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PISA in Focus

PISA in Focus is a series of monthly education policy-oriented notes designed to describe a PISA topic in a concise, user-friendly way.

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Have students’ feelings of belonging at school waned over time?

Most adolescents desire strong social ties and value acceptance, care and support from others. Many adolescents find friends and caring adults among members of the school community. As students go through a decisive period of their lives, discovering and redefining their identity, a strong sense of belonging at school can help them feel secure, and can support their academic and social development. Adolescents who feel that they are part of a school community are also more motivated to learn and, as a result, more likely to perform well at school.

But in recent years, many traditional communities formed around shared physical spaces – neighbourhoods, workplaces or schools – have been profoundly affected by advances in technology. How did students’ feelings of belonging at school change over a period in which online friendships and social networks were growing in importance?

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