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).