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Student Engagement. Amy Reschly, Ph.D. & James Appleton, Ph.D. A ‘meta-construct’ Brings together many separate lines of research (e.g., belonging, behavioral participation, motivation) Fredericks, Blumenfeld & Paris, 2004 Antidote to conditions noted by many educators…

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student engagement

Student Engagement

Amy Reschly, Ph.D. & James Appleton, Ph.D.

slide2
A ‘meta-construct’
    • Brings together many separate lines of research (e.g., belonging, behavioral participation, motivation)

Fredericks, Blumenfeld & Paris, 2004

  • Antidote to conditions noted by many educators…
    • Students are characterized as bored, unmotivated, and uninvolved
student engagement1
Student Engagement
  • Engagement is the primary theoretical model for understanding dropout and is, quite frankly, the bottom line in interventions to promote school completion.
  • Student engagement has emerged as the cornerstone of high school reform initiatives.
  • Both academic and social aspects of school life are integral for student success; engagement at school and with learning are essential intervention considerations.

Christenson et al., 2008

slide4

Engagement is the primary theoretical model for understanding dropout and is, quite frankly, the bottom line in interventions to promote school completion.

Finn (1989)

  • Participation-Identification Model
    • Indicators of withdrawal and engagement over several years
    • Belonging, Identification, Relationships
finn s participation identification model
Finn’s Participation Identification Model

Participation in Successful Identification

School Activities Performance with school

slide6

Engagement is the primary theoretical model for understanding dropout and is, quite frankly, the bottom line in interventions to promote school completion.

Finn (1989)

  • Participation-Identification Model
    • Indicators of withdrawal and engagement over several years
    • Belonging, Identification, Relationships
slide7
Dynarski & Gleason (2002)
    • Provided extra personal support for students
    • Created smaller and more personal settings
  • McPartland (1994)
    • Provide opportunities for success in schoolwork
    • Communicate the relevance of education to future endeavors
    • Create a caring and supportive environment
    • Help students with personal problems
student engagement has emerged as the cornerstone of high school reform initiatives
Student engagement has emerged as the cornerstone of high school reform initiatives.
  • National Research Council publication, “Engaging schools: Fostering high school students’ motivation to learn”
    • I can, I want to, I belong
    • Competence, Autonomy, Belonging
      • The other “ABCs”
  • URL: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/10421.html

Baumeister & Leary, 1995; Connell & Wellborn, 1990; NRC, 2004; Ryan & Deci, 2000

slide9
A common theme among effective practices is that they have a positive effect on the motivation of individual students because they address underlying psychological variables such as competence, control, beliefs about the value of education, and a sense of belonging. In brief, effective schools and teachers promote students’ understanding of what it takes to learn and confidence in their capacity to succeed in school by providing challenging instruction and support for meeting high standards, and by conveying high expectations for their students’ success. They provide choices and they make the curriculum and instruction relevant to adolescents’ experiences, cultures, and long-term goals, so that students see some value in what they are doing in school. Finally, they promote a sense of belonging by personalizing instruction, showing an interest in students’ lives, and creating a supportive, caring social context.

National Research Council, 2004, p. 212

slide10

Both academic and social aspects of school life are integral for student success; engagement at school and with learning are essential intervention considerations.

  • McPartland (1994); Dynarski & Gleason (2002)
  • More than….
    • Academic performance, behavior
engagement theory
Engagement Theory
  • Antidote to: students characterized as bored, unmotivated, and uninvolved
  • “the student’s psychological investment in and effort directed toward learning, understanding, or mastering the knowledge, skills, or crafts that academic work is intended to promote”
  • “Energy in action, the connection between person and activity”
  • 4 subtypes

Dropping out is the most extreme form of disengagement

Christenson & Anderson, 2002; Newmann, 1992; Russell et al., 2005

student engagement model

Context

Student Engagement

Student Outcomes

Student Engagement Model
academic engagement universal strategies
Academic EngagementUniversal Strategies
  • Ensure the instructional match is appropriate for the students and clear directions of what is expected are provided
  • Use mastery learning principles to guide instructional planning and delivery
  • Use principles of effective instruction (e.g., direct instruction, scaffolding, guided practice; informed feedback; pacing of lessons)
  • Ensure that there is both academic press (high expectations, well structures learning environment) and support for learning (caring environment)

Christenson, Reschly, Appleton, Berman, Spanjers, & Varro, 2008

academic engagement universal strategies1
Academic EngagementUniversal Strategies
  • Maximize instructional relevance (e.g., clearly stated purpose, graph progress toward goals)
  • Attend to the effect of the organization/structure of the school on learning (e.g., smaller learning communities, Academies)
  • Allow students to have choices within course selection and assignments (Skinner et al., 2005).

