Student Engagement and the Reading Classroom

Project Abstract

Every elementary school classroom is unique, but they all hold the same goal in mind- student learning. Since the hours in school and resources to teachers are limited, the question arises as to how teachers can most effectively present content to students in a way which maximizes student learning. In recent years, a discussion around the topic of student engagement has been brought into the educational sphere. Student engagement can be defined as “the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that students show when they are learning or being taught... [and] the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education” (“Student Engagement,” 2016). This poster will analyze the importance of student engagement in the elementary English/Language Arts classroom.

The importance of student engagement has become a strong-focus of teacher education preparation programs, but some teachers still feel under-prepared to apply it in their classrooms. An analysis of several popular classroom management and instructional strategies will provide knowledge on how to heighten student engagement. Practical applications of these strategies will be provided in example lesson seeds for English/Language Arts content.

The research methods for this thesis are two-fold. First, literature review on pre-existing content will provide the means of analysis on the subject of student engagement and its strategies. In addition, it will provide the basis for the lesson plan construction and discussion. Second, field research will occur in order provide evidence of the effect that student engagement possesses. Students will participate in surveys which assess their attitudes and interests towards student engagement in the classroom. Then they will participate in a mini-lesson in a small group setting which applies student engagement strategies. An analysis of knowledge retention following this will gauge the effectiveness of these strategies compared to traditional, teacher-directed methods.

Through all of this, a conclusion will be draw on why it is important to develop this type of classroom. With so many strategies and opinions on teaching methods floating around, it is often hard for teachers to ascertain on which ones to devote their time. It will be revealed how student engagement strategies can develop 21st century skills (such as leadership, teamwork and cooperation, innovation, and self-management) and positive student attitudes toward learning. This poster and its research will be conducted between August and October 2017.


Kentucky Reading Association Conference

October 26-28, 2017

Sponsored by the Kentucky Reading Association

Funding Type

Travel Grant

Academic College

College of Education & Human Services


Elementary Education (P-5)


Bachelors of Science




Dr. Christina Grant

Academic College

College of Education & Human Services

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