Student Engagement: What Is It? Why Does It Matter?



This chapter considers the relationships of student engagement with ­academic achievement, graduating from high school, and entering postsecondary schooling. Older and newer models of engagement are described and critiqued, and four common components are identified. Research on the relationship of each component with academic outcomes is reviewed. The main themes are that engagement is essential for learning, that engagement is multifaceted with behavioral and psychological components, that engagement and disengagement are developmental and occur over a period of years, and that student engagement can be modified through school policies and practices to improve the prognoses of students at risk. The chapter concludes with a 13-year longitudinal study that shows the relationships of academic achievement, behavioral and affective engagement, and dropping out of high school.


Academic Achievement Student Engagement Social Engagement Eighth Grade Extracurricular Activity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Graduate School of EducationThe State University of New York at BuffaloBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Department of Elementary EducationSt. Bonaventure UniversitySt. BonaventureUSA

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