Student Engagement in Advanced Placement Courses at Rosenblatt High School
Baron, Michael H.
With the growth in interest in Advanced Placement courses, administrators are often faced with concerns about how to create a program that both achieves the goals parents and students have for AP study and creates an engaging experience. Administrators at Rosenblatt High School (RHS) in Boca Raton, Florida, had just such a question: they sought to increase student engagement in classes. This study examines stories students tell their parents about their most exciting and memorable experiences relevant to AP classes and the conditions in which they occurred. The research provides insights on how teachers can increase the amount of class engagement and the quality of engagement. This investigation critically assesses the antecedents to student motivation and engagement in AP classrooms to identify support strategies that can be implemented by key stakeholders, such as teachers, to improve student success. Based on an indepth review of relevant literature and a comparative analysis of parent storytelling and interpretations derived from conversations with their children, this research revealed several opportunities for shaping the effectiveness of AP courses. This includes developing support systems that strategically improve student motivation and class engagement. A key mechanism for support effectiveness identified in the data is student self-determination.