolerance; perceptions and commitment of staff; and financial resources. This paper reports on a longitudinal study of 20 unspecial students in a RE:Learning vocational technical high school who completed the questionnaire in all four of their high school years. The research addressed whether students become more engaged in their education with increased exposure to Sizer's principles, and whether students' perceptions of school regarding the principles of focus, personalization, and attitude change with increased exposure to these principles. Based on the data collected, the study found no evidence of increased student engagement over time as measured by their questionnaire responses, their grade point average (GPA), or the number of out-of-school hours of homework. No evidence was found to support an increase in students' perceptions regarding the principle of attitude but there was support for an increase in students' perceptions concerning the principles of personalization and focus. Finally, there appeared to be some connection between focus and personalization and possibly GPA. With the forces of adolescents' work and social lives competing with their academic lives, it will take even greater, unending effort on the part of the faculty to capture the students' commitment to their education. Appendices include descriptions of Sizer's principles, as well as graphs of the study data. (ND)
Descriptors: Educational Change, Educational Objectives, Educational Principles, High School Students, High Schools, Instructional Development, Instructional Innovation, Learning Strategies, Longitudinal Studies, School Restructuring, Student Attitudes, Student Development, Student Motivation, Vocational High Schools
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A