Does it all come down to student engagement?

I reviewed three resources so far today and they all point to the importance of keeping students engaged.  We all know – when students are engaged, they learn.  The problem is that engagement is a tricky, moving target, different for every student in every subject area.  So, then differentiation becomes the name of the game.  And, there are so many layers of differentiation, making it difficult to accomplish well.  And, then part of me (the old school part) thinks, do kids really need to be engaged all the time?  Shouldn’t they learn that some things are not fun but still need to be learned?  Alas, I’m rambling… hopefully, this ramble has sparked some thinking for you and perhaps you’ll find the resources interesting and relevant…        

  • School of One – overview video that describes this innovative model that takes differentiation to an entirely new level, using the power of technology
  • A response to ‘cash for grades’ – an opinion piece that summarizes that incentives only work for input behaviors but perhaps the question really should focus on what we teach and how.  With the thinking being that if the content and instruction are engaging, then maybe incentives are not needed. 
  • A new study at the University of Texas that shows choice (real choice) leads to greater student engagement and enhanced performance.