As stated in the chapter, engaging a student is a little like plugging in a lamp. It doesn't matter what type of shade we buy, or what lightbulb we use... if there is no electricity, there is no light. If there is no engagement, there is no learning. As an activity to kick off a reflection on engagement, view the following video excerpt from the hit show, Big Bang Theory, "Is Howard Smart Enough?" After watching it, consider the following question:
After reading the chapter, hopefully it's clear that in order to be engaged, students must be challenged but also supported so they can sustain effort and persistence. The barrier to that is that because of student variability, there is a significant difference in the level of challenge necessary for each student. One great way to start thinking about how to create varying levels of challenge is to review the research on the zone of proximal development. Next, it may be helpful to learn more about growth mindset, which is another critical component of engagement.