Thursday, September 10, 2020

Unmotivated and disengaged students – Continued


Here are extracts from another article I found on the internet that is from the Australian Government.



How do we define disengagement? Disengagement has been defined and redefined many different ways, both within and across disciplines. ‘Disengagement’ is typically used interchangeably with ‘engagement’, where each term represents two ends of the same continuum.


My comment: I have called these kids as ‘Shut down Kids’. This is not imaginary as there are many articles on the internet on disengaged students.

Why is disengagement important? Disengaged students are at risk of a range of adverse academic and social outcomes. Most forms of disengagement, such as absence, disruptive behaviour, and poor school connectedness, are associated with lower achievement, which has significant implications for the school experience for students. Importantly, the engagement-achievement relationship tends to be reciprocal, cyclical and reinforced over time, meaning that while low achievement may be represented as an adverse outcome of disengagement, it can also contribute to the process. Early school leaving is more often the end-point of a long process of disengagement over time. Therefore, it is important to identify problems with disengagement early.

Children and young people at risk of experiencing one or multiple indicators of school disengagement include:


My comment: The article then carries a long list of reasons why kids disengage from learning but does not deal with the one main reason which is confusion due to ‘dysteachia’.


In this report, Year 12 completion rates, unproductive classroom behaviours, surveys of student attitudes and school connectedness, and student absence rates are examined. Using these indicators it was found: 


•about 25 per cent of students do not complete Year 12, though this varies from state to state and by demographic characteristics.


My comment: Again there is a long list of why kids leave schools as illiterate but there is no mention of the cause being confusion.


Allow me to complete this by listing extracts from another article found here.


Adam Riches outlines four key factors why students switch off in lessons, and ways in which you can keep them engaged and enthused about learning.


I suppose that the biggest challenge for any teacher is truly engaging their students.


Time after time, I’ve observed incredibly talented teachers, who know their subjects inside out, fail to help pupils progress in lessons.


Most of the time, it’s down to one key factor: engagement.


So why do pupils become disengaged? Which barriers are causing this breakdown in learning? What can we do to ensure we keep our pupils engaged?




Frequent and useful feedback is one of the corner stones to any learner progressing. No feedback means no lessons are learnt.


If a pupil or a class does not get feedback from their teacher, they may begin to feel neglected and become complacent in their learning.


By being active with feedback in class and outside of the classroom, you are showing that you value the pupils’ effort. That can be a huge motivator for them.


I conducted some research on disengagement and the pupil perception survey showed that receiving no feedback for work completed was one of the most detrimental factors for student engagement.

My comment: Excellent observation!

Thought provoking questions. ‘So why do pupils become disengaged? Which barriers are causing this breakdown in learning? What can we do to ensure we keep our pupils engaged?’

However, answers are inadequate. Adam talks about feedback from teachers. How about feedback from students? 

Sit one on one with a kid in grades 2 or 3 who is intelligent but unable to read and find out why he cannot read. Ask a kid after intervention as to what has helped him to read when he had been unable to read for 2 to 4 years.

Yes, we all have heard the Chinese saying that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. But, if the first step is in the wrong direction you will have to make a big U turn to end up at your destination or make a complete circle around the globe.

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