We present a conceptualization of student engagement based on the culmination of concentration, interest, and enjoyment (i.e., flow). Using a longitudinal sample of 526 high school students across the U.S., we investigated how adolescents spent their time in high school and the conditions under which they reported being engaged. Participants experienced increased engagement when the perceived challenge of the task and their own skills were high and in balance, the instruction was relevant, and the learning environment was under their control. Participants were also more engaged in individual and group work versus listening to lectures, watching videos, or taking exams. Suggestions to increase engagement, such as focusing on learning activities that support students’ autonomy and provide an appropriate level of challenge for students’ skills, conclude the article.
- Student Engagement
- Classroom Activity
- Instructional Method
- Flow Theory
- School Subject
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Copyright © 2003 American Psychological Association.
For English language content: Copyright © 2003 by the American Psychological Association. Reproduced with permission. The official citation that should be used in referencing this material is: School Psychology Quarterly, Vol. 18, No 2, 2003, pp. 158–176.
This article was reviewed and accepted for publication under the Editorship of Terry B. Gutkin.
Address correspondence to David Jordan Shernoff, Ph.D, Northern HHnois University, Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations, Graham Hall, Dekalb, IL 60115. E-mail:email@example.com.
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The following combinations of class types were constructed in order to derive the classifications of school subjects. English combines English, English composition, literature, and reading. Science combines general science, biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. Social science/studies combines political science, civics, geography, world culture, psychology, social studies, sociology, anthropology, and ethnic/multicultural studies. Computer Science combines computer science and programming. Art combines music, fine art, photography, drafting, graphics, applied art, and drama. Vocational Education combines agriculture, shop, vo-tech, domestic arts, home economics, business skills, and career exploration/counseling. N refers to the number of ESFs submitted during each school subject, not the number of participants in each subject.
Signaling participants after school and on the weekend was considered important to compare the quality of classroom experiences in various contexts with a variety of contexts outside of school (e.g., under what conditions are students in classrooms as engaged as when in activities outside of classrooms?).
N refers to the number of beeps or experiences, not individuals.
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Shernoff, D.J., Csikszentmihalyi, M., Schneider, B., Shernoff, E.S. (2014). Student Engagement in High School Classrooms from the Perspective of Flow Theory. In: Applications of Flow in Human Development and Education. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-9094-9_24
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Print ISBN: 978-94-017-9093-2
Online ISBN: 978-94-017-9094-9