Christenson et al., 2008

academic engagement universal strategies2
Academic EngagementUniversal Strategies
  • Increase time on task and substantive interaction through cooperative learning, whole class or group instruction (Greenwood et al., 2002) and peer assisted learning strategies (Boudah, Schumacher, & Deshler, 1997; Lee & Smith, 1993)
  • Provide home support for learning strategies to fit content area
  • Enhance critical thinking through project work and ungraded writing assignments

Christenson et al., 2008

academic engagement universal strategies3
Academic EngagementUniversal Strategies
  • Use supplemental program within school, i.e., Academic Coaching Team (Hansen, Cumming, & Christenson, 2006)
  • Increase opportunities for success in schoolwork
  • Encourage parents to volunteer in the classroom (Lee & Smith, 1993)
  • Enhance teacher-student relationships and/or teacher-student support (Hughes & Kwok, 2006)

Christenson et al., 2008

academic engagement universal strategies4
Academic EngagementUniversal Strategies
  • Reinforce students frequently and base it on the amount of work completed (Skinner et al., 2005).
  • Utilize a variety of interesting texts and resources (Asselin, 2004; Guthrie & Wigfield, 2000)
  • Incorporate projects that take place in the community (Lewis, 2004)

Christenson et al., 2008

academic engagement individualized strategies
Academic Engagement:Individualized Strategies
  • Utilize after school programs (tutoring, homework help)
  • Increase home support for learning – such as home-school notes, assignment notebooks, and academic enrichment activities
  • Implement self-monitoring interventions
  • Ensure adequacy of educational resources in the home
  • Help parents to understand and set expectations (Klem & Connell, 2004)

Christenson et al., 2008

academic engagement individualized strategies1
Academic Engagement:Individualized Strategies
  • Help parents to understand and set expectations (Klem & Connell, 2004)
  • Foster positive teacher-student relationship for marginalized students
  • Utilize Behavior Education Programs: Have students check in with the teacher each hour to ensure they have pens, notebooks, etc. Check in with teacher each hour, check-out at the end of the school day (Hawken & Horner, 2003).
  • Seek out and utilize college outreach programs and tutors for students (Rodriquez et al., 2004)

Christenson et al., in press

behavioral engagement universal
Behavioral Engagement: Universal
  • Examine suspension policies; strive to eliminate out-of-school suspension
  • Examine discipline policies; ensure they are considered fair, nonpunitive and understood by students. End reliance on negative consequences as a means of managing student behavior.
  • Encourage social interactions and planning for the future though smaller learning communities that target vocational interests (e.g., Academies)

Christenson et al., in press

behavioral engagement universal1
Behavioral Engagement: Universal
  • Offer developmentally appropriate social skills training to all students as part of the curriculum
  • Implement school-wide positive behavioral support systems that include positive reinforcement and group contingencies
  • Use coordinated, collaborative home-school interventions to address attendance
  • Involve students in hands-on-learning that is directly related to future career paths or interests

Christenson et al., 2008

behavioral engagement universal2
Behavioral Engagement: Universal
  • Create an orderly routine environment that promotes consistency
  • Offer professional development on classroom management strategies
  • Gather student input about classroom rules, school climate and evaluation of coursework/assignments; use feedback to make appropriate changes
  • Encourage participation in and provide extracurricular activities; actively seek to involve uninvolved students

Christenson et al., 2008

behavioral engagement universal3
Behavioral Engagement: Universal
  • Consider ways of having multi-level sports teams
  • Ensure that the school climate, school culture is respectful to all students
  • Systematically monitor student population on key variables (attendance, academics, behavior) for signs of disengagement from school and follow up with students showing signs of withdrawal.

