8 Replies Latest reply on Mar 26, 2016 3:07 PM by glen_w

    Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?


      Elliott Levine recently wrote - The Demise of the Education Buzzword “Student Engagement” | K-12 Blueprint  where he shared his rationale on why he is pledging to remove "student engagement" from his vocabulary and replace it with language that will get students more "invested" in their learning. 


      Until I read his post I hadn't really thought about the differences between these words and types of thinking.  Upon reflection I agree. I recall having a discussion with my son after finishing up his freshman year of high school.He was in between grades in a chemistry class - he didn't see the value in getting one letter grade over the other, when in his mind they were both good grades. We visited and toured a college campus.  After the tour I asked him if he could see himself going to school there. He said he could. I then directed him to look at the admission requirements and see if he had what it took to get into school there. He quickly realized that he couldn't settle for grades.That if he wanted to have a choice about where he went for his higher education he had to invest in his current classes, both on selection and on academics.That conversation turned my son into a student who was invested in his learning so that he had a choice on where he could continue his learning. 


      I think that we want students invested in their learning. What do you think?

        • Re: Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?

          I have often considered the term "Engaged" as a synonym for "Invested." In reading the article, I agree there is a difference between these two words. I now will refer to student investment as I look at my classes. I think a truly invested student will go beyond appearing to participate as he/she works to make the learning his/her own. I'm excited to share this article with my principal, department chairs at my school, and our district PD trainers.

          • Re: Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?

            I truly agree with the statement that we should "see and treat students as our customers" which then would "make the concept of student centered learning become more of a reality." Although my primary goal is to facilitate the teaching and learning of teachers, I always accepted the notion that the students are the customers. Like any other organization, we should always seek out what the customers want and need. If students are able to actively be involved in the process of their learning it would make it more student centered, but we know that is not truly possible with all of the mandated state and local testing and regulations educators have to abide by. Being 100 percent student-centered is not always possible in my opinion.

            • Re: Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?

              It is difficult for me to accept the admission criteria to get into good colleges.I have been telling my daughters not focus on marks/grades but to study for learning.I do wonder if that is right as the world is competitive.Again,do we push our students to score higher or aim higher?

              • Re: Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?

                I enjoyed reading this article and Elliott Levine makes a good argument for leaving behind the term "student engagement". I loved his story about Mickey and Munchkin and how the engagement of a new pet quickly disappears. Any parent with a pet knows this all too well. 

                As an educator who works with high school students in the classroom every day, I still believe in striving for student engagement. Which simply means, I'm planning lessons and activities that catch the students' attention and curiosity. 

                When the teaching and learning in a classroom is engaging and relevant to students, this then can lead to getting more students invested in their learning.

                In my opinion, they are two different things. Engagement happens during a lesson or activity. Investment in learning happens when we talk to students about the importance of what they are learning, the reason why they should strive to do well and the relevance of what we teach.

                I realize the words "student engagement" are overused right now in ed talk. Perhaps we simply need to say it like it is: Are your students attentive and on task in your classroom during your lesson? Or are they tuned out and not interested in what is happening during your lesson?

                  • Re: Shift from Engaged Students to Invested Students. What do you think?

                    I had this same discussion with my principal last week. Together we determined a student will have difficulty being Invested in a class that he or she is not engaged in. We are working to help teachers make sure their lessons engage students or as you mentioned "catch the student's attention and curiosity." I agree students may become more invested when the learning is relevant.


                    Do you think it is possible for a teacher to "perceive" students are attentive and on-task when in reality the students are disengaged from their learning?