Monday, 16 April 2012

Making the connection: …

The role of social and academic school experiences in students’ emotional engagement with school in post-secondary vocational education

 an article by Louise Elffers, Frans J. Oort and Sjoerd Karsten (University of Amsterdam, Research Institute Child Development and Education) published in Learning and Individual Differences Volume 22 Issue 2 (April 2012)


This study examines the emotional engagement with school of a diverse sample of 909 students in post-secondary vocational education in the Netherlands. Using multilevel regression analysis, we assess the role of students’ background characteristics and school experiences, and their interaction, in students’ emotional engagement with school.

At-risk students do not report lower levels of emotional engagement, except for students using (soft)drugs. While Dutch dropout prevention focuses on fostering a sense of belonging through enhancing teacher–student relationships, we do not find a significant role of perceived support from school staff in students’ sense of belonging. A good relationship with classmates is more important to engage students in post-secondary vocational education.

Perceiving an academic fit is most prominently related to the emotional engagement of vocational students, indicating that a sense of belonging should not only be defined in social, but also in academic terms.

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