We examine adolescents’ interpretations of instructional interactions to understand the academic and developmental implications of pedagogy for urban youth of color. In doing so, we seek to advance existing knowledge regarding student engagement in two ways—enhancing the ecological validity of such theories and making the links to teacher practice explicit. Urban youth of color (N= 28) were recruited from two urban high schools in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and two youth development programs in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. The following three emergent findings summarize engagement-relevant interpretations of instructional interactions made by the adolescents in our study: (a) feeling heard in class, (b) going all in, and (c) taking students seriously.
- high school
- urban education