Here at Along, we are energized when we hear about teachers and students making meaningful connections, and when students express excitement about learning. And while we know that student engagement is a critical foundation for building a stronger sense of self and driving a greater ability to learn, it’s difficult to make time to engage with students within the realities of today’s classrooms.
Gradient Learning—the nonprofit offering Along—surveyed over 400 educators from all 50 states to better understand their views on the state of student engagement in education. What we learned from the results is that student engagement, while lacking in many classrooms, is still a top priority for teachers across the country.
The survey found that 80-percent of teachers say they are concerned about their students’ engagement in classroom-based learning. But the results also showed that educators are determined to find solutions to this widespread concern.
Nearly all of the educators surveyed (95 percent) agreed that it should be a priority for every school to support teachers with the tools and strategies they need to increase and sustain student engagement.
The 2021-22 Speak Up Research Project found that half of all students said that they are not engaged in what they are learning in school most of the time. The vast majority of educators surveyed in the Gradient Learning Poll (75 percent) believe those low student engagement levels are related to a lack of intrinsic motivation for learning in school. When students are able to connect and form relationships, it drives a stronger sense of self, a greater ability to learn, and better life outcomes.
“We all intrinsically want to engage our minds in learning, it is the fun part of life,” a high school teacher from Utah responded in the poll. “If you start from the premise that human nature is to want to think and learn, it changes how you teach. Teaching needs to unleash the innate desire to learn.”
The majority of educators said they believe building stronger teacher-student connections (78 percent) and leveraging students’ personal interests and passions within learning (65 percent) can help engage students.
“When students are highly engaged in my classes, I see them coming back to me and sharing how they have experienced what we have learned about in the real world,” a middle school teacher in New Mexico responded in the poll. “They share the connections they have drawn with me and discuss the relevance that they are seeing.”
Adopting Along creates space for consistent connection, invites all students to thrive, and initiates more open dialogue among students and teachers. To learn more about the importance of student engagement, check out the Gradient Learning Poll. If you’d like to start getting to know your students better, sign up for Along today for free!