Monday, September 27, 2010


This post is about student engagement and the practice of Teaching Artistry. It picks up a stream of thought that was last found somewhere around here.

X. Student Engagement
When art is purposefully integrated into the curriculum, opportunities for student engagement are increased.
Student engagement is the key to understanding. Without it, the doors to understanding remain firmly shut, since no one can force anyone to learn. 
Learning is a choice.
When content, comprised of concepts, facts and figures is framed by an essential question, authentic student engagement is more possible.
The lesson that is constructed of questions always provides more than one doorway to enter.
When content is abstracted from experience; unconnected and irrelevant to student’s lives;  things may be memorized, but not truly understood. This truth is made painfully clear during testing.
The qualities that support high student engagement are relevancy, urgency, and agency.
Relevancy means that something is important enough to pay attention to.
Students will not choose to pay attention if learning is irrelevant to their daily lives.
Relevancy honors the idea that these individuals already existed before you came into the classroom, and they will exist when you leave.
Urgency is the feeling that we have to do this now.
A feeling of urgency comes from structuring lessons as problem-solving experiences, collaboratively and incrementally, we work in the now because something must be figured out before we can move on.
This kind of teaching builds excitement in the room.
Agency is the idea that the individual has power and is allowed to make personal choices within the learning experience.
Given appropriate responsibility and power to make choices, most students will feel more inclined to engage.
All of these qualities arise from the essential question. If the question is boring, so will be the class.

Also: Rakim - The M-stery

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