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#SquirrelsChat Recap: Student Engagement

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Student engagement is the name of the game in education. Every educator wants students to be invested in their learning and take the necessary steps to achieve their goals.

Consider the following actions.

  • Turning in work on time
  • Participating in a class discussion
  • Attending class
  • Raising a hand to answer a question
  • Listening to instructions

All can be regarded as student engagement depending on the educator’s views. Broad topics like student engagement require a framework to base ideas off of in order to bring clarity to the topic as a whole. While the concept seems straightforward, it can take on many different meanings in education.

February’s second #SquirrelsChat focused on the work of Phillip Schlechty to guide our discussion about student engagement. This recap covers strategies to de-escalate a rebellious situation, encourage active participation, avoid minimum engagement, empower student voice and choice and more!

Join #SquirrelsChat the third Thursday of the month for the best education tips, strategies and ideas at 8 p.m. ET. You can stay up to date on chat topics and moderators by following us on Twitter (@Squirrels). 

De-escalating a rebellious situation

Let’s face it. Sometimes rebellious situations are unavoidable. But by working to understand the situation, keeping your cool, being present and even rehearsing responses, you can ease the problem effectively. 

Encouraging active participation

From talking tokens, to synchronous text for collaboration, to formative assessment, there are many ways in which educators can encourage active participation. Remember to always let students know you are invested in their education and want them to be successful.

Avoiding minimum engagement through meaningful & varied assessments

Understanding how a student learns (audio, visual, tactile) can make all the difference when it comes to student engagement. Avoid the “one size fits all” approach and give students a chance to choose based on their learning preferences.

Going beyond the “game of school”

According to Schlechty, strategic compliance can often trick the observer into thinking the student is engaged, but upon further review, they aren’t at all. To avoid this, keep students involved and celebrate their successes no matter how big or small.

Entry points to empower students to have voice and choice

Allowing students voice and choice in the classroom creates more engagement in their learning and empowers them to become self-directed learners.

Using Schlechty’s framework to enhance conversations with colleagues

Use the framework discussed in this chat to educate a colleague and help them take measures to enhance their own students’ engagement. Take a minute to re-familiarize yourself with the levels of engagement.

Don’t miss the next #SquirrelsChat on March 15 at 8 p.m. ET!

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Keirsten Heckel

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