Engagement Beyond the Core Academic Subjects

  • David J. Shernoff
Part of the Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development book series (ARAD)


Continuing from examples of engaging approaches to core academic subjects discussed in Chap. 8, in this chapter, we discuss engaging approaches in three nonacademic subjects: art, vocational education, and curricula in social and emotional well-being. We discuss art only briefly as the primary example, The Lifelines Community Arts Project, is an after-school program presented in Chap. 13. The example from vocational education includes a study of the Cristo Rey corporate work-study program; and the examples of curricula in social and emotional well-being include a variety of interventions to facilitate positive psychology (e.g., gratitude interventions), The Penn Resiliency Program, and the Geelong Grammar School in Australia. Participants in the Cristo Rey work-study program built important competencies for succeeding in life as well as work, such as social and emotional skills, time management, communication, and networking skills. One unique benefit of the program was the highly motivating effect of the corporate role models that students sought to emulate. The Geelong Grammar School in Melbourne, Australia, is a whole-school model in which teachers and administrators seek to embed “positive education” and Seligman’s conception of signature strengths into all aspects of campus life, from academic courses to sports to music to the chapel. The school helps students to enact positive teachings offered by cognitive psychology. Both education in physical health as well as training in executive processes to develop, value, and prioritize goals can be important facets of social and emotional learning to facilitate the engagement and positive development of youth.


