Presentation on theme: "Developing a ‘Sense of Belonging’"— Presentation transcript:
1 Developing a ‘Sense of Belonging’ DEE Conference, Cardiff 9-10 September 2009Developing a ‘Sense of Belonging’Guglielmo VolpeEconomics DepartmentQueen Mary, University of LondonWarning!There is no economics in this talk! Feel free to leave the room and take a break if you wish!
2 Why? My new department ‘Confrontational’ relationship with students Poor NSS resultsNo engagement with studentsResearch focus and little attention to T&LLack of collegial engagement within the Department
3 School success and failure Classroom engagementAcademic effortSchool success and failureSituational and contextual factorsQuality of school social relationshipSense of belonging or psychological membership in the school or classroom
4 Sense of belonging or psychological membership in the school or classroom Extent to which students feel personally accepted, respected, included and supported by others in the school social environment(Goodenow, 1993)Experience of personal involvement in a system or environment so that persons feel themselves to be an integral part of that system or environment(Hagerty and Patusky, 1995)“need to belong is a fundamental human motivation and can be defined as a pervasive drive to form and maintain at least a minimum quantity of lasting, positive and significant interpersonal relationship” (Osterman, 2000)
5 Sense of belonging or psychological membership in the school or classroom In schoolImportance in lifeabsence leads to lowered interest and engagement in ordinary life(Weiss, 1973)Difficulty in sustaining academic engagement and commitment in environments where students do not feel valued and welcome(Batcher, 1981, Zeichner, 1980, Tinto, 1987)Belonging is a critical factor in school retention and dropout of at risk students(Finn, 1989, Wehlage, 1989)
6 Research shows that among middle and high school students, sense of belonging leads to Better academic motivationLower rates of school drop-outHigher grade point averageBetter socio-emotional functioning(Anderman and Anderman 1999, Goodenow 1993, Anderman 2002, Wehlag et al. 1989, Shochet et al., 2006)
7 (Anderman and Freeman 2004,Hurtado & Carter 1997, Mounts 2004) Research shows that among undergraduate students, sense of belonging leads toLinked to lecturers caringGreater involvement in campus organisationLower level of depression/loneliness among African American and Caucasian studentsLess racial climate among Latino studentsStudents at a disadvantage may benefit more from a sense of belonging than other groups(Anderman and Freeman 2004,Hurtado & Carter 1997, Mounts 2004)
8 Measure of sense of belonging Two defining attributesFitPerception that the individual’s characteristics articulate with the system or environmentValued InvolvementThe experience of feeling valued, needed and acceptedAntecedents or precursors to sense of belongingEnergy for involvement, potential and desire for meaningful involvement and potential for shared or complementary characteristics
9 Sense of belonging instrument (Hagerty and Potusky, 1995) 27 items questionnaire covering issues of fit, value and antecedents4 points likert scalePsychological Sense of School Membership (Goodenow, 1993)18 items questionnaire5 points likert scaleSense of belonging instrument (Hofman et al., 2007)26 items questionnaire distributed over five factorsPerceived peer supportPerceived staff support/comfortPerceived classroom supportPerceived isolationEmpathetic faculty understanding
10 Pilot project: Sense of belonging of economics students at Queen Mary Small scale summer project with aim to scale up project in coming academic yearCall for participants and eventually 7 students agreed to be involved (one third year student, three second year and three first year students)PSSM questionnaireSemi-structured interviewsAims:Measure sense of belongingExplore factors affecting sense of belonging for students
11 Some preliminary results on ‘Sense of Belonging’ scores Year 1 students’ average scoreStudent 13.72Student 23.56Student 33.783.69Year 2 and 3 students’ average scoresAvg. Score 2007/8Avg. Score 2008/9Student 13.393.06Student 23.174.5Student 32.332.17Student 43.614.613.133.59
12 From interviews Students-staff relationship Reduce ‘distance’ between staff and studentsStudents-peer relationshipImportance of inductionGroups of friends – difficulty to engage with other groupsInternational students – ethnic minoritiesExtra-curricular activities
13 Developing a sense of belonging: what are we doing? Many things….look at students and staff relationshipSupport students engagement with their peers
14 look at students and staff relationship Strengthen advising/support systemsAppoint senior tutorAppoint students support managerIntroduce standard of service frameworkDefine timeline for feedback and enhance awareness about feedback practices
15 look at students and staff relationship Research assistant schemeFinancial help for attendance to summer coursesGuest speaker lecture (this year: Robert Peston)Induction has been strengthened for all students (year 1, 2 and 3)
16 Students engagement with their peers Engage with and support Economics SocietyDebate teamsImagery competitionPeer support schemeStudent helpersStudent ambassadorsCareers and employability workshops
17 The staff vs students football competition!!! But, the most important new initiative…..The staff vs students football competition!!!
18 ReferencesAnderman, L.H., Anderman, E.M. (1999). Social predictors of changes in students’ achievement goal orientations. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 24, 21-37Anderman, L.H., Freeman, T.M. (2004). Students’ sense of belonging in school. In P.R. Pintrich and M.I. Maehr (Eds.), Motivating students, improving schools: Advances in motivation and achievement, Vol. 13, p.27-63, Amsterdam: ElsvierGoodenow, C. (1993). The psychological sense of school membership among adolescents: Scale development and educational correlates. Psychology in the Schools, 30, 79-90Hagborg. W.J. (1994). An exploration of school membership among middle- and high-school students. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 12,Hoffman, M., Richmond, J., Morrow, J., Salomone, K. (2003). Investigating “Sense of Belonging” in first-year college students. Journal of College Student Retention, 4,Hurtado, S., Carter., D.F. (1997). Effects of college transition and perceptions of the campus racial cliamte on Latino college students’ sense of belonging. Sociology of Education, 70,Osterman, K.F. (2000). Students’ need for belonging in the school community. Review of Educational Research, 70,Pittman, L.D., Richmond, A. (2007). Academic and Psychological Functioning in Late Adolescence: The importance of school belonging. The Journal of Experimental Education, 75,
19 Psychological Sense of School Membership (Goodenow, 1993) I feel like a real part of the Economics DepartmentPeople here notice when I am good at somethingIt is hard for people like me to be accepted hereOther students in the Department take my opinions seriouslyMost lecturers within the Department are interested in meSometimes I feel as if I do not belong hereThere is at least one lecturer (or other person) in the DepartmentI can talk to if I have a problemPeople in the Department are friendly to meLecturers here are not interested in people like meI am included in/participate to lots of activities in the DepartmentI am treated with as much respect as other studentsI feel very different from most other students hereI can really be myself in this DepartmentThe lecturers here respect mePeople here know I can do good workI wish I were in a different Department/UniversityI feel proud of belonging to the Economics DepartmentOther students here like me the way I am
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