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Student Engagement

What is Engagement? What is Disengagement? How is engagement assessed? How can disengaged students be re-engaged?

Ellen Cavanaugh

on 6 November 2013

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Transcript of Student Engagement

Engagement is more than...
And if...
High achieving students are not necessarily engaged
What IS engagement?
Engagement IS...
Behavioral Engagement
Involvement in classroom tasks (effort, attention, participation, concentration, persistence)
Emotional reactions to teacher, school & task

Psychologically invested in learning

Participation in school-based extracurricular activities

Positive conduct

Absence of disruptive behavior
School Value
School Belonging

-Directs efforts at understanding and mastering content rather than completing the task or getting the highest grade
-Metacognitive self-regulation (i.e., planning, monitoring, and evaluating thinking)

How can we Assess Engagement?

Early warning indicators of disengagement

behaviorally engaged
He or she
-follows classroom and school rules
Such as
-Skipping school
1) Directs effort at completing tasks

He or she...
1) Sports

Such as...
A student that is
Such as...
1) Enjoyment
2) Happiness
3) Interest
He or she perceives
him/herself as...
1) Liked by others
2) Included by others
3) Respected in school

He or she feels that...
1) Task/school is important
2) Task/school is useful for future
3) Task is interesting

He or she...
He or she also uses cognitive strategies

• Inattention
• Aggressive behavior
• Inappropriate movement
• Inappropriate vocalization

Child Observed ___________________ Time of Observation _________________

Date____________________________ Academic Subject ___________________

Observer________________________ Setting ____________________________

Moment 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Moment 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20

Total Intervals Observed ________ % On-Task _________________
% Off-Task ________________
Notes: _______________________________________________________________

• Student is consistently on-task
• Student is paying attention to teacher and other students
• Transitions between lessons are quick and efficient with minimum “down time”
• Students exhibit interest and excitement
• Teacher uses a variety of strategies to keep students engaged in lesson
• Students are engaged in higher order learning
• Students are engaged in active conversations that construct learning

• Tardiness
• Skipping school
• Absenteeism
• Behavioral referrals
• Detention
• Suspensions
• Failing classes
• Behind in credits

Sample Observational Form
Sample Observational Indicators of Engagement

• On-task
• Listens attentively
• Asks and answers questions
• Focuses on learning with minimum distractions
• Persists with a task, even when difficult or long
• Expresses interest and enthusiasm
Teacher ratings
Student Self-Report Survey Measures
1. I pay attention in class.
2. I work hard to do my best in class.
3. When I am in class, I listen very carefully.
4. When I am in class, I just act like I am working (reverse coded).
5. I complete my homework on time.
6. I get in trouble at school (reverse coded).
7. If I can’t understand my schoolwork, I just keep doing it until I do.
Emotional Engagement
1. I feel happy to be part of school.
2. I enjoy learning new things.
3. When we work on something in class, I feel discouraged (reverse coded).
4. I am bored at school (reverse coded).
5. Most of things we learn in school are useless (reverse coded).
6. School is one of my favorite places to be.
7. Sometimes I get so interested in school, I don’t want to stop.
Cognitive Engagement
1. When I read a book, I ask myself questions to make sure I understand.
2. I classify problems into categories before I begin to work on them.
3. I check my schoolwork for mistakes.
4. Before I begin studying, I think about what I need to learn.
5. I work several examples of the same problem so I can understand problems better.
6. When I finish working a problem, I check my answers to see if reasonable.
Sample Indicators
1. In my class, this student works as hard as he/she can.
2. When working on classwork in my class, this student appears involved.
3. When I explain new material, this student listens carefully.
4. In my class, this student does more than is required.
5. When my student doesn’t do well, he/she works harder.
Behavioral Engagement
Emotional Engagement
Behavioral Disaffection
Emotional Disaffection
1. When we start something class, this student thinks about other things.
2. In my class, this student comes unprepared.
3. When faced with a difficult assignment, this study doesn’t even try.
4. In my class, this student does just enough to get by.
5. When we start something new in class, this student doesn’t pay attention.
1. When we work on something in class, this student appears to be bored.
2. When working on classwork, this student seems worried.
3. In my class, this student seems unhappy.
4. In my class, this student is anxious.
5. In my class, this student appears to be depressed.
6. In my class, this student is angry.
7. When working on classwork, this student appears frustrated.
1. In my class, this student is enthusiastic.
2. In my class, this student appears happy.
3. When we start something new in class, this student is interested.
4. When working on classwork, this student seems to enjoy it.
5. For this student, learning seems to be fun.
Compliance and on task behavior
A multidimensional construct that includes:
What do engaged students look like?
A student that is
-completes homework

