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Welcome to the Active Engagement Clearinghouse!

You're invited to post your ideas and best practices on student engagement.
We'll place them on the Official Active Engagement Movement Website under the Public, Private, or Educational Sector. That way everyone will have ready access to your ideas, and to the ideas of other active engagement leaders.

Time to make your post!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Active Engagement Movement: A Senario


For more than a decade, a significant amount of research has been published on engagement. Like others, we are convinced that engagement plays a key role in student performance. We need to continue to conduct educational research on engagement. But, it needs to focus on effective ways to create an actively engaged environment.

We have developed a leadership framework that has active engagement embedded in it. The framework identifies virtually every leadership layer in an active engagement environment (see Table 1). In the future, research needs to be conducted across the scope, and down through the layers of the framework. When fully implemented, and the movement begins to produce results, here is what active engagement will look like in a teaching and learning environment:


When you come to this school, you find yourself in a highly charged, actively engaged environment. Active engagement is an integral part of the culture. The Principal is actively engaged, and expects everyone else to be. The Instructional Designer has embedded active engagement features in the curriculum. So your teachers deliver actively engaged instruction in the classroom. Engagement is built in to all extra-curricular activities as well. So your coaches, faculty advisors, tutors, mentors, and even the after school program director and staff are all on the active engagement team, and support you as you practice active engagement skills outside the classroom. The office staff, social workers, counselors, the resource officer, and the school nurse all help you develop an active engagement attitude.

Your schoolmates are all thriving in this culture. They are all expected to be actively engaged. It’s contagious! They learn from others, and teach others what they’ve learned. The entire school is a safe haven where everyone can reach their full potential.

At home, your parents are actively engaged in your school work. They have had an active engagement orientation at school. They have regular conversations with an active engagement coach who serves as a role model for them. They also attend active engagement support group meetings to discuss active engagement issues with other parents. So, you get lots of support from them.

At another layer, the Superintendent of Schools has made a commitment to the implementation of the leadership framework, and has established active engagement as a high priority. The school board has agreed to channel the physical, financial, and human resources needed to promote active engagement as a concept. The state legislature has enacted laws, and set policies that support active engagement state-wide. The U.S. Department of Education has elevated the leadership framework to the national level, and launched active engagement as an educational reform initiative with the support of the President and members of Congress.

The business community has embraced active engagement as a vehicle to produce highly qualified, actively engaged students who will become actively engaged employees. Companies large and small have formed an Active Engagement Alliance to administer financial contributions and support services to students and schools. An Active Engagement Board allocates funds and other services where they are needed most. The Alliance also brokers mentor and tutor programs across the entire school system. In addition, business consulting services are offered to the Superintendent of Schools on request.

The Parent-Teachers Association has been reenergized, and has joined parents and teachers together as active engagement advocates. Community groups, political action committees, and other civic organizations have raised money, sponsored active engagement programs, and recognized the contributions of outstanding active engagement leaders and students. The media has continued to inform the public with progress reports on the impact of active engagement on overall student performance, and has played a constructive role in identifying and clarifying a wide range of public policy issues that needed to be addressed.

The philanthropic community has recognized the leadership framework with an active engagement theme as an effective way to improve student performance on a national scale. They have earmarked funds to support further development of the framework, and to help develop innovative ways to train active engagement leaders at every layer.

In the academic community, educational institutions have strengthened the College of Education curriculum to include a deeper understanding of active engagement as a teaching and learning tool, and to provide new teachers with active engagement credentials. Educational organizations have recognized active engagement as a highly effective movement, and feature active engagement as a prominent agenda item at seminars, symposiums, and conferences. Continuing education programs have been developed to provide existing teachers with certified active engagement skills.
Research individuals and organizations have focused attention on those processes that actually create an active engagement environment; and have conducted breakthrough research on the subject. Scholarly papers and articles have been published on every facet of active engagement to support the movement.
Finally, critical areas of educational research have become synthesized; and are producing new insights in the field of education.

• What do we need to do to clarify the active engagement strategy (Mission, Vision, & Values), and fine tune active engagement tactics (Structure, Process & Culture) to make teaching and learning more effective?
• How do the elements of the leadership framework (strategy and tactics) work individually and collectively to impact student performance?
• How can we develop actively engaged leaders down through every layer in the framework?

The educational system in this country doesn’t need to be reorganized, just reenergized. We already have the school buildings built or under construction, operating budgets are approved each year, and faculty and staff are already in place. The growing student population shows no signs of slowing down. But, only two out of three students graduate from high school—This is unacceptable.

By implementing a leadership framework with active engagement at every layer, we have the potential to transform the existing environment into one that expects active engagement, and drives student performance to new levels.

As we enter the second decade of the twenty first century, now would be an excellent time to get this movement underway. A ten year goal might be:

• to increase student performance one grade letter across the board, and
• to reduce the dropout rate by 50 percent.

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