School Engagement

Scale: Engagement versus Disaffection with Learning (EvsD) – Behavioral Engagement subscale

What it measures:

  • A youth’s active participation with learning activities in the classroom.

Intended age range: 3rd to 10th graders

Brief description: This measure consists of 5 items reflecting a student’s effort, attention or interest, and persistence. Sample items include: “I try hard to do well in school” and “I pay attention in class”. Each item is rated on a 4-point scale: Not at all true, Not very true, Sort of true, or Very true.

Rationale: The measure provides a short, easy-to-administer tool for assessing behavioral aspects of school engagement and has good evidence of reliability and validity in diverse samples of youth.

Cautions: None.

Special administration information: None.

How to score: Each item is scored from 1 (Not at all true) to 4 (Very true). The total score is the average of all 5 items.

How to interpret findings: Higher scores reflect greater levels of behavioral engagement in school.

Access and permissions: The measure is available for non-commercial use with no advance permission required. The full EvsD scale can be accessed online here.

Alternatives: For a more complete assessment of school engagement, programs may want to consider using the full EvsD scale. This 20-item measure assesses both behavioral (effort, interest) and emotional (connectedness, belongingness) features of engagement, and distinguishes between engagement and disaffection. A description of the measure can be found in the original publication. A measure of School Connectedness, which is similar to emotional engagement, is also provided here in this toolkit.

Citation: Skinner, E. A., Kindermann, T. A., & Furrer, C. J. (2009). A motivational perspective on engagement and disaffection: Conceptualization and assessment of children's behavioral and emotional participation in academic activities in the classroom. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 69, 493-525.

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