Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development

Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement

Authors: Shernoff, David J.

  • ​Examines student engagement through the lens of positive psychology
  • Extends findings beyond school to home, friends, organized sports and other extracurricular activities
  • Combines a theoretical and methodological perspective rooted in Csikszentmihalyi’s flow theory, with most research based on the Experience Sampling Method (ESM)
  • The perspective of engagement is derived primarily from the students’ point of view
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Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7089-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7088-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4899-9849-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement analyzes the psychological, social, and academic phenomena comprising engagement, framing it as critical to learning and development. Drawing on positive psychology, flow studies, and theories of motivation, the book conceptualizes engagement as a learning experience, explaining how it occurs (or not) and how schools can adapt to maximize it among adolescents. Examples of empirically supported environments promoting engagement are provided, representing alternative high schools, Montessori schools, and extracurricular programs. The book identifies key innovations including community-school partnerships, technology-supported learning, and the potential for engaging learning opportunities during an expanded school day. Among the topics covered:

  • Engagement as a primary framework for understanding educational and motivational outcomes.
  • Measuring the malleability, complexity, multidimensionality, and sources of engagement.
  • The relationship between engagement and achievement.
  • Supporting and challenging: the instructor’s role in promoting engagement.
  • Engagement within and beyond core academic subjects.
  • Technological innovations on the engagement horizon.

Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement is an essential resource for researchers, professionals, and graduate students in child and school psychology; social work; educational psychology; positive psychology; family studies; and teaching/teacher education.

About the authors

David J. Shernoff, Ph.D., is an associate professor of educational psychology at Northern Illinois University and visiting associate professor at Rutgers University. He received his doctorate in education from the University of Chicago in 2001. His dissertation work applied Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s theory of flow and experience sampling methodology to the examination of student engagement in high school. From 2001-2003 he served a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he co-managed a grant-funded research project on middle school students’ engagement in school-based after-school programs. While at Northern Illinois University, he has taught courses on adolescent development, educational psychology, and motivation in the classroom to graduate and undergraduate students. His research interests include student motivation and engaging learning environments, engagement in educational video games, and mentoring. His grant-funded empirical work and journal articles related to the topic of engagement have focused on, a) contextual, student, and school influences on student engagement in high school, and the effects of student engagement on short-term and long-term outcomes; b) the influence of school-based after-school programs on middle-school students’ engagement, engaging and disengaging after-school program activities, and engagement in after school programs as a predictor and mediator of social and academic outcomes; c) the impact of a video-game approach to mechanical engineering education on student engagement and learning, and d) the impact of teacher behaviors and the motivational dimensions of the learning environment on student engagement in high school classrooms. His other book titles include Good Mentoring (Jossey-Bass, 2009, with Jeanne Nakamura), The Individual-Maker (William & Sons, 2001), and the forthcoming volume, Engaging Youth in Schools: Evidence-based Models to Guide Future Innovations (Teachers College Record, co-edited with Janine Bempechat). He has served as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation, and serves on the editorial boards for The Journal of Youth and Adolescence and Afterschool Matters. He has been featured in Newsweek, UC Berkeley’s The Greater Good, and other print and online magazines. He has provided a variety of keynote addresses and workshops nationally and internationally. He received the 2010 award for Exceptional Contributions to Scholarly and Creative Activity from Northern Illinois University’s College of Education. 

Reviews

“David Shernoff has provided a definitive examination of how youth engage (or fail to engage) in various environments.   His book is at once theoretically sophisticated and eminently practical.”

Howard Gardner, Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of Frames of Mind and Multiple Intelligences

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“In this singularly erudite, comprehensive, and integrative work, David Shernoff presents a compelling vision for how schools can optimize the engagement of youth in learning and achievement and promote their positive development. This book provides scholars, educators, and policy makers with a unique conceptual template for enhancing the lives of diverse young people and for strengthening the schools and communities of our nation.”

Richard M. Lerner, Bergstrom Chair in Applied Developmental Science and Director, Institute for Applied Research in Youth Development, Tufts University, and Author of Liberty: Thriving and Civic Engagement Among America’s Youth

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"This is a valuable book! Schools are not living up their potentials and a major reason is their failure to truly engage students. Shernoff’s book provides a comprehensive and compelling account of the critical role of motivation and engagement in learning. The chapters present the research on every aspect of the topic: how engagement effects achievement; how effective teachers sustain high engagement; the design of classroom activities to maximize motivation; and the ways that new model programs, successful alternative schools, and after-school programs facilitate absorption in learning." 

Reed Larson, Professor of Human Development, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Recent President of Society for Research on Adolescence, and Editor-in-Chief (with Lene Jensen) of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development

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"Shernoff’s book on learning environments and student engagement is a good resource for school and district leaders to establish the why of optimal learning environments—the theoretical underpinnings of student motivation, engagement, and learning. It also gives concrete guidance in the what and how for considering strategies for engagement in typical classrooms, as well as a brief discussion of alternative, out-of-school, and technology-based programs."

Susan Catapano & Jeremy Hilburn
PsycCRITIQUES
February 24, 2014, Vol. 59, No. 8, Article 7


Table of contents (15 chapters)

  • Introduction: Towards Optimal Learning Environments in Schools

    Shernoff, David J.

    Pages 1-24

  • Aims of Education Revisited (Einstein’s E = MC2 of Education)

    Shernoff, David J.

    Pages 25-45

  • The Nature of Engagement in Schools

    Shernoff, David J.

    Pages 47-75

  • Measuring Student Engagement in High School Classrooms and What We Have Learned

    Shernoff, David J.

    Pages 77-96

  • Engagement as an Individual Trait and Its Relationship to Achievement

    Shernoff, David J.

    Pages 97-126

Buy this book

eBook $149.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7089-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4614-7088-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $189.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4899-9849-1
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Optimal Learning Environments to Promote Student Engagement
Authors
Series Title
Advancing Responsible Adolescent Development
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Springer-Verlag New York
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
eBook ISBN
978-1-4614-7089-2
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4614-7089-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4614-7088-5
Softcover ISBN
978-1-4899-9849-1
Series ISSN
2195-089X
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVII, 368
Topics