Christenson et al., 2008

behavioral engagement individualized
Behavioral Engagement: Individualized
  • Provide additional, supplemental supports for students not responding to positive behavioral support systems implemented school-wide
  • Devise an individualized approach to addressing attendance or participation issues at school; strive to understand student perspective and unique family circumstances
  • Implement programs that work to build specific skills such as problem solving, anger management or interpersonal communication

Christenson et al., 2008

behavioral engagement individualized1
Behavioral Engagement: Individualized
  • Provide an adult mentor who works with students and families on a long term basis to foster engagement in school and deliver the message that school is important (i.e., Check & Connect)
  • Develop specific behavior plans or contracts to address individual needs
  • Provide intensive wrap-around services
  • Provide alternative programs for students who have not completed school

Christenson et al., 2008

behavioral engagement individualized2
Behavioral Engagement: Individualized
  • Encourage parents to monitor and supervise student behavior
  • Implement student advisory programs that monitor academic and social development of secondary students (middle or high)
  • Implement school-to-work programs that foster success in school and relevant educational opportunities

Christenson et al., 2008

cognitive engagement universal
Cognitive Engagement: Universal
  • Guide students in setting personal goals in courses and monitoring their progress
  • Provide student with choices when completing assignments
  • Enhance or explicitly identify relevance of schoolwork to future goals (see six year plan for St. Paul Public schools ninth graders at http://studentresources.spps.org.)
  • Focus on necessary steps to reach/pursue personal goals and career aspirations

Christenson et al., 2008

cognitive engagement universal1
Cognitive Engagement: Universal
  • Set learning/mastery goals over performance goals – ensure mastery goals permeate the philosophy of the classroom/school culture
  • Provide students with challenging and motivating assignments that relate to life outside of school
  • Model learning strategies when teaching specific concepts
  • Provide feedback that emphasizes self control and the link between effort/practice and improvement

Christenson et al., 2008

cognitive engagement universal2
Cognitive Engagement: Universal
  • Provide professional development training to teachers (e.g., goal setting and self-regulation combined with informed feedback that focuses on improvement and enhancing intrinsic motivation)
  • Encourage students who are “on the cusp” to put forth effort to earn credits by calculating a graduation achievement rate (e.g., number of credits earned divided by number of credits possible, compared with % needed to graduate) (Hansen et al., 2006)
  • Encourage parents to deliver messages related to motivational support for learning (high expectations, talk to students about school and schoolwork)

Christenson et al., 2008

cognitive engagement individualized
Cognitive Engagement: Individualized
  • Enhance student’s personal belief in self through repeated contacts, goal setting, problem solving and relationship (e.g., Check & Connect)
  • Implement self monitoring interventions (e.g., graph progress toward goals)
  • Explicitly teach cognitive and metacognitive strategies (e.g., mnemonic strategies) and teach effective note-taking and study skills
  • Discuss the link between student’s effort and the outcome/behavior/success achieved to increase the student’s perceived self control, self-efficacy, and self-determination
  • Design tasks that have the characteristics of open tasks (e.g., student interests, autonomy, collaboration with peers) (Turner, 1995).

Christenson et al., 2008

affective engagement universal
Affective Engagement: Universal
  • Systematically build relationships/connections for all students - Educators identify students who may not have a connection with a staff member (i.e., list all students names at grade levels and determine who knows the student) and match staff members and alienated students for future regular “mentor like” contact
  • Address size through implementation of smaller learning communities
  • Enhance peer connections through peer assisted learning strategies
  • Implement a mentoring program (use of college age students)

Christenson et al., 2008

affective engagement universal1
Affective Engagement: Universal
  • Increase participation in extracurricular activities
  • Combine social support for students (from teachers, peers, parents, and community) with high levels of academic press (i.e., teacher belief that they are challenging students and student perception that they are being challenged (Lee & Smith, 1999).
  • Create a caring and supportive environment (ethos) (Baker, 2001)

Christenson et al., 2008

affective engagement universal2
Affective Engagement: Universal
  • Intervene early, persistently, and across the contexts of school peers, school adults, and the home and community to change student developmental trajectories.
  • When evaluating results, be sure to check for delayed outcomes associated with early interventions

Christenson et al., 2008

affective engagement individualized
Affective Engagement: Individualized
  • Build personal relationship with marginalized students – enhance relationship with one caring adult
  • Personalize education (e.g., alter assignments to match personal interests and goals)
  • Assist students with personal problems
  • Provide extra support for students in a timely fashion
  • To improve generalizabilty, intervene across peer, family, and community contexts when possible

