Student engagement

Harrington, Kathy, Sinfield, Sandra and Burns, Tom (2016) Student engagement. In: Enhancing Teaching Practice in Higher Education. SAGE, London. ISBN 9781446202845


There are numerous avenues for improving student engagement. This chapter focusses on the responsibility of the teacher set within the context of the contemporary landscape of Higher Education. We place emphasis on the lived experience of being a teacher – the unique perspectives, challenges, limits and potential capacities of the role – and heighten awareness of how engaging with the complexity of the learning relationship can open up possibilities for reducing barriers to students’ meaningful engagement with their learning. The underlying assumption is that student engagement is fundamentally linked to staff engagement: with students, with the process of teaching and with oneself as a teacher; and furthermore, that the way in which we as teachers engage, or do not, with students has a significant influence on how students engage with us and with their learning.

This chapter explores:

• staff engagement as an agency for student engagement
• the educational landscape of engagement: barriers and levers
• benefits of engagement for students and teachers
• principles and practices to foster engaged teaching and learning
• examples of engagement within and alongside the curriculum

Harrington et al (2016) Student Engagement (chapter 6 - proof copy).pdf - Accepted Version

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