Academic engagement and achievement in high school mathematics
The question addressed in this quantitative action research study was: In high school Mathematics is there a correlation between the level of academic engagement and the level of academic achievement? It was hypothesized that if students are held accountable for their learning by being encouraged to be engaged in class activities and to complete all work assigned to them, they would achieve higher marks on unit tests. The purpose of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between the level of engagement and the level of achievement. Three types of measures were used to collect data on the level academic engagement in Grade 10 and 11 Mathematics classes. One measure was based on teacher/researcher observations of the participants’ level of participation in class activities. A second measure was assignment completion based on such criteria as neatness, thoroughness and timeliness. Rubrics were created based on educational research to aid in consistency when scoring these measures. The third measure of academic engagement was attendance records. Summative assessments in the form of unit tests and final exams were used as measures of achievement. Measures of central tendency and regression analysis were used to explore the quantitative data collected for levels of student academic engagement and level of achievement. The evidence suggested that for the participants of this study there was a weak, but positive correlation between the level of academic engagement and academic achievement in their high school Mathematics classes.