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5/11/16 7:30 AM Guest

What benefits of student engagement are vital for success in academics?

*This post has been updated for accuracy.

The key to student engagement is generating interest in subjects that they may otherwise find “boring.” Educators need to use both creativity and knowledge of their students to create lessons that foster engagement.

But what, you may ask are the benefits of increased student engagement?


Discouraging Dropouts

According to Statistic Brain, 8.1% of high school students dropout. Even though this number has been improving over the past few years, it is important that we continue to reduce it.

High school dropouts generally are less successful and more likely to be incarcerated than those who graduate. It is crucial that educators react to changing student needs in order to mitigate the risk of these high school dropouts.

The reason many students ultimately dropout is a lack of engagement with their education. If we can give children a sense of belonging in the classroom, they are far more likely to experience success, which will ultimately lead to higher graduation rates.

 

Involving Your Students in School Activities

It is no coincidence that disengaged students have the least amount of involvement in school activities. Why is this? Students that do not feel engaged with their education often do the bare minimum to just get by. They are not likely to put in extra effort outside of what is absolutely required.

The solution to this problem is simple. Educators must make a special effort to encourage these students to become more involved. As students become more involved in school activities, they will have a greater sense of belonging, which will ultimately lead to greater academic success.

 

Reducing Class Disruptions

Every educator can think of a scenario where lessons must be taught repeatedly. This might be necessary because of the difficult subject material or because the students are distracted.

In every classroom, there are also students who often speak out of turn and disrupt the lesson for everyone. More often than not, these kids are acting out because they do not feel adequately engaged in the learning process. Students are more receptive to lessons if they feel interested and engaged in the subject.

Outside of the obvious benefits to student success, fewer disruptions also make teachers more efficient and effective. Instructors who aren’t required to constantly revisit topics receive additional free time to teach new material more thoroughly.

 

Increasing Attendance

According to Get Schooled, students who miss ten or more days are 20% less likely to graduate from high school.

How many students do you think would miss their big soccer or basketball game? Probably not many. So why is it so difficult for educators to develop students that are as passionate about learning as they are about their extracurricular activities? At this point, you may have guessed that engagement is the key to generating this passion.

Once these students are engaged, we can expect them to become more active in the classroom. With increased activity comes a greater sense of responsibility towards the subject and school in general. School can become a sense of pride and enjoyment, which makes these students far less likely to miss class.

 

Fostering Interaction and Community

It is no secret that children have become increasingly dependent on and consumed by technology. Fifty years ago they played outside together, now they sit alone for hours playing video games. What they are really missing out on is interaction with other children and building a sense of community.

One of the most effective ways to socialize is through our schools. A majority of the friends that I have were made through the school system. Whether it was elementary, middle, or high school, the interactions I had during and after school enabled me to make many friends.

Students who aren’t engaged in school often become removed from school activities, which can hinder interaction with others. If we make a conscious effort to engage students, they will have more positive feelings towards school and will be more likely to engage with their fellow students.

 

Implementing One Solution with Many Benefits

Even with the vast improvements that have been made to the education system, kids are still falling through the cracks. Every child deserves a fair shot at a good education and the benefits that come along with it.

Many problems that people encounter in life start to develop in their school years. Taking aggressive, positive steps today to engage students and improve their overall school experience can help prevent future issues.

Today's blog post written by Eric Walters

 

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Image courtesy of UBC Library Communications