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ERIC Number: ED609966
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2020
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
The "Silent Epidemic" Finds Its Voice: Demystifying How Students View Engagement in Their Learning. Research Report
Holquist, Samantha E.; Cetz, Jared; O'Neil, Santiago D.; Smiley, Dana; Taylor, Laney M.; Crowder, Marisa K.
McREL International
Approximately 40 to 60 percent of America's high school students are chronically disengaged (i.e., inattentive, exert little to no effort, do not complete tasks, and claim to be bored; National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2004). Disengagement is so widespread that it has been labeled the "Silent Epidemic" (Bridgeland et al., 2006). Students who are disengaged are not only less likely to both attend school and expend effort in their course work, they are also more likely to misbehave and to drop out of school (Atwell et al., 2019; Balfanz et al., 2007). Missing in the research base on student engagement is an understanding of what engagement means from the student's perspective. While research provides evidence for the motivational, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive aspects of engagement for students, existing definitions are missing important elements of engagement that could further promote and encourage student learning. To address these research gaps, McREL International partnered with four youth researchers to conduct a qualitative research study to understand engagement from the students' perspective. Four focus groups were held via Zoom with students-- who were grouped by the researchers as being either engaged or disengaged--to discuss how they understood engagement. The focus groups took place during July 2020 and were guided by the following research questions: (1) How do students define the construct "student engagement"?; (2) What supports and barriers do students experience in engaging in the classroom and at school?; and (3) Did student engagement in learning shift during the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, how? Constant comparative analysis was used to identify themes within participants' responses (Guest et al., 2011). In this report, the findings from this study are discussed in three sections, each addressing one of the research questions. Within each section, recommendations to support student engagement are proposed. In the conclusion, high-level findings across the research questions are summarized and a framework for educators and researchers to support student engagement is proposed.
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: McREL International
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A