Special Resource Material Developed by the Center

Title: School Engagement, Disengagement, Learning Supports, & School Climate

Description: It is a given that teachers and student support staff are faced with a complex continuum of learner motivation. This fact requires schools to provide a range of ways to enhance engagement. Student engagement involves not only engaging and maintaining engagement, but also re-engaging those who have disconnected from classroom instruction. For school personnel to do all this effectively, they must broaden their understanding of motivation, especially intrinsic mitivation, and the complex relationship between extrinsics and intrinsics. To this end, there is a growing body of literature to draw upon.

Unfortunately, maintaining engagement is a widespread problem in schools. For those students who become disengaged from classroom learning, the disconnection is both symptomatic of one or more causal factors and an additional factor exacerbating learning, behavior, and emotional problems. Clearly, a prominent focus of school improvement efforts should be on how to (a) motivate the many students who are hard to engage and (b) re-engage those who have totally disengaged from classroom learning. Of particular concern is what teachers should do when they encounter a student who has disengaged and is misbehaving. In many ways, these matters are at the core of enhancing school climate.

Our Center continuously stresses the importance of a focus on motivation, especially intrinsic motivation, in all facets of our work. In this context, we have developed a variety of resources intended to help advance the efforts of those working in and with schools. The following resource aid was originally developed as the winter 2011 edition of our quarterly newsletter/journal. We hope you find the contents useful and will share this aid with your colleagues.

Access at:   http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/schooleng.pdf  125kb; 20pp