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The Evolving Educational Context

Learn more on how to define student engagement.

In the video above, Sir Ken Robinson (2010) talks profoundly about the risk of continuing to employ today an education paradigm designed and conceived for a previous age – a paradigm potentially incompatible with the contemporary world our students know and experience. Maintaining this paradigm-misfit suggests our students will become increasingly disengaged, which will adversely impact their learning.

Scholars such as Kuh (2009) tell us that enhancing student engagement significantly increases the chances of any student achieving educational objectives and developing the skills required in the 21st century.

You’ve considered how student diversity and our views of learning can influence our teaching practices. Let’s now reflect on the role of student engagement. Start by reflecting on how you define student engagement and why.

Kuh (2009) suggests educators can have a profound and positive influence on student engagement through their teaching choices, such as the level of academic challenge, frequency of active or collaborative learning, or a variety of student-teacher interactions.

However, he also acknowledges that universities function in a wider higher education sector and global landscape, which bring further external influences.


Kuh, G. D. (2009). What student affairs professionals need to know about student engagement. Journal of College Student Development, 50(6), 683–706. Web link

Robinson, K. (2010). RSA Animate: Changing education paradigms [Video]. YouTube. Web link

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