Elevengagemang ur ett NO-lärarperspektiv : Hur lärare uppfattar elevers engagemang och dess betydelse för lärarrollen och undervisningen
Sammanfattning: AbstractThis essay focuses on teachers' perspective on student engagement and aims to highlight the connection between student engagement, teaching and content matter. It investigates how teachers interpret the concept of student engagement and what consequences their interpretation have for themselves, their teaching and their students. It also examines how teachers perceive the relationship between student engagement and the content of science teaching. The study is based on a theoretical view on engagement as a context-dependent, multi-dimensional concept that includes other concepts such as interest and motivation. Engagement is a concept often used when describing a desirable quality of school students. In research, the concept has been linked to students' outcome and lack of engagment as a precursor for drop-out from school behaviour. Many studies about engagement focus on how the concept is to be defined and measured and how engagement is influenced by its context, often described with other concepts such as attitude, interest and motivation. These studies often have a student-oriented perspective with questionnaires or self-assessments.Two methods for data collecting has been used. First, a three-stage Delphi survey distributed to 39 Swedish expert science teachers and second, four focus group interviews with a total of 21 science teachers teaching in Swedish upper primary school. The results show that teachers in the studies had no problem to use the concept of engagement even though they did not have a clear definition of what it stands for. They link engagement to motivation and interest and often interpret students’ feelings or behaviours as engagement, whereas evidence of cognitive strategies often go unnoticed. The teachers emphasize that their teaching in terms of strategies, methods and relations to studens is of great importance to students' engagement rather than content matter, itself. The major conclusions concern the relation between teaching and student engagement. Teachers can create engagement by using interesting aspects of the content or by linking it to students' own experiences. They see students' engagement as a confirmation of their own ability and the quality of their work. Their interpretation of the students' responses will then influence the form and content of teaching as student engagement is considered important. The results imply that engagement has a role to play as a concept teachers can use when they want to discuss science teaching and students' learning. This requires that teachers gain a deeper understanding of all dimensions of student engagement in view of the major influence student engagement has on the teacher and thereby the teaching. Then teachers’ knowledge about how to create engagement in science can be used as a means of increasing students’ learning, not for engagement as a goal for the teaching itself.
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