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Check & Connect seeks to foster student engagement at school and with learning. In Check & Connect, engagement is defined as commitment to and investment in learning, as well as identification with and belonging at school. Engagement is associated with desired academic, behavioral, cognitive, and affective outcomes, such as persisting in school and graduating.
"Engaging students at school and with learning is key to preventing dropout."
- Alexander, Entwisle, & Horsey (1997)
In Check & Connect, engagement is defined as the student's 1) active participation in academic and co-curricular or school-related activities and 2) commitment to educational goals and learning. Engaged students find learning meaningful and are invested in their learning and future. Student engagement drives learning, requires energy and effort, is affected by multiple contextual influences, and can be achieved for all learners.
The Check & Connect theory of engagement draws upon the theoretical and empircal literature on high school dropout and school completion (Appleton et al., 2008Appleton, J. J., Christenson, S. L, & Furlong, M. J. (2008). Student engagement with school: Critical conceptual and methodological issues of the construct. Psychology in the Schools, 45(5), 369–386.). Engagement is defined as a multi-dimensional construct, depicted by the four subtypes described below:
The subtypes of engagement are interrelated. For example, a student’s feelings of belonging (affective engagement) may promote greater effort and participation on the student’s part (behavioral engagement); teaching practices that promote strategy use or self-regulation (cognitive engagement) may also facilitate greater time on task or homework completion with high success rates (academic engagement).