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Rethinking how we teach : teacher conceptions of how to engage students in secondary schools

conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Lois HarrisLois Harris
Research identifies that certain types of students tend to disengage at school, making them more likely to leave school early and suffer social and economic difficulties. Increasing student engagement is proposed as a solution to this problem. However, there is disagreement amongst educationists about what it means for students to be engagement and how to best engage pupils.To improve conceptual clarity, a phenomenographic study was conducted to investigate how teachers understand the concept of student engagement. Six conceptual meanings of student engagement were found in the data. These were related to three conceptualized ways of supporting engagement. In the final category, teachers suggest that they can best support engagement by utilizing a collaborative approach with students, viewing student engagement as owning and valuing learning. This final position is the theoretically preferred approach. These results show that teachers do not share the same understandings of engagement and that some are more focused on engaging students in schooling rather than learning.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


Parent Title

American Educational Research Association 2008 Annual Meeting Program: Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility.

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New York, New York, USA


American Educational Research Association

Place of Publication

Washington, DC

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Meeting; TBA Research Institute; University of Auckland;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

American Educational Research Association. Meeting