Student task involvement in activity oriented science



The focus of this investigation was on relationships between teaching behaviors and student engagement in 13 middle school science classes. The results indicated that seven managerial variables and four instructional variables were significantly related to student engagement rates. Also the types of tasks allocated by teachers in science lessons were significantly related to the types of tasks undertaken by students. A canonical correlation analysis indicated significant relationships between three allocated task dimensions and three student engagement dimensions. Although teachers allocated adequate time for students to engage in investigation planning, data collecting, and data processing, the results indicated that overt engagement was prevalent only when data were collected. Attending was the predominant type of student engagement when investigations were planned and data were processed. The percentage of student time on task was approximately 63%. Rates of student off task behavior tended to be consistently high across all types of allocated tasks.