This study sought to determine whether American high schoolers could be placed into distinguishable groups that share common sets of behaviors, perceptions, and emotions that define what “being engaged in school” means to them. The nationally representative survey of over two thousand high schoolers in traditional public, charter, and private schools finds that nearly all students report being motivated to apply themselves academically, but they also primarily engage in school through different levers. Specifically, they identified six subgroups of students with varying engagement profiles. Among high school students who consider dropping out, half cite lack of engagement with the school as a primary reason, and under half report that they don’t see value in the schoolwork they are asked to do.
Geraci, J., Palmerini, M., Cirillo, P., McDougald, V. (2017). What teens want from their schools: A national survey of high school student engagement. Washington, D.C.: Thomas B. Fordham Institute. http://edex.s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/publication/pdfs/%2806.27%29%20What%20Teens%20Want%20From%20Their%20Schools%20-%20A%20National%20Survey%20of%20High%20School%20Student%20Engagement.pdf