Students' Engagement and Staying in School: A Case Study of a Secondary School in Nigeria

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Enyinnia, Charles
Secondary School , Students' Engagement and Staying in School
Most of the research on students’ school engagement is based on Western society (Maslak, Kim, & Mcloughlin, 2010) and most was conducted on students in tertiary institutions (Kuh et al., 2005). This study pertains to the students’ school engagement factors in a non-Western one. Students’ school engagement continues to be an issue that attracts special attention. In this study, I review the existing literature relating to students’ school engagement while examining whether the success of a school as a learning environment is based on students’ interest in schooling or the fact that the school environment is crucial to students’ success (Bempechat, Beth, Piergross, & Wenk, 2008; Bong & Mimi, 2005; Deci & Ryan, 1992; Harris, 2008; Leithwood, Seashore-Louis, Anderson, & Wahlstrom, 2004; Newell, 2003; Satchwell, 2004; Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond, 2001). In this study, I carry out a qualitative investigation through observations and interviews, of the factors present in school that influence students’ school engagement. The themes emerging from the data from the school observations and the interviews of the participants were colored by the unique school context, which inordinately did affect students' interest and school participation. Their analysis reveals the interplay of factors like the approach adopted in leadership, the teachers’ approach to pedagogy, and peer socialization towards students’ engagement. In my discussion, I provide suggestions derived from this study on how school administrators, educators and policy makers alike may indeed create, enhance, influence and sustain students’ school engagement in the context such as the one in my study.
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