Strategies and resources for curriculum planning – engagement
Resources about engagement supporting content from ‘Curriculum planning for every student in every classroom’ online professional learning available in MyPL.
Engagement – the ‘why’ of learning
'Engagement refers to the extent to which students identify with and value schooling outcomes and participate in academic and non-academic school activities' (Willms 2003, cited by What works Best 2020 update, 34).
Student learning is enhanced by increased engagement. Students vary in the ways they can be engaged or motivated to learn. Since each student is unique, no single strategy will successfully engage every student in every classroom. Teachers who build positive relationships, and know their students well, provide meaningful options to engage them in their learning.
These questions can guide you when curriculum planning. Strategies to support student engagement and links to further resources are grouped under each guiding question.
- Ensure all options are available for all students.
- Affirm efforts toward achievement.
- Plan appropriate levels of challenge and complexity.
- High expectations
- What works best: 2020 update (PDF 1.08 MB), chapter 1
- What works best in practice, chapter 1
- appropriate challenge and complexity including pre-assessment of student knowledge, understanding and skills to inform teaching and learning
- Embed student voice, choice, respect, and cultural safety for all students.
- Support academic participation and social connection.
- Create a safe environment with flexible learning spaces and predictable routines.
- student voice participation and leadership
- cultural inclusion
- cultural safety
- plan effective teacher questioning and vary response methods, such as turn and talk, response cards/gestures and choral response
- vary the sequence and pace of learning
- optimise the learning environment
- effective classroom management – use a range of tools, such as calendars, charts, timers and cues.
- classroom management and wellbeing
- Display and regularly refer to learning and assessment intentions and success criteria written in student-friendly language.
- Show a range of different work samples or finished products to demonstrate success criteria.
- Provide timely feedback to students based on success criteria.
- Provide options for students to make connections and activate prior knowledge.
- Use known social or cultural information to spark curiosity in a new topic.
- Make abstract concepts concrete by using practical and authentic learning experiences.
- Use explicit teaching to pre-teach new, unfamiliar vocabulary.
- provide multiple means of engagement
- recruit student interest – for example, pop culture (memes), texts, videos, online video clips, stimulus pictures, current events and real-world examples.
- optimise relevance, value and authenticity
- activate or supply background knowledge – have students reflect on personal experience, prior reading and world knowledge.
- explicit teaching
- Give students choice and autonomy in their learning.
- Offer multi-modal technologies.
- Provide options for students to monitor and reflect on their progress.
- Provide a range of prompts and scaffolds to develop independence.
- student choice
- student autonomy
- strategies from the digital learning selector
- accessibility options on a range of technology and assistive technology, such as text to speech and voice typing
- peer and self-assessment strategies – primary assessment
- facilitate personal coping skills and strategies
- Encourage questions from students.
- Model how to learn from mistakes.
- Encourage the use of home language to clarify understanding.
- Develop problem-solving strategies and provide options to seek help.