Student Well-Being

Student Behavior Isn’t Getting Any Better, Survey Shows

By Arianna Prothero — April 20, 2023 1 min read
Image of a student sitting at a desk in a school hallway.
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Student behavior problems have continued to rise over the past three to four years, according to a recent survey by the EdWeek Research Center.

Seventy percent of educators—including 1,058 teachers, principals, and district leaders—say students in their schools are misbehaving more now compared with the fall of 2019. And that percentage has held largely steady for a little more than a year, inching up slightly from December 2021, when the EdWeek Research Center last put this question to educators.

Back then, 66 percent of them said their students were misbehaving a little more or a lot more compared with fall of 2019.

The pandemic has also continued to affect students’ motivation and morale. Eighty percent of educators said in a survey fielded by the EdWeek Research Center in January of this year that the pandemic has made students less motivated to do their best in school. A third of educators described the students in their classes, schools, and districts as unmotivated.

Meanwhile, 68 percent of educators said that their students’ morale is lower than compared to before the pandemic.

But even as educators paint a dreary picture of student morale and motivation, students themselves report feeling generally more optimistic. Eighty-six percent of teenagers surveyed in December 2022 by the EdWeek Research Center said they were motivated and 82 percent said they were feeling hopeful about the future—up from 69 percent who said they felt hopeful back 2020.

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