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ASSOCIATION FOR CAREER & TECHNICAL EDUCATION

Engagement, Strengths-based Learning Key to Student Success

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April 10, 2014

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Engagement, Strengths-based Learning Key to Student Success

A recent Gallup Student Poll of U.S. fifth to 12th graders found that 55 percent of students were engaged in learning, 28 percent were not engaged and 17 percent were actively disengaged. In addition, students who strongly agreed that a) their school is committed to each students' strengths, and b) they have at least one teacher who promotes excitement about the future, were 30 times more likely to be engaged in school than students who strongly disagreed with those statements. 

The importance of emotional engagement in school, according to the State of America's Schools report, is backed by results from a 2009 Gallup study of more than 78,000 students nationwide, which found a relationship between student engagement and reading and math achievement: An increase of one percentage point in a school's student engagement score was associated with a six-point rise in reading scores and an eight-point rise in math scores.

One of the strategies the Gallup authors recommend to improve student success is personalized, strengths-based learning, including work-based and community experiences as well as participation in groups such as career and technical student organizations.

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