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Student Engagement: Why Aren


Teachers need to be more motivating and encourage students to do well in school. ... Unimaginative teachers have left me bored and unmotivated. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Student Engagement: Why Aren

Student EngagementWhy Arent We Listening?
Ethan Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D., Director High School
Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE) Center for
Evaluation Education Policy, Indiana
University And W. Glen Miller, Jr., Ed.D.,
Manager School Improvement, Chesterfield County
Public Schools Virginia Assessment Program
From Development to Data Virginia Association of
Test Directors 2008 Conference Richmond,
VA October 29, 2008
  • Student Engagement Why Arent We Listening?
  • Presentation Overview
  • I. Context
  • II. What is the High School Survey of Student
    Engagement (HSSSE)?
  • III. A Concept of Engagement
  • IV. What the Students Say HSSSE Spring 2008 Data
  • V. What We Can Do Engaging All Students

Standards Accountability
Dropout Rates
Graduation Rates
Programs Initiatives
Engagement of Students
  • High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE)
  • HSSSE is a national research and professional
    development project, with three primary purposes
  • -- To help high schools explore, understand, and
    strengthen student engagement
  • -- To work with high school teachers and
    administrators on utilizing survey data to
    improve practices
  • -- To conduct rigorous research on issues of
    student engagement
  • Spring 2008 Respondents
  • -- 66,062 students completed surveys (73
    response rate)
  • -- Students came from 117 different high schools
  • -- High schools were located in 27 different
  • Spring 2008 Respondents Chesterfield County
  • -- 6,672 students completed surveys (70 response
  • -- Students came from 12 different high schools

High School Survey of Student Engagement Central
Questions What does student engagement mean in
schools? What does student engagement look like
in schools? In what ways and to what degree do
students engage in the life and work of high
schools? Why is student engagement important to
the life and work of a school? Why do students
engage or dis-engage in the life and work of
school? What are the connections between
important student variables e.g., race, class,
gender, academic track and the level and
dimensions of student engagement? What roles do
teachers, administrators, and school structures
play in engaging or dis-engaging students?
What is engagement? Researchers have generally
defined and measured engagement in terms of
Time on task Attendance/absence/truancy
Internal motivation HSSSE defines engagement as
a multi-dimensional construct, with three primary
components Cognitive/Intellectual/Academic
Engagement -- the work students do and the ways
students go about their work -- engagement
connected to instructional time
Social/Behavioral/Participatory Engagement --
the ways in which students interact within the
school community -- engagement with the school
outside of instructional time Emotional
Engagement -- how students feel about their
current school situation, including the people
with whom they interact, the work, and school
I wish school could be intellectually challenging
as well as academically challenging.
Why wont they bring what we are learning to life?
I cant stress enough that we want to learn, but
the focus at our school is not on knowledge
nearly as much as it is on letter grades.
I always wished at least one teacher would see a
skill in me that seemed extraordinary, or help
to encourage its growth.
High School Survey of Student Engagement Spring
2008 Data Overview
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Foundations of Engagement
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A Question of Resources? The High-Tech High
School Example
Theyre making that upThey just want to make
us look bad. -- the principal of High-Tech High
And from the students of High-Tech High School
I feel like administrators put too much
emphasis on making the school look good, not the
students best interest. High school years are
supposed to be a prime time of growing in all
ways but ridiculous busy work prevents personal
growth outside of school. I am not engaged in
any classes and think there is too much emphasis
on TESTS. I often feel that we are pushed to
learn answers instead of material, or to do well
on a test instead of understand the
concept. This school cares a lot about its
image. Maybe too much!
Questions from an Indiana high school
teacher Can we really trust the
students? Realistically, how many students
should we expect to engage?
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Student Actions for Learning
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Rigor and Relevance
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Relationships, Support, Connection
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Q35 Would you like to say more about any of your
answers to these survey questions? I really like
this survey because I was asked questions that I
really needed to think about and figure out what
I really need to do with my life...starting with
graduating. School revolves too much around
gradesand not about knowledge. I can't stress
enough that we want to learn, but the focus at
our school is not on knowledge nearly as much as
it is on letter grades. Too much focus is put on
learning to memorize for tests, then we forget.
Teach concepts-- not facts. I feel that the
hours I spend on homework are greatly decreasing
my interest in learning rather than reinforcing
the material I've been taught. Grades are valued
too highly by most everyone. I should be allowed
to take advanced courses even if I did not get
high grades in previous related courses. I lack
the ability to do homework and projects
efficiently, but not the ability to
learn. School is not safe. There are a lot of
students here, but not with education on their
mind or as their first priority. Drugs,
violence, and other things are a problem here.
We need help. Truckloads of asinine rules and
regulations restrict even the most basic of human
rights and freedoms. Teachers show favoritism to
students. Staff focuses too much on how we look
and not enough on our education. I think the
rules in this school are no good. Especially
dress code. The way we look has nothing to do
with learning.
Q35 Would you like to say more about any of your
answers to these survey questions? -- continued
We need more activities that students are
interested in if you see no reason for
learning, you choose not to learn it. I just
think there is more I could be doing to help
others, but I can't when I am stuck in a
classroom. I want to be able to interact with
students more. Discussions are a good way to
learn. I love to do anything except sit quietly
at my desk while the teacher talks her head off
and lectures us. Some classes I have a whole
hour of free time. It makes me feel like Im
wasting my time in school. More creative
teachers who work with students hands-on would
create a more exciting and motivational
environment. Teachers need to be more motivating
and encourage students to do well in school.
They also need to make learning fun and
interesting. Unimaginative teachers have left me
bored and unmotivated. Most of the stuff we
learn in school doesnt apply for the future.
Our school is more strict on what we wear than
our grades. I really enjoy projects because I
get involved more and presenting to the class is
fun and makes you more confident. I have noticed
this year all kids learn a lot better if you
involve them in discussions or board work. I
feel like there are too many projects, especially
projects where one person does all the work.
Q35 Would you like to say more about any of your
answers to these survey questions? -- continued
When I said I go to school because of my
teachers, its only for the 1-2 that care. A
good teacher makes all the difference between a
pass or a fail. Our school has some of the best
academic standards, but we are still not
challenging our students enough. The individual
is ignored and discouraged. Rules are
hypocritical, unfairly enforced, and play
majorities. The school does not listen to what
students have to say. They jump to conclusions
and dont listen to what we have to say. This is
a great school, full of opportunity. However
it shows little empathyto students that have a
different way of learning. I was never pushed by
any teacher to do the best that I can. This
school needs to care more about their
students. I do well in school but the work is
pointless and gets me no closer to my goals. The
administration and most teachers are more
concerned with awards and standardized tests than
Q35 Would you like to say more about any of your
answers to these survey questions? -- continued
These surveys are pointless because you guys
will do nothing even if there is a
problem. Pointless! You wont change anyway so
why do you care? These surveys are pointless
because no matter what we say none of the
supervisors will listen to us. Do you really
think a survey will change anything about this
school? I do not believe anyone will read this
and actually care. Will this survey change
anything? Will curriculum be changed if enough
people say they're bored. Will research papers be
cut if everyone says that they aren't excited at
all about them? I doubt it. Most of our teachers
are great, but some that Ive had are not. One
didnt even know my name at the end of the year!
Listen to the students and take us seriously! I
hope everyone takes this survey and actually
expresses their opinions. Please act upon these
Structures Advisories Small Learning
Communities Academies New Tech High Schools
Project-Based Learning Environments Programs
Initiatives Common Goal Initiative Americas
Promise Alliance CT State Board of Education
District School Initiatives
Engaging All Students Student engagement is
not a policy it is a culture. Know what
the students think. Believe what students say
and care about what students think. Set a
clear purpose for education in the school, and be
sure that this purpose is enacted by everybody in
the school community. Create structures and
processes that meet the learning needs of the
students, not just the needs of the adults.
Engage all students deeply and equally.
Local Implementation
  • The HSSSE is one of the measures we use for our
    current six-year plan, The Design for Excellence
  • Schools are given one month (Feb) to administer
    the surveys to 10th and 12th graders.
  • Schools use the results to track student
    engagement from the 10th-12th grades and to
    compare their students with national sample

