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Helping teachers increase student academic engagement rate. The evaluation of a minimal feedback procedure

Leach, D.J. and Dolan, N.K. (1985) Helping teachers increase student academic engagement rate. The evaluation of a minimal feedback procedure. Behavior Modification, 9 (1). pp. 55-71.

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Recent research has found the time students spend actively engaged in task appropriate activities to be a powerful predictor of student achievement. However, attempts to apply the research with a view to increasing student academic engagement have been generally limited to complex and expensive procedures requiring a high degree of involvement by consultants and teachers, resulting in overly intrusive approaches to classroom innovations. This study evaluates a service-delivery strategy of minimal complexity and intrusiveness, designed to increase academic engagement rate in the regular classroom. Intervention, initiated and withdrawn in two classrooms of 12-15 year olds from an Australian school, involved 1) informing teachers of relevant research on time-related controllable classroom variables, and 2) telling teachers whether academic engagement rates of selected low-engaged students were increasing or decreasing after each lesson. Academic engagement rates increased substantially for target students in both classes and marked increases were evidenced for their nontarget peers. Withdrawal of intervention resulted in decreasing levels of student engagement. The results are interpreted in an applied behavioral framework, and implications of the findings are discussed in terms of cost-effectiveness, ease of application, limited need for external professional involvement, and maintenance of the effect.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology
Publisher: Sage Publications
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