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Rethinking how we teach : teacher conceptions of how to engage students in secondary schools
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 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.