Friday, January 25, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Gallup poll indicates students' loss of interest in school over time

Albert Einstein said that "Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.“ Sadly, a recent Gallup survey of nearly 500,000 students from grades five through 12 from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 US states in 2012 suggests that students increasingly loose their interest in going to school in the first place. By the time students get to high school only about 4 in 10 qualify as engaged.
Larry Ferlazzo rightly points out that this is not a statistically valid survey as there was no random sampling involved; schools and students participated on a volunteer basis. However, the large sample size still provides an interesting dataset.
Another critique point is the measure for the construct "engagement". Here are some sample questions:
8. I have a best friend at school.
9. I feel safe in this school.
10. My teachers make me feel my schoolwork is important.
11. At this school, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
12. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good schoolwork.
13. My school is committed to building the strengths of each student.
14. In the last month, I volunteered my time to help others.
The data however fits well with other surveys who indicated waining interest in STEM education (See
Mark Twain suggested: Don't let school interfere with your education.

Source: A Bad Start to Lifelong Learning? - Mission to Learn - Lifelong Learning Blog