Strengthening Student Engagement: What Do Students Want
Engagement is essential to student success, and many schools are working to strengthen engagement levels in order to improve student outcomes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, engagement is “the degree to which students are fully involved in their educational experience” (Wang, 2016). When students are fully engaged in their education, they are more likely to be successful in their classes and enjoy their school experience.
There are a number of factors that contribute to student engagement, but what students want most is to feel a sense of belonging and to have their learning opportunities challenged. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, a majority of students (71 percent) say that engaging in meaningful work is one of the most important things they look for in a school. Additionally, nearly half (48 percent) of students say that having opportunities to learn from experienced professionals is very important to them, and more than a third (38 percent) say that being able to use their creativity and imagination is important.
When schools focus on meeting the needs of their students, engagement levels will increase. Schools that focus on creating a supportive environment for their students are more likely to see an increase in engagement levels. Student engagement can be increased by offering more opportunities for students to participate in class discussions, providing more challenging coursework, and creating a culture in which students feel valued.
While engagement is essential, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Schools that want to increase engagement levels will need to tailor their strategies to meet the needs of their students. By focusing on meeting students’ needs, schools can create a positive educational experience that will lead to success.