Why study engagement?
  • Engaged students get more from school on all
    levels than do their disengaged peers.

How is engagement defined?
  • Cognitive/intellectual/academic engagement
    describing the work students do and the ways
    students go about doing their work
  • Social/behavioral/participatory engagement
    describing the ways in which students interact
    within the school community
  • Emotional engagement describes how students feel
    about where they are in school

HSSSE Overview
  • A paper and pencil survey that investigates the
    attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs that students
    have about their work, the school learning
    environment, and their interaction with the
    school community.
  • Results can help schools explore the causes and
    conditions that lead to student success or
    failure, engagement or dis-engagement,
    persistence or dropping out.
  • The instrument provides a comparison with 65,000
    students nationwide (32 states), comparison with
    CCPS students, and sophomore to senior comparison
    at each school.
  • Baseline information collected in 2008 with 3435
    sophomores for future study

Information Available
  • Demographics for school and HSSSE sample
    including self-report of instructional track and
    postsecondary aspirations
  • CD contains disaggregated data
  • Clusters of items support rigor/relevance/relation
    ships framework

CCPS 10th and 12th graders respond to the HSSSE
survey in spring 2008
  • 73 said there is one adult who knows me well
  • 45 feel challenged academically
  • 30 say they are not engaged in school
  • 76 go to school to go to college 47 to acquire
    skills for the workplace
  • 46 of those who had considered dropping out did
    so because they couldnt see the value in the
    work they were being asked to do
  • 71 said they were bored every day or every
    class of those, 42 were bored because the work
    wasnt relevant

Where Do We Go From Here?
  • Look at your report internally
  • Where appropriate, also consider SIP Surveys and
    School Climate Surveys
  • Each HSSSE school binder contains 6 sections and
    a CD of data files and the data in Excel format
    for additional analysis
  • Answer the Three Questions

Where Do We Go From Here? (The Three Questions)
  • Where can we showcase or highlight progress?
  • What are a few items of interest??
  • What is an area of concern for our school?
  • Items due to the Division of Instruction by Dec 1

Ethan Yazzie-Mintz, Director High School Survey
of Student Engagement (HSSSE) Center for
Evaluation Education Policy Indiana
University 1900 East Tenth Street Bloomington, IN
47406 Phone 812 856 1429 Fax 812 856
1886 E-Mail Website
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