Student and Teacher Engagement

“…the greatest effects on student learning occurs when the teachers become learners of their own teaching and when the student become their own teachers”- John Hattie 

I was first drawn to this quote because it discussed the idea of reflective teaching. There is no such thing as the “same student” or the “same class”, so lessons should alter to help all students succeed. There are times when some teacher, consciously or unconsciously, put their own biases into their lesson, which in turn teaches students from a place of prejudice. It also shows the importance of students being passionate and involved with their learning.


Saskatchewan’s three emphasis of learning are for students to have a sense of self, community, and place; as well the goal is for all students to become lifelong learners and engaged citizens. Allowing students to have self-directed studies, especially in areas that they enjoy, can increase their self-confidence and inspire students to continue learning outside of school hours. By allowing students to express themselves, the school will become a healthier community. Self or peer directed studies allow for more work within the community, and students could research different areas of the city then visit them to see the large impact places have on a community.

This goes along side another quote of Hattie’s, which is…

“It is teachers who have created positive teacher student relationships that are more likely to have the above average effects on students”.

– John Hattie

Knowing and acknowledging a teacher can impact their student’s learning, with something as simple as a “hello” or “how are you” can help a student feel more connected. Learning alongside students can have a large positive impact on how a student views school. By learning alongside the students, teachers can create a positive teacher student relationship. This can help unconscious psychological area of schools, because the teacher stands at the front, while the students are in desks it is as if they are towering over the students but allowing each student to have a chance to teach gives a sense of equality. When a teacher learns alongside their students it builds a positive learning environment.

Impossibilities or set backs

At one point it needs to be accepted that a teacher will have the knowledge and understanding that the students are learning.  There will be times in which a teacher might need to teach in the traditional way, but allowing to students to have discussion within that time can help with their memory of the subject. Assessment and meeting the curriculum criteria can become challenging when allowing students more independence. To avoid having frequent small subject specific assignments, try using multiple outcomes from different subject areas so students can still see improvement.

These quotes show the importance of students being noticed, and if a student is noticed they are more likely to be engaged with school. A student that is told to sit still and listen to the teacher all day, like a factory assembly line will struggle to connect because there is no student teacher connection as well as no student subject connection. If a student is allowed to choose subject matter to study and the teacher has discussions with the student, that student will be more engaged because they have a connection to their learning.

Links to quotes

Respond to the following prompt on your blog: In a post, unpack that quote. Think about what it makes possible and impossible in education. What does it say about the teacher, about the student? How does it related to your own understandings of curriculum and of school? Take this as a dry run for your first assignment!


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