Disengaged students are unmotivated to complete their work, apathetic about learning outcomes, and resistant to participating in classwork. This behaviour can become contagious – threatening the classroom dynamics and undermining the positive community you’ve worked so hard to build with your students. The Glossary of Education Reform says this about engagement, “In education, student engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education. Generally speaking, the concept of “student engagement” is predicated on the belief that learning improves when students are inquisitive, interested, or inspired, and that learning tends to suffer when students are bored, dispassionate, disaffected, or otherwise “disengaged.”
Everyone has suggestions for improving student engagement. A quick Internet search will lead you to hundreds of different ideas for keeping your students actively interested in lessons. We’ve pulled together 2 of the best strategies we could find.
Two key strategies for Student Engagement
1. Keep content relevant: Students often tune out because they think teachers have no clue about anything remotely modern. And while we may have difficulty keeping up with the very latest apps and slang, we can still use up to date, pop culture references to engage reluctant learners.
2.Cultivate mindfulness: Mindfulness is also known as “contemplative pedagogy.” It’s a method through which students can be taught to become more aware, alert, insightful, and connected. Through the use of meditation, journaling, art, music, and dialogue, students can learn about their attention triggers. They can become more attuned to their energy levels to discover why they feel less interested in and connected to certain subjects, classes, or teachers.
Increasing student engagement is no small task. It takes something vastly different to motivate each unique student. However, there are ways to bring your students into more actively learning tasks that require their thoughtfulness and participation. By becoming active, rather than passive learners, students will demonstrate a level of engagement that maybe wasn’t present before. We’d love to know how you get students motivated and engaged. Please comment below
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