Kids Speak Out on Engagement!

creative commons licensed (BY) flickr photo by Cristiano Betta: http://flickr.com/photos/cristiano_betta/3159607097

This Edutopia post represents one teacher’s quest to better understand what engages her students. She surveyed 220 eighth-graders and noted that all of the responses fell under 10 categories, including working with peers, working with technology, connecting the real world to class work, and clearly love what you do.

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“A while back, I was asked, “What engages students?” Sure, I could respond, sharing anecdotes about what I believed to be engaging, but I thought it would be so much better to lob that question to my own eighth graders. The responses I received from all 220 of them seemed to fall under 10 categories, representing reoccurring themes that appeared again and again. So, from the mouths of babes, here are my students’ answers to the question: “What engages students?”

1. Working with their peers

“Middle-school students are growing learners who require and want interaction with other people to fully attain their potential.”

“Teens find it most interesting and exciting when there is a little bit of talking involved. Discussions help clear the tense atmosphere in a classroom and allow students to participate in their own learning.”

2. Working with technology

“I believe that when students participate in “learning by doing” it helps them focus more. Technology helps them to do that. Students will always be extremely excited when using technology.”

“We have entered a digital age of video, Facebook, Twitter, etc., and they [have] become more of a daily thing for teens and students. When we use tech, it engages me more and lets me understand the concept more clearly.” …

You can read all of Heather Wolper-Gawron‘s excellent post here.

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