15. Active Engagement
Abstract: Students learn best when they are both active (“hands-on”) and engaged (“minds-on”). Accomplishing this task requires that teachers keep students motivated and interested in the lesson at hand. Active and engaged learning are both entirely compatible with and often are an inherent part of particular teaching strategies (such as inquiry, cooperative, and real-world learning). However, the topic deserves its own discussion, because there are times when students lose momentum throughout a class period or over the course of a year, and teachers must continue to pique students’ interest using a variety of specific interventions. This chapter describes the general principles behind active and engaged learning, and provides a potpourri of ideas to excite student interest and incorporate a bit of fun!