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Achievement gap: The impact of increased engagement

King, Cindy
Reportedly, minority children consistently lag behind their Asian-American and Caucasian counterparts in all academic areas. Extensive studies have explored the root of this problem and three main models have emerged from research in this area: Genetic Model, Socioeconomic Model, and the Sociopathological Model. However, many of the studies associated with these models are correlational in nature and many of the theories have not been tested with controlled experimental designs. Thus, this study aims to correct this limitation in the literature by utilizing an experimental design to evaluate the impact of increasing academic engagement on math achievement scores. Forty-four participants ages 10-12 participated in this study. Participants included 23% African Americans, 45% Caucasians, 5% Hispanics, and 27% Native Americans. Data were analyzed with 2 two-factor between subjects analysis of variance (ANOVA) for independent groups. Result of the ANOVA indicate a significant main effect for group condition, F (1, 40) = 5.59, p = .02, partial n2 = .12. This result demonstrates increased engagement significantly impacts math achievement scores for minorities and Caucasians alike. The result provides support for behavioral engagement and learning trials as effective in increasing student achievement.