Journal of Youth and Adolescence Volume: 40 Issue: 12 Dated: December 2011 Pages: 1649-1660
This study examined classroom context and school engagement and how it relates to academic achievement.
Classroom context and school engagement are significant predictors of academic achievement. These factors are especially important for academically at-risk students. Grounded in an ecological systems perspective, this study examined links between classroom context, school engagement, and academic achievement among early adolescents. The authors took a multidimensional approach to the measurement of classroom context and school engagement, incorporating both observational and self-reported assessments of various dimensions of classroom context (instruction quality, social/emotional climate, and student-teacher relationship) and school engagement (psychological and behavioral engagement). Using data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development, the authors tested whether school engagement mediated the link between classroom context and academic achievement among fifth grade students, and whether these pathways were the same for students with previous achievement difficulties identified in third grade. Participants included 1,014 children (50 percent female) in 5th grade (mean age = 11). The majority of the participants were white (77 percent) and 23 percent were children of color. Results indicated that psychological and behavioral engagement mediated the link between classroom context and academic achievement for students without previous achievement difficulties. However, for students with previous achievement difficulties psychological and behavioral engagement did not mediate the link between classroom context and academic achievement. These results suggest that improving classroom quality may not be sufficient to improve student engagement and achievement for students with previous achievement difficulties. Additional strategies may be needed for these students. (Published Abstract)
United States of America