Any teacher who has distracted or absent-minded students already knows how important student engagement is. Reaching a group of unmotivated, unresponsive adolescents is one of the most difficult tasks any professional could hope to take on. That’s because student engagement is essential to basic success in education. More so than just about any other factor, engagement will affect how well a student performs in a given class. To illustrate that point, here are four reasons why student engagement is important and a vital aspect to forming a rich learning environment:
Student Engagement is Contagious
Young children in particular are prone to mimic the behavior of their peers. However, it’s easy to understand how quickly disengagement can spread throughout a classroom. If a few students “check out” then the rest of the class may begin to lose interest in the subject as well. In fact, human children are more likely to imitate a group and forgo their own preferences than chimpanzees. That’s why it’s important for teachers to ensure that everyone in their class feels connected and energized during school hours.
Student Engagement Breeds Healthy Habits
Students who are engaged in their schoolwork almost inevitably develop important skills that go beyond the physical space of the classroom. Speaking up in class, completing homework assignments, and collaborating with other classmates are all examples of actions that require a high level of engagement but little else. Yet, the abilities to speak with confidence in public settings, finish assignments on time, and work well with others are universally lauded in the “real world.”
Engagement Prepares Students for College
Though a large number of current high-school students intend to go to college, considerably fewer actually complete their degree. In many instances, how engaged a student is will indicate their chances of success in college. Students who are engaged are prepared to study for long periods of time and essentially “go the extra mile.” A recent study in The Journal of Experimental Psychology, established a connection between engagement and self perception and a willingness to do extra work. According to the piece, students were much more likely to re-write an essay after receiving meaningful feedback from their teacher as opposed to cookie-cutter instructions. When a student feels their teacher is personally invested in their academic future, they will become more engaged in the work as a result.
Note also that student engagement statistically reaches its low-point during high school –– or just before students begin to apply for college. Without that motivational spark, though, it’s incredibly difficult to shoulder the responsibilities required to pass college courses.
Engaged Students are Happy Students
Plain and simple, the more engaged students are in the classroom, the happier they are. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that students who feel welcome to express their opinions, explore new ideas, and take an active role in their education generally have positive outlooks. After all, who isn’t happier when they’re interested and excited in their work?
The Bottom Line
Student engagement is a fluid metric. By that, we mean students’ engagement levels change frequently –– sometimes over a long period of time, and sometimes from one class to the next. As such, teachers should look for innovative solutions to integrate all of their class in learning activities geared toward increasing engagement. To help teachers do just that, we developed the Qball –– the #1 throwable microphone ball. Qball is the perfect tool to capture students’ attention and keep them interested and active throughout the day. You can use the Qball for regular classroom Q and A sessions or for more involved group activities! Don’t wait another minute –– click here to buy your Qball today!