Faculty & Research

Recent Publications - Journal Articles

Improving Middle School Student Engagement Through Career-Relevant Instruction in the Core Curriculum.

Orthner, Dennis K.; Jones-Sanpei, Hinckley; Akos, Patrick; Rose, Roderick A.
Journal of Educational Research. , 106 (1): 27-38 (2013)

DOI: DOI: 10.1080/00220671.2012.658454. Information about DOI

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The authors assessed the effect of career-relevant instruction on school valuing and engagement of middle school students in a southern U.S. school district. Previous research and theory indicate students learn best when new knowledge is provided within the context of information students consider to be of value. The data come from a school-based randomized trial of the CareerStart intervention that was introduced in 7 of 14 middle schools, and include the initial 3 years of data for 3,493 students. The authors examined the effect of the CareerStart intervention and student-reported career-relevant instruction on psychosocial measures of school engagement and school valuing. After controlling for previous school engagement, demographic, socioeconomic, and academic factors, the analysis confirms that students in the treatment schools reported significantly higher levels of school valuing than students in the control schools, and students reporting greater career-relevant instruction indicated significantly higher levels of school engagement and valuing.

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