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Students' Need for Belonging in the School Community

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Abstract

Defining sense of community as a feeling of belongingness within a group, this article reviews research about students' sense of acceptance within the school community to address three questions: Is this experience of belongingness important in an educational setting? Do students currently experience school as a community? And how do schools influence students' sense of community? Conceptually, the review reflects a social cognitive perspective on motivation. This theoretical framework maintains that individuals have psychological needs, that satisfaction of these needs affects perception and behavior, and that characteristics of the social context influence how well these needs are met. The concern here is how schools, as social organizations, address what is defined as a basic psychological need, the need to experience belongingness. The findings suggest that students' experience of acceptance influences multiple dimensions of their behavior but that schools adopt organizational practices that neglect and may actually undermine students' experience of membership in a supportive community.
... School engagement not only contributes to increasing the success in terms of quality and quantity and reducing absenteeism; it also increases student interest in many voluntary activities needed for organizational life and maximum success (Kaya, 2007). Engagement with the school is defined as a psychological need for the student to see himself/herself as a member of a group, to feel himself/herself belonging to the organization, and to adopt the aims of the school (Finn, 1993;Osterman, 2000). Engagement with the school was first proposed by Hirschi, and it was associated with the weakness of their engagement with school as the main reason for criminal behavior and violent behavior. ...
... Okul bağlılığı, başarı oranının nitelik ve nicelik bakımından yükseltilmesi ve devamsızlık oranlarının azaltılmasına katkı sağlamakla kalmaz; aynı zamanda öğrenciyi, örgütsel yaşam ve maksimum düzeyde başarı için ihtiyaç duyulan birçok gönüllü faaliyete ilgisinin artmasını sağlar (Kaya, 2007). Okula bağlılık öğrencinin kendisini bir grubun üyesi olarak görmesi, kendisini örgüte ait hissetmesi, okulun amaçlarını benimseyebilmesi açısından psikolojik bir gereksinim şeklinde tanımlanmıştır (Finn, 1993;Osterman, 2000). Okula bağlılık, Can'a (2008) göre ilk kez Hirschi tarafından ortaya atılmış olup, suç işleme ve şiddet davranışlarının temel sebebinin kişilerin okula olan bağlılıklarının zayıf olmasıyla ilişkilendirmiştir. ...
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The present study elaborates on the relationship between school principals' social justice leadership behaviors and student engagement in relation to high school students' opinions. The study was conducted on 968 high school students from two different school types: Anatolian and vocational high schools. The data was collected by Social Justice Leadership Scale and Student Engagement Scale. Data was analyzed by utilizing Pearson correlation, and hierarchical multiple regression. Main results indicated that student engagement and school principal's social justice leadership has a moderate level of positive relationship; the support dimension of social justice leadership predicted 28 % of the variance in student engagement itself; and all demographics, and dimensions of social justice were found to predict 34 % of the variance in student engagement. Limitations are presented, and future implications for research and practice in the field of educational administration are discussed in relation to the results of the study.
... Belonging is an innate psychological need that, when satisfied, contributes positively to emotional well-being and to positive behaviors that trigger student learning (Osterman, 2000). While the family environment promotes the emotional well-being of students, the sense of belonging is more contextual and relates, among other things, to what happens in the classroom in terms of teacher practices (Osterman, 2010). ...
... Research also indicated a negative relationship between school belonging and cheating or being suspended from school (Hawkins et al., 2001;Jenkins, 1997) and more negative outcomes such as dropout (Mahoney & Cairns, 1997). Finally, Osterman (2000) underlined the importance attributed to belonging by mentioning, "[...] from a review of even these limited sources it is possible to conclude that belongingness is an extremely important concept. As a psychological phenomenon, it has far reaching impact on human motivation and behavior" (p. ...
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Over the last two decades, several studies have overlooked at-school belonging and engagement, two dimensions that are associated with several positive outcomes. However, the relative influence that contexts and interventions may have on these components has received much less attention. In this study, school belonging and engagement were examined as a function of the implementation and application of classroom rules. The study took place in two Moroccan schools, and participants were 238 students from 9th grade (101 boys, 137 girls; Mage = 15.1) living in the cities of Casablanca and Témara. They all completed a questionnaire that allowed to measure their belonging and engagement in conjunction with the manner in which rules are implemented and applied. Correlational and structural equation modeling methods were used to analyze the aforementioned relationships. Results showed that implementation of classroom rules had a positive effect on school belonging, which, in turn, had a positive effect on school engagement. These results indicated the need to conduct further empirical research to measure the contribution of classroom management practices on school belonging.
... Akademik vurgusu yüksek olan okullarda hem öğretmenler ve okul yöneticileri hem de öğrenci velileri tarafından öğrencilerin akademik gelişimi için yüksek ancak erişilebilir akademik hedefler belirlenir (Rutter, 1983). Öğretmenler de öğrenciler de ders ve okul düzeyindeki hedefleri ciddiye alır ve çalışmalarını bu yönde gerçekleştirir (Gray, Kruse ve Tarter, 2016;Licata ve Harper, 1999;Rutter, 1983 (Osterman, 2000;Shouse, 1996). Karma yöntem araştırmalarında birden fazla araştırma dizisi, araştırma verisi ve veri analiz yöntemi birlikte kullanılır (Creswell, 2009;Mertkan, 2015). ...
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This study, inspired by the conceptual framework adapted into school settings by Hoy, investigated teacher and school level factors predicting school mindfulness, and employed an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design. Quantitative data came from 1354 teachers nested in 69 middle schools in Ankara. The role of teacher (gender, age, level of education, length of time with principal, years of experience in school, total years of experience in teaching, number of days attended professional development activities) and school level factors (school size, mode of schooling, class size, organizational trust, collective teacher efficacy, academic press) on the school mindfulness variation within and between schools was explored by HLM. Results revealed that 12,7% of the total variance in school mindfulness originates from between school variations, length of time with principal is a significant yet negative predictor at teacher level, and teacher trust in principal, teacher trust in colleagues and collective efficacy in student discipline are significant predictors at school level. All significant teacher and school level predictors explain 96.9% of the between school variation in school mindfulness. In the second phase, an embedded single case design was adopted, and 12 semi-structured interviews were made with school principals, who scored the highest and the lowest in principal mindfulness subscale of the M-Scale, based on teachers' responses within the former phase. Qualitative data was analyzed by theoretical thematic analysis method. For triangulation, unstructured observations and school websites were also analyzed. This study concludes that trust, dynamic collaboration and mutual communication in schools enhance mindfulness by increasing the capacity for problem-solving, sharing decision-making and learning together.
... Just like everyone else, students in secondary education have an innate need to belong (Anant, 1966;Maslow et al., 1954;Osterman, 2000). Sense of belonging has been defined as "the experience of personal involvement in a system or environment so that persons perceive themselves to be an integral part of that system or environment" (Hagerty et al., 1996, p. 173). ...
... School counselors, in particular, are called to respond to the socio-emotional needs and concerns of students. As a result, these counselors strive to proactively explore new approaches and strategies to help students under their care cope with adverse or unfamiliar situations [10,11,12]. Some of the approaches being explored include the use of advanced technologies in teaching and learning. ...
Chapter
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