In the midst of a pandemic and ongoing fluctuations in K-12 learning environments, understanding what drives student engagement is more critical than ever. We hope this report gives you insight into how teachers perceive engagement in their classrooms — and how certain instructional practices might improve teacher-student relationships and engagement in the future.
After conducting a survey of thousands of educators from all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico, we’ve found that teachers value learning experiences that address the whole child creatively, cognitively, and emotionally.
Furthermore, and perhaps even more importantly, teachers believe that the foundation for effective learning experiences is a strong and meaningful relationship with their students. Once that relationship is formed, engagement becomes much more achievable.
This report synthesizes the perspective of teachers overall, by grade level and by subject taught, and explains how teachers might implement these findings in the classroom.
Forming Teacher-Student Relationships
Forming teacher-student relationships was highlighted as the top instructional practice for driving engagement across teachers of all grade levels and subjects, with a third of all teachers identifying it as the single most-effective practice.
Making Course Content Relevant to Students
Making course content relevant to students shifts the focus to the student and what energizes them to learn, rather than simply relaying information from a textbook.
Communicating Clear Expectations
When students understand what they need to do and aren't afraid of forgetting directions, they are more likely to take risks in their explorations, which can lead to tremendous growth.
Practicing Hands-On Learning
By giving students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a tangible manner, practicing hands-on learning can provide a deeper learning experience.
Linking New Information to Prior Knowledge
When a student can see new learning as an extension of something they already know, they feel empowered and motivated in their learning.
Facilitating Student Participation
Be it verbal, written, or through another method, teachers emphasize that this instructional practice first and foremost requires intentionality, ensuring that students understand that their participation is both desired and important to the topic at hand.
Powerful insights into student engagement, best instructional practices, and more.