04 SES 07 C, Students
Student engagement has been a topic of scientific interest for few decades. In the educational field, it has been described as a multidimensional metaconstruct bringing together separate lines of research (e.g., motivation, belonging and school climate) (Appleton, Christenson, & Furlong, 2008). Verifiably, high student engagement contributes to many positive schooling outcomes, such as good learning results (e.g., Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004; Linnakylä & Malin, 2008) and staying at school (Finn, 1989). Willms (2003, 56) states that increasing student engagement will contribute to the quality of life of youths and, therefore, it is important in its own right.
For assessing student engagement, valid and reliable measuring instruments are demanded. One such instrument is Student Engagement Instrument (SEI). The SEI has been validated in theUS(Appleton, Christenson, Kim, & Reschly, 2006) and inPortugal(Moreira, Vaz, Dias, & Petracchi, 2009). It is a self-report instrument consisting of 35 items. The SEI is designed to measure students’ psychological and cognitive dimensions of engagement which are invisible for educators (unlike behavioral engagement). Dimensions of the psychological engagement are Teacher–Student Relationships (eg. “Overall, adults at my school treat students fairly”), Peer Support (eg. “Other students at school care about me”), and Family Support (eg. “My family/guardian(s) are there for me when I need them”). Cognitive engagement consists of Control and Relevance (eg. “The tests in my classes do a good job of measuring what I’m able to do”), Future Aspirations (eg.“School is important for achieving my future goals”) and Extrinsic Motivation (eg. “I’ll learn, but only if my family/guardian(s) give me a reward”).
Besides being valuable for researchers the Student Engagement Instrument has relevance for practitioners at schools. It can be used to improve the capability on the school level to respond to the children’s various learning and socio-emotional needs. It can be used for identifying at-risk students prior to their negative school experiences are manifested in unproductive behavior (e.g., behavioral problems and truancy). At classes and schools, the SEI can reveal students’ level of engagement and, thus, guide interventions. As such, the SEI serves the purposes of prevention of disengagement and even dropping out of school.
In this paper the student’s engagement in school will be described and compared inFinlandandPortugalto find out similarities and differences in two different contexts. Associations between school engagement and academic performance will be studied.
References Appleton, J. J., Christenson, S. L., & Furlong, M. J. (2008). Student engagement with school: Critical conceptual and methodological issues of the construct. Psychology in the Schools, 45(5), 369-386. Appleton, J. J., Christenson, S. L., Kim, D., & Reschly, A. L. (2006). Measuring cognitive and psychological engagement: Validation of the Student Engagement Instrument. Journal of School Psychology, 44(5), 427-445. Finn, J. D. (1989). Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research, 59(2), 117-142. doi:10.2307/1170412 Fredricks, J. A., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Paris, A. H. (2004). School engagement: Potential of the concept, state of the evidence. Review of Educational Research, 74(1), 59-109. doi:10.3102/00346543074001059 Linnakylä, P., & Malin, A. (2008). Finnish students' school engagement profiles in the light of PISA 2003. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 52(6), 583-602. doi:10.1080/00313830802497174 Moreira,P.A.S., Vaz, F.M. & Vaz, J.M. (2012). Predictors of academic performance and school engagement - integrating persistence, motivation and study skills perspectives using person-centered and variable-centered approaches. Learning and Individual Differences Moreira, P. A. S., Vaz, F. M., Dias, P. C., & Petracchi, P. (2009). Psychometric properties of the Portuguese version of the Student Engagement Instrument. Canadian Journal of School Psychology, 24(4), 303-317. doi:10.1177/0829573509346680 Willms, J.D. 2003, Student engagement at school: A sense of belonging and participation. Results from PISA 2000. OECD, Paris.
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