Engagement in classroom learning: Ascertaining the proportion of students who have a balance between what they can do and what they are expected to do
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Student engagement in classroom learning was conceptualised as a balance between two attributes. In order for students to be engaged, the tasks expected of them should be commensurate with their ability to complete these tasks. That is, a balance between their learning capabilities and the expectations of their learning. Of interest was the proportion of students with this balance. First, 194 Years Eight to Twelve students were interviewed by two researchers on six aspects of the expectations of their learning and five aspects of learning capabilities. Second, 1760 Years Eight to Twelve students responded to 15 self-report items about the expectations of their learning and 12 self-report rating scale items about their learning capabilities. Rasch model common-person test equating methods were then applied separately to the data from the two sources. The proportions of students with ‘equivalent’ learning capabilities and expectations of learning scores were approximately 80% for the two samples. The results support the theoretical basis for the Capabilities Expectations Model of engagement. Significantly, methods for estimating the proportion of students engaged in their classroom learning were presented and assessed. Instrumentation reliability within and between methods was evidenced.
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