Christenson et al., 2008

intensive intervention example check connect
Intensive Intervention Example:Check & Connect
  • A model designed to promote student engagement at school and with learning
  • Approach is based on enhancing strengths and connections between home, school, and community through relationship building, problem solving, and persistence
  • Drawn from the literature on resiliency, cognitive-behavioral interventions, systems theory to address complex social problem, person-environment fit, motivation
the why of check connect
The “Why” of Check & Connect
  • Drawn from the literature on resiliency, cognitive-behavioral interventions, systems theory to address complex social problem, person-environment fit, motivation
  • Dropout literature:
    • Status vs. alterable variables
    • Early signs of withdrawal & engagement
slide38
A model designed to promote student engagement at school and with learning
  • Approach is based on enhancing strengths and connections between home, school, and community through relationship building, problem solving, and persistence
check connect components
Check & Connect Components
  • Check….continuous assessment of student levels of engagement
    • Monitored on a daily-to-weekly basis
    • Alterable risk factors: Attendance, Behavior, Academics
  • Connect….basic and intensive levels
    • Basic: feedback, discussion, problem solving
    • Intensive: problem solving, academic support, community service/recreation
role of the mentor monitor
Role of the Mentor/Monitor
  • Person responsible for helping a student stay connected to school.
    • Described as a mentor, case manager, advocate
  • Relationship is built over time, based on trust and familiarity:
    • ongoing efforts (e.g., checking grades and attendance)
    • informal connections (e.g., checking in with the student)

Social Capital

slide41
Develop individualized intervention strategies.
  • Promote access to services for students/families.
  • Assist students and families in navigating secondary school system.
monitoring is essential for students at risk of dropping out for two reasons
Monitoring is essential for students at-risk of dropping out for two reasons . . .
  • Provides a systematic and efficient way to connect students with immediate interventions
  • Provides an essential link to students’ educational performance
check student levels of engagement
Check….. Student Levels of Engagement
  • Risk factors monitored regularly
  • Increased risk leads to interventions to reconnect.
connect basic and intensive interventions
Connect… Basic and Intensive Interventions
  • General information about monitoring system.
  • Monthly problem solving around different topics related to the importance of staying in school (e.g., economics of staying in school, how to ask for help).
  • Regular feedback.
  • Problem solving around risk factors.
we have hypothesized that
We have hypothesized that:
  • The unique feature of the Check & Connect procedure is not the specific interventions per se, but the fact that interventions are facilitated by a person, the mentor, who is trusted and known by the student and who has demonstrated his or her concern for the school performance of the youth persistently and consistently over time.
check connect secondary level
Check & Connect – Secondary Level

Pilot Study: Quasi-experimental design, students with Emotional or Behavior Disorders.

  • C&C students were significantly more likely to..
    • be currently enrolled in school
    • Never have dropped out
    • Be on track to graduate
        • Sinclair, Christenson, Evelo, & Hurley, 1998
  • Quasi-experimental study – High school students with EBD were significantly
    • less likely to dropout,
    • more likely to persist in school,
    • and more likely to access educational services (alternative programs, transition planning).
    • They were more likely to be on track to complete school in four years; and more likely to have completed school at the end of five years.
        • Sinclair et al., 2005
slide47
Chronically truant students in grades 6-12 with and without disabilities in suburban schools on the School Success truancy prevention initiative (N=363) have shown improvement in attendance, skipped classes, out-of-school suspensions, and academic performance.
    • About 65% of Check & Connect students (N=91) are successfully engaged (equivalent of 0-1 day absent per month), with no incidences of class failures.
    • More effective if students are referred before absences exceed 25% of the school year.
check connect elementary level
Check & Connect – Elementary Level
  • Pre-post intervention results for elementary students with and without disabilities (N= 147 with 2 years of intervention) in suburban settings reveals that tardies to and absences from school have declined, and overall attendance has improved.
    • 86% of students who received intervention for at least two years (N = 147) showed increased levels of student engagement as evidenced by significant increases in the percentage of students who were absent or tardy less than 5% of the time, an improvement of 104% over baseline behavior.
  • Also, over 90% of the school staff (N = 123) perceived students were showing improvement in homework completion, attendance, and interest in school.
  • 87% of school staff reported parents were more supportive of their child’s education
      • (Lehr, Sinclair, & Christenson, 2002).
other applications
Other Applications
  • Early Risers I: Implemented with students in Kdg and 1st grade who were highly aggressive. Students in C&C displayed significantly fewer problem behaviors during the 2-years of intervention
  • Early Risers II: 1st and 2nd graders who were highly aggressive and poor readers living in poverty
    • Combined with Reading Interventions. Significant differences in phonological awareness; no differences in ratings of aggressive behavior
slide50
Project ELSE (Early-Literacy School Engagement Project) 2000-2004
  • Implemented Check & Connect with Kindergarteners at-risk for learning to read. 6 Schools randomly assigned to treatment and control
    • Statistically significant differences in early literacy skills and engagement (attendance and tardies) for students in C&C with EL as compared to control
    • Positive changes in teachers’ perceptions of children’s behavior and academic competence
        • O’Shaughnessy, Draper, Christenson, Militch, Waldbart, & Gabriel (2004)
slide51
www.ici.umn.edu/checkandconnect/
  • whatworks.ed.gov/PDF/Intervention/techappendix06_312.html
urban midwest instrument validation study
Urban Midwest Instrument Validation Study
  • 8th graders (Think Aloud)
  • 2,577 of 3,104 diverse, urban 9th graders
  • 1,931 (~75%) in analyses
  • 51% female, 40% Afr Amer, 35% White, 11% Asian, 10% Hispanic, 4% Amer Ind
  • 61% FRL; 8% Sped Services
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Based on actual student responses, the six survey Themes and the overall instrument were valid and reliable.
  • When checked against student’s academic and behavioral records, the SEI themes aligned as expected.
replication studies
Replication Studies
  • Urban Midwest, Rural South Carolina, and Rural Midwest studies
  • Instrument measurement characteristics were supported
  • Construct (Theme) validity evidence is strong
slide57
GCPS Data and Reports

