Strategies for Engagement #6

…to extend their ways of participating

Learners can extend their ways of participating and engaging with what they learn, becoming more active and less passive. Becoming active and engaged does not necessarily imply a certain type of activity; listening can be active. Being actively engaged means learning becomes a two-way experience and learners can be challenged and changed by what they learn. For example, learners could be asked in a languages lesson what they would give to if they were given £50,000. This engages pupils in brainstorming about giving rather than getting. This active connection means the teacher needs to exercise responsibility concerning what learners connect with.

  • Learners can extend their listening and looking skills. This is the opposite of quick ‘mastery’. Students/pupils can learn slow reading skills in English, allowing the time for the text to speak to them. They can develop their looking skills in art using questions to interrogate an artwork, and they can develop respectful listening skills in music using pictures to aid listening.
  • Learners can expand their imaginative participation by using a range of creative techniques, for example, creating a storyboard for a music video to accompany a German song in order to expand their understanding of love. They could engage with a new way of thinking about a story in English/literacy by seeing words as gifts and record the ‘gifts’ the story could make to them on slips inside a gift bag.
  • Learners could engage in new experiences such as cooking for the elderly or using their skills to make a poster for a community day as a service to others as part of a topic on communities.

By encouraging pupils to extend their participation the way is open for a more active involvement in learning and the possibility of what is learned leading the learner to consider life from a different perspective.