The Urban Review

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 1–43 | Cite as

Student Engagement in U.S. Urban High School Mathematics and Science Classrooms: Findings on Social Organization, Race, and Ethnicity

  • Kazuaki Uekawa
  • Kathryn Borman
  • Reginald Lee


This paper reports results of intensive field work in urban high school mathematics and science classrooms based on research with students attending eight high schools located in large, disparate urban sites across the U.S. During the course of our observations and interviews we recorded students’ activities as well as their impressions of classroom processes over the course of a week in each classroom using the Experience Sampling Method (ESM). ESM allows students to record information about their classroom experiences at intervals during daily mathematics and science classroom lessons. We measured levels of student engagement and examined relationships between student engagement and an array of predictors. We take a social organizational approach to interpreting classroom processes, examining the extent to which classroom activities influence student perception of class and communication among students and how these intervening factors affect student engagement during on-going classroom activities. Results suggest that there is variation between group members’ reactions to classroom activities. Specifically, as an example, Latino Students in Chicago, Miami and El Paso were far more engaged and responsive to classroom lessons during the time they spent in small problem-solving groups during class. Student Engagement in High School Mathematics and Science.


classroom observation classroom organization Experience sampling method flow minority education multilevel model Rasch model student engagement urban education 



This research is supported by a grant from National Science Foundation #9874246 awarded to the second author. Opinions reflect those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the granting agency. We acknowledge the support of Ginger Baber, Ted Boydston, Tim Carey, Bridget Cotner, Bill Katzenmeyer, Jeff Kromrey, and Gladis Kersaint, as well as other staff at David C. Anchin Center at the University of South Florida. We also acknowledge the advice of Charles Bidwell, John Ferron, Makoto Hogetsu, John Linacre, Jennifer Schmidt, David Shernoff and Benjamin Wright. The first author was supported during the write-up of this paper by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuaki Uekawa
    • 1
  • Kathryn Borman
    • 2
  • Reginald Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.American Institutes for ResearchWashingtonUSA
  2. 2.The University of South FloridaTampaUSA

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