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Eight Myths of Student Disengagement

Creating Classrooms of Deep Learning

Transform educational outcomes, build positive peer cultures, and high-quality student-teacher relationships with this must-have resource. Includes vignettes and straightforward implementation strategies from practicing classroom teachers.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452271880
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Series: Classroom Insights from Educational Psychology
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 272
  • Publication date: March 18, 2014

Price: $33.95



Your expert resource to activate, manage, and maintain lasting student success!

Student disengagement is a huge challenge for teachers everywhere. Leading education expert Jennifer Fredricks empowers teachers to reengage students at all levels with powerful examples and clear-eyed implementation strategies that build essential 21st century learning skills. Teachers get the core facts about the causes, consequences, and solutions to disengagement and learn to confidently:

  • Identify students most at risk for disengagement
  • Implement student-centered, project-based learning practices for maximum educational outcomes
  • Work effectively with diverse groups of disengaged youth
  • Build positive peer cultures and high-quality student-teacher relationships

Straightforward how-to’s from practicing classroom teachers, extensively researched online and print resources, and assessment and observation tips help educators make real-world applications. Cultivate lasting student engagement and transform educational outcomes with this must-have resource!

Key features

  • Provides a framework for identifying students who are most at risk for disengagement, understanding the relationship between engagement and educational outcomes, and assessing levels of student engagement
  • Describes eight common misconceptions about student engagement and uses myth-busting research evidence to illuminate the individual and contextual reasons behind disengagement
  • Threads hypothetical cases of engagement and disengagement throughout the text to illustrate the causes and consequences of disengagement and the ways to improve engagement in the classroom
  • Provides strategies for working with disengaged youth, creating engaging tasks, developing a peer culture that supports learning and engagement, and developing positive student-teacher relationships
  • Includes teacher-created how-to sections with practical advice for increasing behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement
  • Provides extensive opportunities for self reflection, through “Stop and Reflect Questions” and “Text-to-Practice Exercises” designed to help educators connect the concepts to real life examples.
  • Includes ready-to-use templates of surveys and observational tools for assessing student engagement


Jennifer A. Fredricks photo

Jennifer A. Fredricks

Jennifer Fredricks is a professor of Human Development at Connecticut College where she also directs the Holleran Center for Community Action and Public Policy. She has published over 35 journal articles and book chapters on student engagement, family socialization, adolescent development, and extracurricular participation. She is currently working on a three year grant on student engagement in math and science classrooms funded by the National Science Foundation.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents



About the Author

About the Contributors


Myth 1. It's Easy to Tell Who Who Is Engaged: What Is Engagement and How Can I Assess It in My Classroom?

Portraits of Engagement

What Is Engagement?

Why Assess Engagement?

Consistency, Duration, and Variation in Engagement

Methods for Assessing Engagement

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 2. Some Students Just Don't Care: How Disengagement Is More Than Just a Lack of Student Motivation

School Versus Out-of-School Tasks

Teacher-Student Relations and Disengagement

Peer Relations and Disengagement

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 3. What Happens Outside of School Competes With Academics: How Out-of-School Time and Families Affect Engagement in School

Extracurricular Activity Participation and Academic Outcomes

Variation in Engagement Across Contexts

Self-Determination Theory and Engagement

Families and Engagement

Barriers to Parent Involvement

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 4. Hands-On Is Minds-On: How to Create More Engaging Classroom Tasks That Result in Deep Learning

Designing Classroom Tasks for Engagement

Cognitive Components of the Task

Authentic Tasks

Authentic Instructional Models

Motivational and Cognitive Challenges With Authentic Instruction

Strategies for Implementing Cognitively Complex Tasks

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Examples

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 5. Focus on Content: Don’t Make It Personal: How Relationships Matter for Student Engagement

Teacher Support and Student Engagement and Achievement

Essential Characteristics of Meaningful Teacher-Student Relations

Building Relatedness in the Classroom

Being an Autonomy-Supportive Teacher

Supporting Students' Need for Competence

How Teachers Support Cognitive Engagement

Barriers to Developing High-Quality Relationships

Building Relationships With Difficult Students

Connecting With Diverse Students

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 6. Socializing With Peers Detracts From Student Engagement: How to Create a Peer Context That Supports Engagement

Why Are Peer Relationships Important?


Teachers' Beliefs and Instructional Practices

How Do Peers Socialize Engagement?

Cooperative Learning and Collaborative Instruction

Key Strategies for Supporting Cooperation and Collaboration

Creating Classroom Communities

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 7. There’s Only So Much a Teacher Can Do: How to Help Those Students Still Struggling to Succeed

Why Is It Important to Resist Disengagement?

Risk Factors for Disengagement

Why Is a Student Disengaged?

Boys and Disengagement

Academic Problems and Disengagement

Students With a History of Behavioral Problems

African American, Hispanic, and Low-Income Students and Disengagement

Interventions to Increase Engagement

Chapter Summary

Text-to-Practice Exercises

Key Terms and Concepts

Research-Based Resources

Myth 8. Student Engagement Is a Student Choice: Choosing to Make the Effort and Not Waiting for Engagement to Happen





Price: $33.95
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