The “Silent Epidemic” Finds Its Voice: Demystifying How Students View Engagement in Their Learning

McREL researchers Samantha Holquist and Marisa Crowder collaborated with members of student voice organizations in Oregon and Kentucky to provide us with a deeper level of understanding about what may be shaping students’ engagement in the school community. Their research report is comprehensive, offering many insights from the students’ perspective and proposing a framework for understanding student engagement. A summary of recommendations from the report appears below:

Recommendations for Supporting Student Engagement

  • Collaborate with students to identify the support they need to engage in learning.
  • Foster a school environment where students, teachers, administrators, and counselors can build relationships. 
  • Create classroom environments that engage and support students.
  • Provide students with multiple and diverse options for how they can engage in their learning.
  • Connect class content to real-world situations.
  • Incorporate instructional strategies used in humanities classes into STEM classes and vice versa.

Recommendations Specific to Virtual Learning/COVID-19

  • Support students in accessing resources for virtual learning.
  • Build a virtual communication infrastructure with students.
  • Show students that you care.
  • Normalize and promote “meal prep” style assignments (providing a list of assignments at the beginning of the week and then explicitly connecting each assignment to a lesson taught during the week).

For more, see: