Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


Failure to identify with school has been suggested as one explanation for why some students persistently fail to meet academic expectations. Identification with school has been conceptualized as involving a sense of belonging and a valuing of school and school related outcomes (Voelkl 1997). Students who fail to identify with school often experience a host of problems ranging from behavioral problems, social and emotional withdrawal, and academic failure. These students are also at-risk for delinquency and dropping out of school (Finn 1989, Finn & Voelkl 1993, Voelkl 1997). Empirical research thus far has attempted to explain this failure to identify with school as being the result of cultural expectations, prior experience with success in school, the structural environment of the school, the regulatory environment of the school, stereotype threat, poverty, and peer-pressure (Finn 1989, Finn & Voelkl 1993, Fordham 1996, Steele 1992, Voelkl 1997).