School Engagement for Avoiding Dropout in Middle School Education

  •  Cristina Hennig Manzuoli    
  •  Clelia Pineda-Báez    
  •  Ana D. Vargas Sánchez    


School engagement is a key factor in maintaining school attendance and in diminishing dropout rates. In this study, four dimensions that compose school engagement—cognitive, affective, behavioral, and agentic—were evaluated with a self-report questionnaire (Veiga, 2013), and comparisons between rural and urban schools were made. A total of 802 seventh-graders (51.2% boys and 48.8% girls), the majority of the studied children were between the ages of 12 and 13 (71.7%), attending public schools in Colombia, responded the questionnaire. The research responds to the need to examine engagement in developing countries. Findings indicate that the cognitive and agentic dimensions obtained the lowest means. This result suggests that students should engage in activities that help them recognize their metacognitive abilities and strengthen their classroom participation. Each of the four identified dimensions is analyzed, and strategies are proposed for developing them appropriately.

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