February 8, 2021 | Researchers have identified several factors that contribute to or coincide with student engagement, and McREL consultant Tonia Gibson, writing in Education Week’s Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo blog, puts her finger on a variable that teachers can influence: motivation.
Gibson points out that on average, engagement decreases sharply as students age, but teachers can defy the odds by getting to know their students as individuals and being crystal clear about the purpose for learning, which in turn motivates them to learn more deeply. As she writes in the blog:
Engaging students is not about being entertaining, providing loads of experiments that blow up, or having a colorful slide show to appeal to students who love screen time. Great teachers know that before their students can learn, they need to build positive relationships and shared understandings about what the purpose of school (or their class) is, and work with students to set realistic personal goals that help them develop and internalize their purpose for being at school.
Read the rest of Tonia’s comments, and those of other student engagement experts, at Classroom Q&A With Larry Ferlazzo.