Power of Connective Instruction

Student engagement is not a new idea ... and we are constantly seeking the most effective methods in order to increase student achievement.  We may now know what that method is.


Todd Finley, in his blog New Study: Engage Kids with 7x the Effect, summarized the research of Michigan State University that connective instruction - helping students make personal connections to the content and seeing its relevance in their lives - was seven times more effective than lively teaching - having students participate in group activities and projects.  Further, teacher behaviors were key in fostering the necessary qualities for student success.  Why does connective instruction and teacher behaviors matter so much?  "Because of kids' desperate longing for high-quality relationships.  When a teacher fulfills that desire, students' achievement behaviors and intellectual functioning soars."  Finley concludes, "for all teachers, regardless of subject or grade level, intensive effort to connect with learners is nonnegotiable...."


So, how do you engage your students?