As I was looking up some articles about how to engage middle school students I realized that I needed to find some articles that further explain why students are not engaged. I learned that as the students go up in grade level they are not as engaged. In the article, Grabbing students by Janelle Collier mentions that Education Weekly did a survey and found that, “only 40 percent of the teachers and administrators who participated believed that most of their students were highly engaged and motivated (2015, page 58). This fact surprised me because this means that the other 60 percent of students are not engaged in school. As a result, students grades will go down and they may fall behind. This statistic really made me want to figure out ways a teacher can engage their students.

As I continued to do some more research, I decided to look up how technology can engage students. I found out that technology can help improve students’ retention rate and allow them to learn at their own pace (Janelle Cox et al., 2009-2016). In other words, if teachers use technology then some students will understand the material better. Some other ways that teachers can increase engagement is by using technology to make visuals, to allow students to make their own choices, and to let students connect with other peers around the world (Wardlow et al., 2014).

While I was researching, I also started to think back to when I was in middle school. I realized that some of my friends were in Montessouri while others were not. This made think that I should research if students are more engaged in a task-oriented classroom or a performed based classroom. One article mentions that in a task-oriented classroom students are more focused on effort and improvement which directly correlates with higher grades and engagement (Eric Anderman and Michelle Maehr qtd. in Maday et al., 2008). In contrast, some students in a performed based classroom feel that they have to compete for grades with their peers.

Next week I am planning on observing a few different classroom at Chippewa Middle School. I am also hoping to interview a few teachers. I think talking to teachers and observing classrooms will give me even a better of how middle schools are engaged. I believe that engaging students is an important piece of how students do in school. I am excited to keep researching and finding more information on how middle school teachers can boost the engagement of students.

Collier, L. (2015, June). Grabbing students. Monitor of Psychology, 46(6), 58.

Cox, J. (2009-2016). Benefits of Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved November 30, 2016, from http://www.teachhub.com/benefits-technology-classroom

Maday T. (2008). Stuck in the Middle: Strategies to Engage Middle-Level Learners. Retrieved from: http://www.adlit.org/article/27334/

Wardlow, L. (2014, May). Teaching in a Digital Age. Retrieved from https://www.pearson.com/content/dam/one-dot-com/one-dot-com/global/dev-stuff/pdf/Blogs/Research/DigitalAge_EngagementScience_042914.pdf

CC BY-SA 4.0 Update on Research Paper by Lauren is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

3 Comments
  1. Tevy 1 year ago

    Lauren,
    I really liked your post. You seemed to have learned a lot of stuff. I also found it interesting that 60 percent of students are not engaged. I was in a Montessori classroom and found it to be a very good fit for me, but not everyone is the same. Good luck on interviewing teachers!

  2. Lena 1 year ago

    Hi Lauren,
    Is a performance based classroom like traditional while task-oriented is montessori? I hope you enjoy going to a middle school and looking at how the students are engaged. I feel like the pressure that is set on students leaves us without wanting to engage in the classroom. Our brains are on overdrive most of the time and seven hours of full concentration on not what we want to learn about is hard. I can see why many students aren’t engaged in class.

  3. Sarah 1 year ago

    Hi Lauren, I love this article. Quality of education is dropping around the nation and I believe this is an important issue. I love how you researched this topic and backed up your thesis with solid evidence. In the first paragraph you mentioned that kids are disengaged, but why? I think telling your audience why kids are disengaged might be a point you might consider adding. Otherwise, really great job with evidence and explanation. I look forward to hearing what teachers have to say about the situation.

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