5 instructional practices that drive student engagement


Student engagement has long been an indicator of growth and progress, and in the wake of the pandemic, it will prove essential for academic and social-emotional recovery.

Recent insights pulled from a survey of more than 2,000 identifies instructional practices that enable student engagement, no matter the learning environment.

Using qualitative and quantitative survey data, the following five instructional practices were ranked highest for driving engagement.

1: Teacher-student relationships

With an average score of 4.6 out of 5.0, forming teacher-student relationships was highlighted as the top instructional practice for driving engagement across all grade levels and subjects. In fact, one-third of all teachers identified it as the single most effective practice for driving engagement overall—this is four times more than any other practice.

Strong relationships are foundational to creating supportive learning environments where students feel safe enough to contribute. Several survey respondents emphasized that trust built on stable relationships is the cornerstone for both teacher and student success.

Previous research indicates that students who report positive teacher-student relationships were more likely to report high engagement with their learning, and strong teacher-student relationships have been associated with higher academic performance, feelings of competence, greater attendance rates, and pursuit of secondary education.

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