-comes to class with books and materials
-Getting into trouble

-Getting into fights
2) Participates

3) Concentrates

4) Pays attention
2) School clubs

3) Student government
Emotional Engagement
emotionally engaged
Gives richer picture of how students act, think, and feel rather than focusing one dimension

cognitively engaged
A student that is
-Prefers a challenge
-Goes beyond what is required
such as...
-Deep learning strategies (i.e., elaboration,
integration, connecting to prior knowledge)
Common Engagement Profiles
1. High Behavioral, Emotional & Cognitive
3. Low Behavioral, Emotional & Cognitive
-Doesn't participate, inconsistent attendance, sometimes gets in trouble
-Finds school an alienating and unsupportive place
1. Engagement declines over the course of schooling
2. By high school as many as 40-60% of students show signs of disengagement
a. Lack of effort and participation
b. Disruptive behavior
c. Alienation and withdrawal
d. Superficial strategy use
Why is it Important to Increase Engagement?
1. Disengagement biggest complaint by teachers
2. Achievement benefits
3. Disengagement first step in dropout process
4. Meeting Common Core standards
Behavioral Engagement
Why Are So Many Students Disengaged?
is it because...
Student not motivated, family situation?
Environment is not engaging?
Out-of School Tasks
Traditional School Tasks
1. Passive
2. Individual
3. Limited time
4. Abstract
5. Reproduction of knowledge
6. Share with teacher
7. Delayed feedback
8. Limited autonomy
Out-of-School Tasks
1. Active
2. Group work
3. Extended time
4. Real world problems
5. Creation of knowledge
6. Share information publicly
7. Immediate feedback
8. Greater autonomy
Poor Relations with Teachers
Conflictual relationships:
Teacher & student are angry, do not communicate, little warmth & disconnected
Teachers tend to have poorer relations with behaviorally disengaged students
These poor relations get perpetuated over time
Peer Rejection/
Poor Social Relations
1. Rejected students have higher behavioral problems, negative school attitudes, and avoidance

2. Negative peer relations get perpetuated over time
How Can Teachers Re-engage Students?
Addressing Behavioral Problems
1. Interesting and engaging tasks
2. Positive student/teacher relationships
3. Clear expectations, rules, and routines
If problems:
1. Reflect on beliefs and messages given to students
2. Don't set up power struggles
3. Identify conditions that prompt and reinforce
4. Give students voice
5. Develop behavioral plan
6. Seek help from other professional at school
Teacher Support
1. Pedagogical caring & sensitivity
2. Positive emotions and modeling enthusiasm
3. Sharing personal experiences
4. Being an autonomy supportive teacher
Improving Peer Relations:
Building Community
1. Develop classroom norms
2. Integrate cooperative and collaborative activities
3. Emphasize mastery goals
4. Choose books and lessons that emphasize social themes
Designing Effective Group Work
1. Clear instructional objectives & guidelines for group work
2. Model type of talk & explanations
3. Interdependence of groups (assigning roles)
4. Designing tasks that require interaction
5. Include individual and group accountability
Features of Tasks

1. Meaningfulness
2. Choice
3. Adequate challenge
4. Fantasy, suspense,
and novelty

Creating Cognitively Engaging Tasks
1. Teachers tend to focus on motivational components over cognitive dimensions of task.
2. May increase motivation in short-term, but can detract from motivation and learning in long-term
Cognitively Complex Tasks
1. Open-ended & loosely-structured tasks
2. Tasks that require higher-order
cognitive skills
Authentic Tasks
1. Includes both motivation and cognitive features of engaging tasks
2. Reflects on how learning happens outside of classroom
3. Develop artifacts
4. Instructional models (project based-
instruction, thematic instruction, authetic
Implementing Cognitively Complex Tasks
1. Provide adequate time
2. Break projects into smaller tasks & provide periodic feedback
3. Choose tasks that build on students' content knowledge
4. Emphasize meaning & understanding over the right answer
5. Model high-level thinking and understanding
6. Encourage students to self-question and self-monitor
Can I Engage

Yes, but it is harder for some groups:
-Students with academic problems
-Low-income youth
-African American & Hispanic youth
-Students with history of behavioral problems
1. Examine attitudes & expectation about boys' behavior
2. Increase opportunities for physical activity
3. Counter stereotypes of masculinity
4. Expose boys to positive role models
5. Build curriculum & choose books around topics interesting to boys (Fantasy, space, humor, sports, mystery)
Engaging Boys
Engaging African American, Hispanic, and Low-Income Students
1. Examine overt & subtle ways communicate differential expectations by race, SES, ability
2. Warm demander (communicate warmth & non-negotiable demand for respect & effort)
3. Culturally responsive teaching
Low-Achieving Students
1. Provide opportunities to achieve academic success
2. Help students deal with frustration and failure
3. Adjust task difficulty and reading levels
4. Provide clear directions
5. Set realistic goals for task completion
Thank you!

Creating Cognitively Engaging Tasks
Eight Myths of
Student Disengagement:

Creating Classrooms of Deep Learning
Jennifer Fredricks
Connecticut College

2. High Behavioral, Low Emotional & Cognitive
-Does School
-On task, but not invested in learning
Full transcript