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Student Engagement

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Stacy Young

on 18 June 2014

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Transcript of Student Engagement

Engaging the Unengaged Student
Engaged students learn at high levels, retain what they learn, and are able to transfer learning to new situations.- Phillip Schlechty
Student Choice (#2)
How Do These Students Like to Learn? (#6)
Failure as Normal Part of Learning (#7)
Some of the students:

**feel they will fail before they begin
**feel they are stupid and don't want others to "know" it
**shut down before they get started or start and then
shut down (sit there)
**feel why bother trying, and so they don't even attempt
Willing to Take Risks? (#9)
These students usually won't take risks because:

**they don't want to fail
**they don't want others to see them fail
**they don't want to risk embarrassment
**they don't understand what is expected
Students want choice in the products they create, how the learning will occur, and who they will work with. When they feel they have control over some part of their learning, they are more engaged in the process. Depending on the learning, different choices can be offered to the students.

Also, if the learning is linked to a final product they value, the engagement will increase.

Examples of Class Choices
Products: Poster, digital, video, etc.
Who: individual, partner, group
How: read, research, discussion, sequence,
teacher notes, and many other ways
Ritual Compliance
The students that I have chosen to discuss are in the Ritual Compliance level of engagement (Schlechty) most of the time. The have low attention and commitment. They want to know the minimum amount of work they have to complete without regard to if they learn it or not. I want to engage them in their learning and increase their attention and committment to their own learning.
These students like to:

*Work in GROUPS when learning. They are very social and want to hear what others know about the concepts and to discuss the information. It seems to help them process the information better. Groups will be used and will be flexible depending on the needs of the students for each learning task.

* Work with TECHNOLOGY when it fits. They are creative and like to use technology to assist them researching, creating a product, or finding the information they need to create personal meaning. Technology will be incorporated and not forced and choices allowed as to how and what technology the students will use.

*Be ACTIVE. If they can move around the room or between groups they seem to be more engaged. Centers, gallery walks, circuits, and other movement will be used to engage students.
Protection from Adverse
Consequences for Initial Failures

**Support and encouragement to let them know they can
do it (even if the learning doesn't "look" like what the
others are doing)
**A different grading system- they are penalized for
taking longer to learn a concept (use a regrading
**Successes - even if they are small successes. Tasks need
to be created so that students know what it feels like
to actually be successful. It will start to add up for
them until they believe in themselves! Provide
encouragement for each success no matter how small!
By giving students choice, they will feel more empowered and more committed to their learning. This will lead to a more engaged student.
What they need (prior to new learning):

**Clear standards and expectations (including directions)
**Clear requirements and grading policy (rubrics)
**Affirmation from others (their learning is valued by others who
are important to them- including peers and teachers)
**Clear and consistent communication from the teacher. This
includes encouragement, affirmation, restatement of expectations.
This will help ensure the student understands what is required
which will assist the student in taking a risk to try.

When students know expectations and requirements up front and feel they can be successful, they are more willing to take risks in their learning.
Collaboration (#5)
*Students don't truly understand collaboration
*They feel it's a way to get answers from someone else
*They often don't share their thoughts or ideas because of risk of failure
or embarrassment- they aren't "as smart" as the others.

*Students have worked on projects together, but not necessarily
collaborated. Some do the work, some sit back and watch, others
complete some of the work, but overall one person usually does most
of the work.
*The reason for one doing most of the work varies. Sometimes they don't
trust the others to do the work correctly, and other times, students
don't feel like they are smart enough to help. Some still may not
completely understand the expectations and requirements.

What students need:

* Clear and compelling standards. Students need to see collaboration and the work as valuable.
They also need to be clear on what is expected and what the product will look like. Many times
they won't engage because they really don't understand what is required (using rubrics will help).
*Group tasks need to be created so that they require collaboration to actually complete. Not an
assignment in which one person could complete all of the work. This is my job as a teacher to
create these types of opportunities.
*Each person needs to be given a role playing on his or her strengths. This will help encourage
engagement because they will feel like they can complete the work to help the group. The other
students will also realize that every student has a strength and can offer quality input to the group
task. This assists in developing group affiliation and affirmation of the student's work.
*When students realize that their performance will affect others who are significant to them, they are
more likely to engage in the collaboration. Groups can be arranged, so students are in groups with
others they feel are important. This can be done with teacher help or giving choice to students.

Products, Performances,
or Exhibitions (#12)
When showing what they know, students seem to enjoy:

*acting out, drama, skits
*creating videos
*posters, hands on materials
*technology presentations

These are active, hands-on and technology-based products. Some of these also include developing affiliation with peers. Students seem to feel these are their strengths when demonstrating learning, and they "have fun" with these presentations.
What they need:

*These students need to be given choices when possible. If they know their strengths and can use them by choosing
what fits their needs, they are more likely to be engaged in the learning. Also when students have choice, they
are more likely to be engaged because they feel some control over their learning.
*Students also need clear standards, so they know how they will be evaluated and the expectations of the learning
(rubrics and instructions provided before beginning the task).
*The product focus also needs to be developed so that what the students are learning is linked to some type of
presentation or product that they value. If they don't value creating skits, they won't be engaged, but if they
value creating videos, they are more likely to be engaged.

Student Engagement
Students need to be engaged in their learning, not just compliant. If students are given choice, clear standards, provided with a safe environment in which they will take risks, and value how they are assessed, they will be more engaged. Students must see value in the learning and final products in order to be engaged. In order for students to learn, they must be engaged. As teachers we have to create educational tasks that match the qualities that will engage today's students.
By Stacy Young

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