Life Satisfaction Emotional Intelligence Positive Psychology School Engagement Ninth Grade 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Baker, S. B., & Taylor, J. G. (1998). Effects of career education interventions: A meta-analysis. Career Development Quarterly, 46, 376–385.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barone, T. (2001). Touching eternity: The enduring outcomes of teaching. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  3. Bempechat, J., Kenny, M., Blustein, D., Seltzer, J., Gualdrón-Murhib, L. G., Murphy, K. A., et al. (2009, April). Enhancing the school-to-work connection via work-based learning. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego.Google Scholar
  4. Bempechat, J., Kenny, M. E., Blustein, D. L., & Seltzer, J. R. (2014). Fostering positive youth development through work-based learning: The Cristo Rey model. In D. J. Shernoff, & J. Bempechat (Eds.), Engaging youth in schools: Evidence-based models to guide future innovations. New York: NSSE Yearbook by Teachers College Record.Google Scholar
  5. Bergin, A. E. (1997). Preface. In P. S. Richards & A. E. Bergin (Eds.), A spiritual strategy for counseling and psychotherapy. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  6. Biswas-Diener, R., & Dean, B. (2007). Positive psychology coaching: Putting the science of happiness to work for your clients. Hoboken: Wiley.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, K. W., & Ryan, R. M. (2003). The benefits of being present: Mindfulness and its role in psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 822–848. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.84.4.822.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brunwasser, S. M., & Gillham, J. E. (2008). A meta-analytic review of the Penn Resiliency Program. Paper presented at the Society for Prevention Research, San Francisco.Google Scholar
  9. Carter, M., McGee, R., Taylor, B., & Williams, S. (2007). Health outcomes in adolescence: Associations with family, friends and school engagement. Journal of Adolescence, 30, 51–62. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2005.04.002.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Larson, R. (1984). Being adolescent: Conflict and growth in the teenage years. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  11. Csiskzentmihalyi, M., & Csikszentmihalyi, I. S. (Eds.). (2006). A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Ellis, A. (1962). Reason and emotion in psychotherapy. New York: Lyle Stuart.Google Scholar
  13. Emmons, R. A. (2006). Spirituality: Recent progress. In M. Csiskzentmihalyi & I. S. Csikszentmihalyi (Eds.), A life worth living: Contributions to positive psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Evans, J. H., Jr., & Burck, H. D. (1992). The effects of career education interventions on academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Journal of Counseling and Development, 71(1), 63–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Frankl, V. E. (1959/2006). Man’s search for meaning. Boston: Beacon Books.Google Scholar
  16. Fredrickson, B. L., & Losada, M. F. (2005). Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. American Psychologist, 60, 678–686. doi: 10.1037/0003-066x.60.7.678.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Froh, J. J., Sefick, W. J., & Emmons, R. A. (2008). Counting blessings in early adolescents: An experimental study of gratitude and subjective well-being. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 213–233. doi: 10.1016/j.jsp.2007.03.005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Froh, J. J., Yurkewicz, C., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009). Gratitude and subjective well-being in early adolescence: Examining gender differences. Journal of Adolescence, 32, 633–650. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2008.06.006.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Froh, J. J., Bono, G., & Emmons, R. (2010). Being grateful is beyond good manners: Gratitude and motivation to contribute to society among early adolescents. Motivation and Emotion, 34, 144–157. doi: 10.1007/s11031-010-9163-z.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Froh, J. J., Emmons, R. A., Card, N. A., Bono, G., & Wilson, J. A. (2011a). Gratitude and the reduced costs of materialism in adolescents. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12, 289–302. doi: 10.1007/s10902-010-9195-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Froh, J. J., Fan, J., Emmons, R. A., Bono, G., Huebner, E. S., & Watkins, P. (2011b). Measuring gratitude in youth: Assessing the psychometric properties of adult gratitude scales in children and adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 23, 311–324. doi: 10.1037/a0021590.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gable, S. L., Reis, H. T., Impett, E. A., & Asher, E. R. (2004). What do you do when things go right? The intrapersonal and interpersonal benefits of sharing positive events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87, 228–245. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.87.2.228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gilman, R., Huebner, E. S., & Furlong, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Handbook of positive psychology in schools. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  24. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  25. Harter, S. (2006). The development of self-representations. In W. Damon (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology (5th ed., Vol. 3). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  26. Kenny, M. E., Blustein, D. L., Haase, R. F., Jackson, J., & Perry, J. C. (2006). Setting the stage: Career development and the student engagement process. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 53, 272–279. doi: 10.1037/0022-0167.53.2.272.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lamborn, S. D., Brown, B. B., Mounts, N. S., & Steinberg, L. (1992). Putting school in perspective: The influence of family, peers, extracurricular participation, and part-time work on academic engagement. In F. M. Newmann (Ed.), Student engagement and achievement in American secondary schools (pp. 153–181). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  28. Lapan, R. T. (2004). Career development across the K-16 years: Bridging the present to satisfying and successful futures. Alexandria: American Counseling Association.Google Scholar
  29. Lapan, R. T., Kardash, C. M., & Turner, S. (2002). Empowering students to become self-regulated learners. Professional School Counseling, 5(4), 257–265.Google Scholar
  30. Lopes, P. N., Brackett, M. A., Nezlek, J. B., Schutz, A., Sellin, I., & Salovey, P. (2004a). Emotional intelligence and social interaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1018–1034. doi: 10.1177/0146167204264762.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lopes, P. N., Salovey, P., Cote, S., & Beers, M. (2004b). Emotional regulation abilities and the quality of social interactions. Emotion, 5, 113–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lopez, S. J., & Snyder, C. R. (Eds.). (2009). Oxford handbook of positive psychology (2nd ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Perry, J. C. (2008). School engagement among urban youth of color: Criterion pattern effects of vocational exploration and racial identity. Journal of Career Development, 34, 397–422. doi: 10.1177/0894845308316293.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Peterson, C. (2006). A primer in positive psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Peterson, C., & Seligman, M. E. P. (2004). Character strengths and virtues: A handbook and classification. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  36. Schmid, K. L., Kiely, M. K., Napolitano, C. M., & Lerner, R. M. (2010, March). Choosing what to do: Using the 4-H study of positive youth development to study self-regulation in adolescence. Paper presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Research on Adolescence, Philadelphia.Google Scholar
  37. Schmidt, J. A., Shernoff, D. J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2007). Individual and situational factors related to the experience of flow in adolescence: A multilevel approach. In A. D. Ong & M. van Dulmen (Eds.), The handbook of methods in positive psychology (pp. 542–558). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  38. Seligman, M. E. P. (1990). Learned optimism: How to change your mind and your life. New York: Pocket Books.Google Scholar
  39. Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness: Using the new positive psychology to realize your potential for lasting fulfillment. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  40. Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Seligman, M. E. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35, 293–311. doi: 10.1080/03054980902934563.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Snyder, C. R., & Lopez, S. J. (Eds.). (2002). Handbook of positive psychology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  43. Snyder, C. R., Lopez, S. J., & Pedrotti, T. (2011). Positive psychology: The scientific and practical explorations of human strengths. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  44. Wigfield, A., & Eccles, J. S. (2000). Expectancy–value theory of achievement motivation. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25(1), 66–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wilhelm, J. D. (2008). “You gotta be the book”: Teaching engaged and reflective reading with adolescents (2nd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  46. Wood, A. M., Froh, J. J., & Geraghty, A. W. A. (2010). Gratitude and well-being: A review and theoretical integration. Clinical Psychology Review, 30, 890–905. ­doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2010.03.005 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Shernoff
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations College of EducationNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA

Personalised recommendations