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Deeper Thinking about Engagement

For Those Who Teach

Deeper Thinking about Engagement

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Student engagement—Could it be the most common phrase in the teaching-learning domains of higher education? It’s has to be in the running—essential for learning with unquestioned importance and dutifully intoned by everyone. I was intrigued by a recent account (Spiker, 2020) of a teacher’s exploration of engagement motivated by dissatisfaction with her understanding of it. I wonder whether the way most of us think about engagement isn’t somewhat muddled. It’s one of those overused terms whose meaning we take for granted. We think we know what it means but then struggle to define it.

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