One of the most significant challenges educators face today is that students have become compliant workers who finish the tasks assigned to them but who are not truly engaged in the learning process. In this fall 2017 edition of The Source, we focus our attention on student engagement. Student engagement is the willingness of a student to fully participate in the learning process or instructional activity. AdvancED spends more time in more classrooms than any other organization in the world. As the leading expert in school improvement and accreditation services, we know firsthand that engagement is a major indicator of learning and development, and is correlated to improved attendance, reduced disciplinary incidents, school climate, and more. At the same time, we know student engagement is multidimensional, influenced by context and responsive to intervention.

Our research shows that student engagement is a vital component of quality education. AdvancED recently conducted a pilot in three states, where we looked at measuring student engagement with our eProve™ surveys tool. You can read about our findings in Measuring Student Engagement with eProve surveys.

Focusing excessively on adult behaviors has often helped undermine traditional continuous improvement efforts. AdvancED data show a positive relationship between a vibrant learner environment (as gauged by classroom observation) and overall school quality as measured by the Index of Education Quality® (IEQ®). AdvancED developed the IEQ to measure and compare educational quality among varying types of schools, systems and learning environments across the globe. Student Engagement is what we look for in one of the four learning environments that make up the IEQ.

The more opportunities students have to be owners of their learning, collaborate with other students, and participate in activities that require movement, voice, and high-order thought, the higher the school’s overall rating—and we see evidence of a better quality education being provided. If students feel school is boring, too hard or has no connection to the real world, then any task, no matter how authentic or research-based it is, is regarded as “busy work.” However, engaging work is motivating work and research shows that student engagement is associated with several positive outcomes. We have assembled several education thought leaders to share their expertise on the topic of student engagement.

Inside this edition…

As always, the suggested reading section at the end of this publication offers additional resources on the topic. Subscribe to The Source here.