(For Advisors and Schools)

advisor report side 1
Advisor Report—Side 1

Student Names

Theme Key

Subscale

(Theme) Averages

Class Averages

advisor report sample side 2
Advisor Report Sample—Side 2

Interpretive Guide: Reminders about how to read and use the report

SEI Themes and Item Text

references resources
References & Resources
  • Anderson, A. R., Christenson, S. L., & Lehr, C. A. (2004). School completion and student engagement: Information and strategies for educators. In A. S. Canter, L. Z. Paige, M. D. Roth, I. Romero, & S. A. Carroll (Eds.), Helping children at home and at school II: Handouts for families and educators (pp. S2-65–S2-68). Bethesda, MD: National Association of School Psychologists. Retrieved October 25, 2006 from http://www.naspcenter.org/principals/nasp_compleducators.pdf
  • Appleton, J., Christenson, S.L., Kim, D., & Reschly, A. (2006). Measuring cognitive and psychological engagement: Validation of the Student Engagement Instrument. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 427-445.
  • Christenson, S.L., & Anderson, A. R. (2002). Commentary: The centrality of the learning context for students’ academic enabler skills. School Psychology Review,31(3), 378-393
  • Christenson & Thurlow (2004). School dropouts: Prevention, considerations, interventions, and challenges. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 13(1), 36-39.
  • Christenson, S.L., Reschly, A.L., Appleton, J.J., Berman, S., Spanjers, D., & Varro, P. (2008). Best practices in fostering student engagement. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds). Best Practices in School Psychology (5th Ed). National Association of School Psychologists.
references resources1
References & Resources
  • Finn, J.D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research, 59, 117-142.
  • Fredericks, J.A., Blumenfeld, P.C., & Paris, A.H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74, 59-109.
  • Lehr, Sinclair, & Christenson (2004). Addressing student engagement and truancy prevention during the elementary school years: A replication study of the Check & Connect model. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 9(3),279-301.
  • National Research Council and the Institute of Medicine (2004). Engaging schools: Fostering high school students’ motivation to learn. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press
  • Reschly, A. & Christenson, S.L. (2007). Reading and School Completion: Critical Linkages Among Reading Performance, Grade Retention, Special Education Placements and High School Dropout. Manuscript under review.
  • Sinclair, Christenson, Evelo, & Hurley. (1998). Dropout prevention for high risk youth with disabilities: Efficacy of a sustained school engagement procedure. Exceptional Children, 65(1), 7-21.
  • Sinclair, Christenson, & Thurlow (2005). Promoting School completion of urban secondary youth with emotional or behavioral disabilities. Exceptional Children, 71, 465-482.
contact information
Contact Information

James Appleton, PhD

Department of Research & Evaluation

Gwinnett County Public Schools

437 Old Peachtree Road NW

Suite 2.240

Suwanee, GA 30024

678.301.7090

Jim.Appleton@gwinnett.k12.ga.us

Amy L. Reschly, PhD

Department of Educational Psychology & Instructional Technology

325N Aderhold Hall

University of Georgia

Athens, GA 30602

706.583.5503

reschly@uga.edu