“When I talk to students, I don’t ask them what they want to be when they grow up, I ask them what problem do they want to solve?” Jamie Casap

We know that engagement is an essential part of learning but often times educators have mixed understanding of what engagement is and how to identify it. To me, student engagement is when the student is motivated to learn because they have curiosity, interest and/or passion about what they are learning. Often times educators think that student participation is engagement but that is not necessarily true as that is active compliance. For example, a teacher asks a question, a student answers. Technically the student is participating but they are not necessarily engaged.  It is important to note there are different levels of student engagement along with different types of engagement.

Different Types of Engagement:

  • Emotional: Student attitude ranges from liking what they’re doing in class to deeply valuing learning and skills they are gaining.
  • Cognitive: Students use strategies such as metacognition for deep learning.

Different Levels of Engagement:

  • Engagement: Students take ownership through active and authentic learning strategies based on their needs and goals along with having voice and choice in their tasks.
  • Active Compliance: Students participate in learning and complete performance tasks.
  • Compliance: Students complete work that is given to them. The tasks are routine and/or rote.

As a teacher it is important to reflect on your craft to see if you can identify the different types and levels of engagement happening in your classroom. Once you can identify them it is important to take action to strive to always have true engagement in your classroom.

Here are some other resources on student engagement:

National Survey of Student Engagement

Edutopia: Student Engagement

12 Myths About Student Engagement

 

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