Students continue to struggle against persistent educational inequities, and while they report worrisome levels of disengagement, a move toward student-directed learning could help students and educators alike find a better path toward impactful learning experiences.
The report, Empowering and Engaging Student Voice to Create Equity in Education, comes from Project Tomorrow, a national education nonprofit supporting the implementation of research-based learning experiences, and Blackboard Inc., a global edtech software and solutions company. It leverages key insights from a survey of 50,000 K-12 students, parents, and educators during the 2020-21 school year.
“The disruptive events of the past 18 months with the pandemic and shifts in learning modalities have opened our collective eyes to several new truths including about the interrelationship between equity and student empowerment as documented in this new report,” said Dr. Julie A. Evans, chief researcher and CEO of Project Tomorrow. “With the research in front of us, we cannot look away now but must take this opportunity in time to re-think the ways we are approaching learning and especially how technology can be better used to support student engagement in learning.”
1. While two-thirds of students grades 6-12 said the top benefit of virtual learning was learning at their own pace, less than half of school principals saw it as an important benefit.
2. Overall, just half of students say they’re engaged. At schools where the majority of the 6-12 grade population are students of color, just 43% agree they are engaged with what they are learning, 8 points lower than schools where the majority of the student population is white (51%).
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