Six factors that affect pupils’ involvement in school activities

September 2nd, 2009 - 3:27 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Sep 2 (ANI): An expert on classroom education at the University at Buffalo has listed six factors that affect whether elementary, middle and high school students get involved in the activities of their schools or feel detached.

Dr. Jeremy D. Finn said that students who feel “disengaged” from school are at greater risk for dropping out, avoiding challenging courses, scoring low on standardized achievement tests and achieving less as adults.

“Disengagement is the failure to develop a sense of school membership, failure to participate actively in class and school activities, or failure to become cognitively involved in learning. Different degrees of disengagement may be exhibited by students at all stages of schooling. The extreme of disengagement is leaving school without graduating, thus severing connections with school, teachers and activities that support learning,” said Finn.

And according to him, the six factors that can contribute to student disengagement are:

1. Failure to provide early school experiences that can impact engagement in later grades

2. School conditions that are inconsistent with the needs of adolescents

3. School conditions that produce feelings of anonymity

4. Rules and disciplinary practices that are unclear, too harsh or administered unfairly.

5. Inadequate academic and personal support for students at risk of “disidentification.”

6. Course work that may be seen as irrelevant to the needs of the students (upper grades).

These six factors and solutions are drawn from Finn’s research on the effects of class size, from an analysis of published research on the subject and from the “Dropout Prevention Guide,” which is authored by six experts including Finn.

He noted that each of the six factors can be addressed by changing school policies and/or practices to affect student behaviour.

Finn is presenting the research at an international education symposium on student engagement in New Zealand. (ANI)

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