Document Type

Research Report

Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

July 2016


This study explored what it is like to be a high school student today. Our purpose was to describe the extent to which the schools in the metropolitan area are meeting the needs of their diverse body of students.

Knowing whether disengagement and alienation are widespread is important if we are to determine whether systemic change is needed or a more localized approach that targets particular students. We looked at those internal (school) factors related to instructional time; non-instructional time in school, extracurricular activities and school climate that help or hinder students’ perceived levels of engagement. Obtaining a snapshot of high school students’ opinions about instruction, teachers, friends, and activities can be telling about students’ levels of belonging and engagement in high school. In order to obtain rich, informative data from students, qualitative research techniques were chosen.

The purposes of this project were threefold: 1) to review pertinent literature on high school students’ perspectives of the school experience, 2) to present a study of the perspectives of high school students, and 3) to outline implications of the study for school personnel.

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