As I travel, visit schools and engage with school leaders I observe an increased interest in student engagement. To temper my excitement is the fact that student engagement is defined, implemented and integrated very differently in the schools I visit. Some consider student engagement as giving some students a voice, others focus on extracurricular activities and others support student engagement through teaching and learning strategies.
My colleagues and I identified a set of questions commonly asked as schools consider, adopt and/or adapt student engagement as a school-wide strategy and commitment. In the recently released Weaving Student Engagement Into the Core Practices of Schools report by the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network we respond to the questions and offer strategies and resources to assist schools to integrate and sustain student engagement.
In the report we:
- Define “student engagement” and identify key elements;
- Examine key findings from the research;
- Share effective practices and sustainability strategies from the field;
- Articulate implications for stakeholders; and
- Provide resources to inform and influence education stakeholders in support of student engagement as a dropout prevention strategy.
A major theme woven throughout the report is that student engagement is an effective dropout prevention strategy but has the potential to be part of a comprehensive strategy to engage students to fully develop their academic, social-emotional, civic, and career knowledge and skills. Such an approach requires schools to focus on individual student engagement, group and social collaborations, family and community engagement, and the school’s climate to ensure congruence among activities and stakeholders in support of student engagement.
I encourage you to review the report that can be found here. I believe student engagement can be an effective strategy to deepen student learning as they develop attributes necessary to be successful in school and in life.