Why Students Disengage in American Schools and What We Can Do About it


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Engaged students with a passion for learning are becoming rare in American schools.

Why do students lose their passion for learning and disengage in school?

The continual comparison and judgment that our youth experience result in their belief that they are not good enough or not smart enough. To the extent that this happens, fear diminishes their curiosity, strips away their self-confidence, and results in disengagement and unfulfilled potential.

This book examines the significance of disengagement and presents strategies for overcoming it.

“The last page has been turned and I am sad to see the book end. I am excited for those who will read the wisdom in Why students Disengage in American Schools and What We Can Do About It. Paul’s philosophy and practical strategies are part of the answer to keeping students engaged. If teachers can embrace even half of what is presented, they will be better teachers and students will be better educated in all aspects of their lives.”

Maribeth Mohan, English/Foreign Language Department Chair

Glenbard South High School, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

“Very few are as brave as Paul to attempt questions that are not easy to answer. Yet, he brilliantly blends insights and reality to core issues in American education.  This book challenges our thinking, widens our perspective, and encourages us to do what is best for students.  Simplistic, yet masterfully done so that all can relate. Enjoy!”

LaVonna Roth, Founder and CEO

Minds That Matter, Tampa Florida

“Why Students Disengage in American Schools is an important read for anyone who cares about our kids. Because disengaged students become disengaged adults, it’s critical for our companies and communities in the future. Paul’s book reveals what’s good for kids to thrive…and adults as well.”

Bobbi DePorter, President

Quantum Learning Network, Oceanside, California

“Paul Knows that the key to imporving anyone’s performance is confidence, faith and optimism.  He shares a wealth of pratical and effective ideas that result in the kind of success we all strive to acheieve for others and ourselves. Best of all, Paul teaches with wonderfully, engaging and heartwarming personal stories. In this book he becomes the friend you have always wanted.”

Mark Shellinger, Director

National SAM Innovation Project, Louisville, Kentucky

Table of Contents:


Chapter 1  Little Red Riding Hood Goes to School
Chapter 2  Why Do We Need School?
Chapter 3  The Who, Why, and Where of School
Chapter 4  Encountering my First Wolf in School
Chapter 5  More than anything else, school is…
Chapter 6  The Influence of Messages and the Power of OPOs
Chapter 7  I’m Not Good Enough
Chapter 8  I’m Not Smart Enough
Part 3: ENGAGEMENT 101
Chapter 9   The Fear to Faith Factor
Chapter 10 Classroom Processes: Creating Safe Connections that Foster Student Engagement
Chapter 11  Results: Whadya Get?
Chapter 12  Fostering a Classroom and School–wide Culture of Safety and Trust
Part four: It’s Possible
Chapter 13  Striving for a Wolf-free Class
Chapter 14  Striving for a Wolf-free School
Chapter 15  The Vocation of Teaching Students in American Schools
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