Sunday, December 31, 2006

Engaged Learners

Many new curriculum talk about "engaging learners". For example, our new state curriculum framework for years 11/12 is about "enaging with all students in the learning that will empower them to create and realise purposeful futures."

I've been reading some blog posts questioning what it means to be an 'engaged learner', what's new about 'engaging learners' and how you might assess 'engagement'. Some good provocative questions - and they got me thinking...

While I can point out engaged learners in most classes at my school it is clear that not every student is engaged - some are disenaged and some (many?) are passive learners. But before jumping too quickly into how I 'know' this I thought I should start to map what makes an engaged learner. Then perhaps I can talk about whether it can be measured...

From my own experience and reading things like this and this I've mapped out the following (still needs work):

The blue boxes represent engaged learning processes while the green boxes show some common curriculum goals/intended outcomes. (If you use CMaps and want to edit it you can find it in Public spaces (2) --> Curriculum 2006 (userid:hent password:blog)


No wonder enagement is hard to pin down - let alone assess. On the other hand most teachers can tell when a student is really engaged in their learning... mostly through observation and conversation - you can often see it in their body language and hear it in their voice.

I think I'll let this sit a while before thinking about if and/or how one might measure the degree of enagement...

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3 Comments:

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Artichoke said...

Hi Roger,
Love the C map - as you note just agreeing on what engagement might be wrt learning is tricky enough - without trying to figure out how to measure it -

I've just been reading a report on Student Engagement: measuring and enhancing engagement with learning. a symposium held for tertiary educators in NZ in March this year. With two Australian experts Hamish Coates ACER and Prof Richard James (Univ Melbourne. It might give you a couple of extra categories to add to the map.

They don't come to any easy conclusions BUT it seems that from a tertiary perspective "engagement in learning typically refers to the amount, type, and intensity of investment students make in their educational experiences.On the face of it the basic concept is simple: in general the more time and effort students devote to and the more deeply engaged they are in activities that promote learning, the more and better they learn and the more likely they are to persist and succeed."

 
At 7:38 PM, Blogger Roger said...

Thanks for the link. I've added it to a few others I've found: http://del.icio.us/py10/engagement

I'll go and do a bit more reading and thinking and mapping...

 
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