Find your next job fast at the Jan. 28 Virtual Career Fair. Register now.
Special Report
Student Well-Being

Educating and Motivating Students

By The Editors — October 17, 2017 1 min read

Does my teacher know anything about my life? If I make a mistake, how will my principal treat me? Do I believe working hard in school will propel me to college, a good job, and a happy and healthy adulthood?

How students respond to those questions reveals important insights into how they view their schools, whether they feel valued while they are there, and how they see their relationships with educators.

And how students feel about school has high-stakes implications for the rest of their lives. We know well the hallmarks of a disengaged student—poor attendance, low achievement, and too often, giving up on school completely. Likewise, the signs of an engaged and motivated student—coming to school regularly, working hard, and staying on track toward a bigger goal, be it graduation, college, or a job—are well understood by educators.

But cultivating the conditions and nurturing the relationships that allow all students to thrive in school require hard and deliberate work. In this report, Education Week takes an expansive look at student engagement and motivation and a range of strategies schools, educators, advocates, and parents are using to help students get—and stay—vested in their learning. In the resulting stories, it’s clear that relationships are the linchpin.

An Oregon district is forging ties with families and tribes to combat chronic absenteeism among its Native American students. New ways of recruiting and holding onto mentors are helping deepen connections between students and the adults or peers who mentor them. An innovative take on engaging parents—especially those who work in low-wage jobs—in their children’s education has taken root in New Orleans and is about to spread to Boston.

The Cleveland school district—where nearly every student is low-income—has scrapped the isolation of in-school suspensions in favor of building trust with students who are disruptive. And if you’re an English-learner, seeing your peers succeed has a powerful influence on your own success with learning a new language.

Finally, in a pair of explainers, we explore how simple, low-cost “nudges” show promise for influencing students to act in positive ways, while the research on using financial incentives to coax higher performance is far more mixed.

A version of this article appeared in the October 18, 2017 edition of Education Week as Editor’s Note

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Branding Matters. Learn From the Pros Why and How
Learn directly from the pros why K-12 branding and marketing matters, and how to do it effectively.
Content provided by EdWeek Top School Jobs
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
How to Make Learning More Interactive From Anywhere
Join experts from Samsung and Boxlight to learn how to make learning more interactive from anywhere.
Content provided by Samsung
Teaching Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: How Educators Can Respond to a Post-Truth Era
How do educators break through the noise of disinformation to teach lessons grounded in objective truth? Join to find out.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Human Resources Manager
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Elementary Teacher - Scholars Academy
Madison, Wisconsin
One City Schools
Communications Officer
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Hamilton County Department of Education
Special Education Teacher
Chicago, Illinois
JCFS Chicago

Read Next

Student Well-Being Opinion How to Cultivate Confidence in Students
Help students calibrate their learning to be just-hard-enough—because experiencing a series of small wins can be transformative.
3 min read
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Whitepaper
Building a Trauma-Informed Learning Environment
Download this white paper to learn how to recognize trauma and gain strategies for helping students cope and engage in learning.
Content provided by n2y
Student Well-Being What Student Age Groups Are Most Vulnerable to Pandemic-Related Trauma?
New research finds that young adolescents are the most vulnerable to long-term problems from trauma. Here's how schools can help.
4 min read
Lonely middle school boy sits on windowsill at looking out the window.
SDI Productions/E+/Getty
Student Well-Being Opinion How to Help Students Know When It’s Time to Quit—and When It’s Not
Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. Here’s how to consider the decision to persist or stop.
3 min read
Images shows a stylized artistic landscape with soothing colors.
Getty