What is Engagement? How can I build engaging activities for my students?


I have never been confused with Ms. Frizzle, the zany teacher from The Magic School Bus series. However, my students historically (some of them, hysterically) comment on the intensity with which they approached their work in their tenure with me. Why?

I believe relationships between students and teachers play a major role in students being willing to do what the teacher asks them to do. This is essentially Marzano's definition of engagement - the student does what the teacher asks him/her to do.

This falls short of Schlechty's (of "Working on the Work" fame) notion of engagement. On Schlechty's scale "doing what the teacher asks" would be ritual or strategic compliance at best.

I believe relationships built on honor and respect between people (and not roles and power traditional to school) coupled with quality tasks is a formula for engagement.

The Art and Science of Teaching: A Comprehensive Framework for Effective Instruction by Robert Marzano speaks to the use of games, fast paced instruction, and other "engaging" things teachers can do

Schlechty Center on Engagement See other resources from the Schlechty Center at Tools for Change.

What happens when you think Bloom's Taxonomy, high-yield strategies, and engaging qualities simultaneously?
John Antonetti's learning cube!
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