School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence

Published on Mar 1, 2004in Review of Educational Research
· DOI :10.3102/00346543074001059
Jennifer A. Fredricks32
Estimated H-index: 32
(Connecticut College),
Phyllis C. Blumenfeld41
Estimated H-index: 41
(UM: University of Michigan)
+ 0 AuthorsAlison H. Paris8
Estimated H-index: 8
(CMC: Claremont McKenna College)
The concept of school engagement has attracted increasing attention as representing a possible antidote to declining academic motivation and achievement. Engagement is presumed to be malleable, responsive to contextual features, and amenable to environmental change. Researchers describe behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement and recommend studying engagement as a multifaceted construct. This article reviews definitions, measures, precursors, and outcomes of engagement; discusses limitations in the existing research; and suggests improvements. The authors conclude that, although much has been learned, the potential contribution of the concept of school engagement to research on student experience has yet to be realized. They call for richer characterizations of how students behave, feel, and think—research that could aid in the development of finely tuned interventions
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