Summary On Engagement In The Classroom

522 Words3 Pages
Sheppard’s paper considers three polarized viewpoints on what constitutes student engagement. First, what is engagement and is it a remedy for many of the problems in today’s classroom. Second, are the current views of engagement related to those of earlier debates. Finally, are the current views merely putting students in danger of participating in an educational, death dance? Sheppard also compares the views of the traditional, (liberal) educator and the progressive (child-centered) educator of engagement.

To begin, Sheppard takes the reader through an academic journey of what the term engagement means in its various parts of speech. When used as a noun the term commonly means a voluntary pledge. As a verb, the term is used in a procedural
…show more content…
The student is actively engaged and committed to the act of learning.

In contrast, Sheppard further develops her argument by explaining Dewey’s stance on the procedural view termed Child-Centered Engagement. In his view, Dewy believes that the conditions under which learning takes place will foster habits of mind for the learner.

At this point, Sheppard examines the polarization of the Oakeshott and Dewey’s positions. First, the liberal concept involves what is educationally worthwhile and essential while the child-centered position is determined by” how the worthwhile is best achieved” (p.119). In her examination, Sheppard determines that liberal engagement and liberal engagement mean two different things because each is different in its definition of the roles of the learner and the educator.

Finally, in her conclusion, Sheppard determines that American schools have moved toward a progressive approach to engagement. In other words, educators value the acquisition of strategies that are “aimed at knowledge and skill acquisition”
Open Document