Engagement and opportunity to learn

(from the chapter) Student engagement in academic contexts, both in and out of the classroom, is a relatively recent construct, having only appeared in the literature since the 1980s (Mosher & MacGowan, 1985). Although the core construct is readily understood (e.g., in distinguishing between a student who is engaged in the academic situation as opposed to one who is disengaged), there is substantial disagreement about the breadth of the construct (Appleton, Christenson, & Furlong, 2008). Some researchers limit their consideration of student engagement to the student’s motivation to learn or the student’s effort in class, whereas other researchers consider the student’s interest in a topic, the student’s completion of homework or other assignments, the student’s attitudes toward the school experience, and even whether or not the student engages in school-related extracurricular activities.