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Teachers and school-based administrators alike have searched to find ways to increase student achievement in their schools. Several widely known and discussed strategies include: (1) using data to drive instruction; (2) employing highly qualified teachers; and (3) improving school leadership. Additionally, positive student engagement in the classroom is another compelling factor--but not as widely discussed--that research has reported to be critical in enhancing student achievement (Akey, 2006; Heller, Calderon, & Medrich, 2003; Garcia-Reid, Reid, & Peterson, 2005). Positive student engagement is not an easy term to define, yet it is known when it is seen. Students are engaged when they devote substantial time and effort to a task, when they care about the quality of their work, and when they commit themselves because the work seems to have significance beyond its personal instrumental value (Newmann, 1986, p. 242). There are many strategies that teachers and school leaders can implement to greatly enhance student motivation and investment in their educational experience. However, in order to be most effective in sustaining positive student engagement in learning and increase academic performance, all of these efforts should be consistent and continual throughout the academic year and throughout each student's educational career. [This document was administered by Learning Point Associates in partnership with the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) and WestEd.]

Descriptors: Instructional Leadership, Educational Experience, Academic Achievement, Achievement Gains, Student Participation, Student Motivation, Data Analysis, Teacher Qualifications, Student Attitudes, Academic Persistence, Relevance (Education), Parent Participation, Active Learning, Extracurricular Activities, School Safety

Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement. 1100 17th Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20035. Tel: 877-277-2744; Web site:

Autor: Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement


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