Engagement by School Level: NAIS High School and Middle School Students


The Middle Grades Survey of Student Engagement (MGSSE) is a survey designed to investigate the attitudes, perceptions, and beliefs of students in grades 5-8 about their work. This report contains key findings from the 2017 study with regards to students’ academic, social, and emotional engagement. The report compares MGSSE results with the 2017 High School Survey of Student Engagement (HSSSE), which serves the same purpose as MGSSE for students in grades 9-12.

Executive Summary

NAIS high school students appear to be more academically engaged than their middle school peers: they report spending more time on schoolwork, interacting with teachers, and participating in school-sponsored activities.
However, a higher percentage of NAIS middle school students report being engaged in school. Middle school students are more likely to put in their maximum effort in school and less likely to be bored in class. They are also more engaged across various methods of teaching.

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High school students in NAIS schools may be less academically engaged than middle schoolers because of a lack of perceived relevance of their schoolwork. High school students are less likely to understand how the work they are completing will be useful beyond school.
The NAIS Report on the 2017 High School Survey of Student Engagement makes several recommendations on how to better engage high school students. The findings included in this report suggest recommendations that relate to job skills and contextualized teaching and learning.

Downloadable Content

Full Report