chapter  10
22 Pages

The Conceptualization and Measurement of Student Engagement in Science

A Cross-Cultural Examination from Finland and the United States
WithJustina Spicer, Barbara Schneider, Katariina Salmela-Aro, Julia Moeller

The policy changes leading to the development of new standards in both the United States and Finland highlight the prioritization of improving opportunities for students to increase their engagement in science. Engagement varies by student and each moment of the day contributes to the type of experience that occurs. There is overlap in the conceptualizations of engagement, but there also can be differences—both of which can complicate its measurement. The conceptualization of optimal learning to include the three constructs of skill, challenge, and interest is also supported by recent research on the role of these affects in learning science. In an earlier review of the literature, Fredricks, Blumenfeld, and Paris operationalize engagement in three ways: behavioral engagement; emotional engagement; and cognitive engagement. Flow theory is applied to operationalize engagement using the ESM data, building on several previous studies examining what optimal learning is in a classroom.