Engagement has to do with relevance. Relevance is the condition of” being connected” or when something is pertinent. In other words students are engage in a lesson when there is something for them. How do we achieve engagement? I don’t know, but maybe this anecdote will help you understand relevance better. One particular year, I was struggling to get my fifth grade students to understand the concept of percentages in math. I tried everything in the book to help them understand without success.
At my wit’s end, God illuminated me and I asked the students to let me know how much their parents earned and how much they had to pay for rent, utilities and groceries. Surprisingly for me, these fifth graders knew this information. We worked their budgets on the board and in about 20 minutes my students not only understood about percentages but also how much it would cost their parents to buy them Jordan’s sneakers that were “in”, at that time.
So what can we conclude? Here are my two cents: Effective teachers must engage students in their lessons by providing relevant activities to their teaching, when they do that we achieve equity.