I came across a new study in which the researchers examined students’ sense of belonging—belonging in class, belonging in the major, and belonging to the institution—and its relationship to academic engagement and self-efficacy. The study is quite interesting and suggests an important role for students’ sense of belonging in STEM classes. They find that “belonging in class” was a critical factor to emotional and behavioral engagement—and was not totally explained by self-efficacy. Additionally, they cite that belonging outside of class contexts was also important for engagement, especially the degree to which students feel a sense of belonging in their major. In the implications, they cite several interventions (quite simple ones) that instructors can use to promote students’ sense of belonging. This work is important for those focused on student success in STEM as well as retention of STEM majors.

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