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Investigating teacher influence on student engagement in high schools


Thomas, J and Nair, M, Investigating teacher influence on student engagement in high schools, The Australian Educational Researcher ISSN 0311-6999 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2022 the authors. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long a you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material.

DOI: doi:10.1007/s13384-022-00511-w


Student engagement is a pivotal contributor to academic achievement, retention, and well-being, and yet the role of teacher influence on engagement is poorly understood. This is in part due to the contextual and ‘hidden’ nature of student engagement, and as such, levels of student engagement are assumed through observable factors such as attendance and conduct. It is also due to the difficulty in mapping student engagement simultaneously with understanding the teacher practices used to influence it. This article reports on a pre-post case study in which student survey and teacher focus group data were analysed together, revealing the nature and depth of association between the practices adopted by teachers and student engagement. By comparing the change of engagement at a class or homegroup level, it was possible to identify how approaches used by teachers impacted various elements of engagement. Furthermore, it found a high correlation between teacher practices and change in student engagement at a class or homegroup level, providing the opportunity for teachers to learn what practices were effective in their specific context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:engagement, cognitive, affective, SEI, teacher practice
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Education systems
Research Field:Secondary education
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Learner and learning
Objective Field:Secondary education
UTAS Author:Thomas, J (Dr Jeffrey Thomas)
UTAS Author:Nair, M (Mr Manoj Nair)
ID Code:149326
Year Published:2022 (online first 2021)
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2022-03-25
Last Modified:2022-05-26
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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