Student Engagement

What the Research Shows: Student Engagement’s Impact on Lifelong Achievement

Post Series: What the Research Shows

Student engagement is something we greatly value at Flocabulary. We know that student engagement can help students better learn and remember in the classroom. But did you know that it can also have a long-lasting influence on students’ educational and occupational achievement in the long run? A study in the BERJ (British Educational Research Journal) showed a connection between engagement in school and overall achievement several years later.

Here’s how it worked:

Study Overview

The longitudinal study, published by BERJ and conducted by the University of Tasmania, tracked trends and variables in children (9-15 years) to adulthood (26-36 years). ASHFS (Australian School Health and Fitness Survey) sampled students for the first time in 1985 on a number of factors like:

socioeconomic status
academic attainment
motivation to learn
sense of belonging
school enrollment

About 20 years later (from 2004-2006), the journal BMC Public Health published the Childhood Determinants of Adult Health study, where researchers followed up with the same students from the 1985 survey. They used only the responses that had answers to all the variables they were looking for.

One important result they found was that active learning that engaged the mind and body (participation in and outside the classroom) resulted in higher educational and occupational achievement. Another important result was that a positive and encouraging climate from peers, teachers and parents encourages engagement, which can subsequently result in educational/occupational achievement.

So what do these results mean? It means that engaging students in the classroom is just as important as teaching the content. It proves to students that learning can be fun and interactive, and even just one lesson will go a long way into their educational/occupational futures. Engaging students results in them living better lives.

How Flocabulary Sparks Student Engagement

Student engagement refers to the amount of attention, passion and optimism that students display in a classroom while learning, and activities and lesson plans that bring out this engagement have students in a frenzy to learn and try new things.

Flocabulary aims to create this climate of positivity in the classroom by promoting student engagement through our cross-curricular units and lesson plans. According to a study put out by Flocabulary in June 2015, 96% of teachers who use Flocabulary believe that it increases engagement in school.

If the numbers aren’t proof themselves, check out student engagement first-hand with Flocab with these videos from actual users!

Engaging students empowers them to associate learning with positive feelings; not those of worry, dread or failure. And the research shows: This association lasts beyond the classroom, and into college and career.

“I am such a strong advocate for the tools that Flocabulary provides and have seen how it has taken student engagement and achievement to a completely different level, especially for students and families that have been marginalized in our educational system for generations.”

–  Ryan Vernosh, 2010 Minnesota Teacher of the Year 

ryan vernosh

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Additional Reading

Abbott-Chapman, Joan, et al. “The Longitudinal Association of Childhood School Engagement with Adult Educational and Occupational Achievement: Findings from an Australian National Study.” British Educational Research Journal, vol. 40, no. 1, 2013, pp. 102–120., doi:10.1002/berj.3031.

Finley, Todd. “Engage Kids With 7 Times the Effect.” Edutopia, 25 Aug. 2014, www.edutopia.org/blog/engage-with-7x-the-effect-todd-finley.

Stephens, Tammy L. “Encouraging Positive Student Engagement and Motivation: Tips for Teachers | Pearson Blog.” USA, Pearson, 6 June 2016, www.pearsoned.com/encouraging-positive-student-engagement-and-motivation-tips-for-teachers/.
Strong, Richard, et al. “Strengthening Student Engagement: What Do Students Want.” Educational Leadership:Strengthening Student Engagement:Strengthening Student Engagement: What Do Students Want, www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/sept95/vol53/num01/Strengthening-Student-Engagement@-What-Do-Students-Want.aspx.
Wolpert-Gawron, Heather. “Kids Speak Out on Student Engagement.” Edutopia, 26 Apr. 2012, www.edutopia.org/blog/student-engagement-stories-heather-wolpert-gawron.

Nirali Patel

Nirali is the social media intern at Flocabulary. She previously spent time teaching English at a monastery and student teaching at a high school. For fun, she watches, quotes and breathes "The Office." Her favorite Flocab video is "The French Revolution."

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