Engaging-Are students?

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Engagement of Students

The technology age has played a significant impact on teaching and learning, I believe. Our students, I know, would tell you they are engaged with the electronic games they are playing at home, and the social media platforms they are utilizing, and are available to access many of these items 24/7.

The engagement of students in our classrooms is something I know comes up all of the time when talking and providing feedback. “How do I get the kids more engaged?” “What can I do to get all the kids to participate?”

As an administrator conducting walkthroughs, you look at all of the classrooms, and you find some rooms with students more engaged than others. Why? What is different?

One of my quotes is: Education is something we do with children, not to them. I believe children feel like, at times, we are “doing” things to them when they are not actively part of the learning process regarding the design. What I mean by this is providing them with more opportunities to understand the standards needing to master, how to work collaboratively, problem-solving, and choices—helping them to be leaders, especially for themselves and their learning.

“Students love being engaged, and they value engagement very highly (Appleton, Christensen, & Furlong, 2008). Engagement is especially important for low-socioeconomic-status (SES) students. In their study of more than 1,800 students living in poverty, Finn and Rock (1997) found that student engagement was a key factor in whether students stayed in school.”—Jensen, Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

Data also from schools on dropouts, truancy rates, retentions, and discipline resulting in loss of learning time (out-of-school suspension, in-school suspension, expulsion, removal from classes) can all be points to look at when considering student engagement.

I want to dive deeper into Jensen’s book with his seven factors that he states correlate with student engagement. These factors, he states, are also firmly tied to socioeconomic factors. To provide you time to pick up your copy and to think about what you consider are factors for engagement, I will make my next post on Saturday, December 10th, about the book. Until then, here are some factors to think about for students in your classroom.

  • Lack of sleep
  • No support
  • No friends
  • Poor Hygiene
  • Poor Social Skills
  • No boundaries-Lack of self-discipline
  • No confidence

These are just a few of the things I have noticed in my years of education. I am sure you could add to the list. We will share Jensen’s factors on Saturday, December 10th as we loo closer at his book Engaging Students with Poverty in Mind

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