Student Engagement and its Significance
Student engagement has been defined as “the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education.” This at its most basic level, refers to a student’s level of interest and participation in a specific class.
Researcher George Kuh, has asserted the opinion that engagement isn’t the responsibility of students alone but rather is reciprocal, giving us a definition that includes “both the time and energy students invest in educationally purposeful activities and the effort institutions devote to using effective educational performance.” Some of the surveys on student engagement have pointed out that teachers who feel engaged with their work will have an easier time helping students feel engaged with school.
The mind is a wonderful gift that has an impact on many aspects of our lives. Every mind is a little different from the next, with its own set of emotions and interests. The need to be actively engaged, however, is a common thread that runs through everyone’s thinking. We want to be informed; we want to be a part of something. Children are very curious about their surroundings and are filled vivid imaginations. They are eager to put their skills and abilities to the test and are also keen to express themselves as individuals. It is hence a great opportunity for the teacher to observe and use all these traits to create a more engaging learning atmosphere in the classroom.
When you promote student engagement in the classroom, it doesn’t just benefits students, instead it benefits everyone. It can be thought of as the thread that binds all aspects of student learning and development together. It’s an important concept that, when accomplished, works wonders for both the students and the classroom as a whole.
Some of the major benefits of student engagement are:
- A natural interest in learning: As educators, our ultimate goal is to develop lifelong learners. When students get engrossed in classes that are enjoyable, engaging, or relevant to their life, they become motivated to learn more and see the subject as worthwhile of their time and effort. Effort that is enjoyable is less likely to feel like work.
- A positive learning atmosphere: Engaging classroom activities not only allow students to enjoy your class, but they also put you in a good mood as a teacher because your work becomes less of a chore. That will be readily seen by your students.
- Adjustments in behaviour: Kids of all ages are quite bright and inventive when it comes to coming up with ways to keep themselves entertained. If the lesson fails to hold their attention, they will seek out other forms of entertainment, often of a disruptive or destructive nature. Engaging lessons necessitate the students’ full attention and energy. When a student’s energy is focused on learning, there is little left over for misbehaving.
- Improved academic results: It’s a simple fact that happy children learn more effectively. One of the most effective metrics of engagement is student participation; when students want to be in your classroom and aren’t staring at the clock, they pay attention and remember more information. As a result, you’ll get better scores.
- Increases Self-Efficacy and Competency: Everyone experiences difficulties. Challenges can lead to progress in certain cases, but they can also overwhelm in others. As instructors, there should be an effort to provide pleasant and useful challenges for pupils in order to help them learn and grow. Student involvement is also boosted by creating a demanding teaching atmosphere. The competency also helps the students to push their limits and develop more skills.
- Encourages more teamwork: There’s nothing better than walking into a classroom full of engaged pupils. Your pupils will feel more at home in your class if you push them to learn, whether in groups or individually, and they will undoubtedly trust and rely on you when things go tough.
The students who aren’t engaged in class become enraged and end up being the problem child of the class. So, it is the responsibility of teachers to put in efforts and create in activities that challenges, involves and interacts with all the students of a class. The transformation which the teachers can witness if they worked diligently on having maximum engagement in the class would inspire them to work even harder in developing learning objectives that would engage more students. Above all, engaging classroom activities encourage students to participate in their own education i.e., they enjoy to be part of the process.