Engagement, classroom environment, academic outcomes, and American Indian middle school students

Shawn Forrest Guiling
Psychology Dept., University of Missouri, Columbia
July, 2005


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the interrelationship between academic engagement and classroom environment and how this relationship impacted American Indian students' academic pursuits. Previous research suggested that lack of engagement and comfort in the classroom caused students to feel isolated and powerless in decision-making, experiences even more salient for the traditionally marginalized American Indian student. Results of questionnaires completed by 84 American Indian middle school students suggested students who felt less supported by their teachers were likely to have better academic outcomes. No significant relationship was found between classroom environment variables and academic engagement. Future directions for study included investigating the use of larger sample sizes and multiple engagement measures.