Engagement Culture is the shared underlying assumption that the best way to motivate is by increasing satisfaction and decreasing dissatisfaction—not by coercion into compliance. Engagement culture explains academic growth on high-poverty campuses and applies to everyone on campus.
The finding that engagement culture is linked to growth on high-poverty campuses justifies a shift from coercive, dissatisfying school environments to intrinsically motivating, satisfying ones.
All levels should prioritize Engagement Culture over accountability culture.
Do not blame students for low engagement
Examine personal biases
Understand financial aid options for students
Pay attention to messaging
Purposefully hire engaging faculty & staff
Reconsider coercive discipline policies
Work to increase teacher satisfaction
Rewrite coercive discipline & grading policies
Make opportunities for teacher advancement
Establish partnerships to build a realistic & affordable paths to college
Include teachers in decision-making
Hire for engagement culture
State & Federal Levels
Minimize emphasis on accountabiity culture
Eliminate systemic barriers to college
Emphasize restorative discipline practices
Research Priority One
Study non-academic outcomes. Non-academic dependent variables related to engagement culture might include school shootings, suicide rates, reports of bullying, and teacher turnover.
Research Priority Two
Research Priority 2: Case studies and phenomenological analyses could provide context and actionable steps for implementing and strengthening engagement culture.