14 SES 07 A, School-related Transitions Within a Life Course Perspective – Intermediate Phases
Parallel Paper Session
Research on school engagement has shown that most pupils engage academic activities successfully (Willms 2003). However, there is also evidence that some pupils face severe problems in engaging the activities (e.g. Alexander ym. 1997; Finn & Rock 1997, Finn 1989). Especially, school transitions have shown to have a significant impact on pupils’ academic engagement (Jindal-Snape, 2010; Salmela-Aro, Kiuru & Nurmi, 2008). It has been suggested perceived fit between pupils and school’s social environment plays a central role in both in school engagement (Furrer & Skinner 2003; Osterman 2000) and hence ways in which pupils cope with the transitions (Eccles, 2004; Zimmer-Gembeck ym. 2006). Pupils are not however only influenced by the fit but they also direct and re-direct their own behavior (Salmela-Aro, Vuori, & Koivisto, 2007) and actively modify their environment. From this perspective construction of academic engagement can be understood as a process in which pupils re-negotiate the fit between themselves and various learning environments provided by school. Yet, not that much is known on how pupils’ academic engagement is constructed in nested social learning environment of school. This study focused on exploring pupil’s academic engagement and its relation to peer interaction among the Finnish comprehensive school pupils.
This study aims to gain better understanding about function of peer interaction in sixth and eighth graders academic engagement.
1. What kinds of engaging and disengaging episodes pupils describe?
a. How they perceive the pupil-school environment- fit in terms of peer group and pupil-teacher interaction in these events and episodes?
2. What kinds of strategies contribute to pupils’ academic engagement or disengagement?
3. Are there differences between a) episodes described and b) strategies used by sixth and eight graders?
Alexander, K. L., Entwisle, D. R., & Horsey, C. S. 1997. From first grade forward: Early foundations of high school dropouts. Sociology of Education 70, 87–107. Eccles, J.S. (2004). Schools, academic motivation, and stage-environment fit. In R.M. Lerner, & L.D. Steinberg (Eds.) Handbook of adolescent psychology (2nd ed., pp. 125–153). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. Finn, J. 1989. Withdrawing from school. Review of Educational Research 59 (2), 117–42. Finn, J. D., & Rock, D. A. 1997. Academic success among students at-risk for school failure. Journal of Applied Psychology 82 (2), 221–234. Furrer, C., & Skinner, E. A. 2003. Sense of relatedness as a factor in children’s academic engagement and performance. Journal of Educational Psychology 95, 148–162. Jindal-Snape, D. (Ed.). (2010). Educational transitions. Moving stories from around the world. New York: Routledge. Osterman, K. F. 2000. Students’ need for belonging in the school community. Review of Educational Research 70, 323–368. Salmela-Aro, K., Kiuru, N., & Nurmi, J.-E. (2008). The role of educational track in adolescents’ school burnout: A longitudinal study. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 78, 663–689. Salmela-Aro, K., Vuori, J., & Koivisto, P. (2007). Adolescents’ motivational orientations, school-subject values, and well-being: A person-centered approach. Hellenic Journal of Psychology, 4, 310–330. Willms, J. D. 2003. Student engagement at school. A sense of belonging and participation. Results from Pisa 2000. OECD. Zimmer-Gembeck, M., Chipuer, H.M., Hanisch, M., Creed, P.A., & McGregor, L. 2006. Relationships at school and stage-environment fit as resources for adolescent engagement and achievement. Journal of Adolescence 29, 911–933.
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