School & District Management Report Roundup

Study: Teens Are Bored

By Debra Viadero — June 15, 2010 1 min read
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“Charting the Path from Engagement to Achievement: A Report on the 2009 High School Survey of Student Engagement”

Most high school students feel bored and disconnected from school, according to a new survey of students from 103 high schools in 27 states.

Begun in 2004, the annual High School Survey of Student Engagement aims to take a pulse on teenagers’ attitudes toward school and learning. But the latest results, released last week, show that students were just as bored in 2009 as they have been every year since 2006.

They show, for instance, that:

• Just 2 percent of students said they’d never been bored in school;

• Less than half of students—41 percent—said they went to school because of what they learned there;

• Twenty-three percent reported attending because they like their teachers, and;

• Among students who have considered dropping out of school, half said it was because they didn’t like their school.

On a more encouraging note, the survey also highlights some teaching practices that students find motivating. Asked, for instance, what methods they prefer, 65 percent either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement, “I like discussions in which there are no clear answers.” Likewise, 82 percent of students agreed that they would welcome chances to be creative in school.

Conducted by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University in Bloomington, the report also describes how individual schools in Hawaii, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington state are using survey results for their individual schools to track progress in getting students more engaged in learning.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 2010 edition of Education Week as Study: Teens Are Bored


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