Ideas for engaging and re-engaging students in learning

Posted by on September 15, 2008

Ideas for engaging and re-engaging students in learning

Amid growing concern about the nation’s dropout epidemic, the UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools has issued what it calls a “guide for practice.” Keyword: motivation.

Motivation is a prominent concern in all schools. While our focus is on students, any discussion of motivation has applications to all facets of school improvement. Think about engaging and re-engaging parents and staff. After an extensive review of the literature, Fredricks, Blumenfeld, and Paris (2004) conclude: Engagement is associated with positive academic outcomes, including achievement and persistence in school; and it is higher in classrooms with supportive teachers and peers, challenging and authentic tasks, opportunities for choice, and sufficient structure. Conversely, for many students,
disengagement is associated with behavior problems, and behavior and learning problems may eventually lead to dropout. The degree of concern about student engagement varies depending on school population.

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