In a new survey of thousands of U.S. educators, teachers validate concerns over student engagement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but believe that technology and student-centered approaches to teaching can help to reinvigorate students in the fall.
Seven in 10 teachers believe that their students are more engaged when lessons involve play, and 68 percent of teachers said that their students are more likely to remember what they learn during learning activities they choose themselves. The survey of 8,000 was conducted by Kahoot!.
“Even with most schools back to fully in-person learning, educators are reporting that their students continue to struggle. So much was out of students’ control for so long, and it’s no surprise that we’re seeing teachers pick up on the importance of student choice in their own learning,” said Louisa Rosenheck, Director of Pedagogy for the Kahoot! Group.
“And teachers are right. The learning science is clear that when students demonstrate agency and choice over their learning, they’re more engaged, and more likely to retain knowledge. As we go into the new school year, we should be listening to teachers and giving them the agency, tools, and flexibility to prioritize student engagement and joy.”
The data is clear that the stresses of the global pandemic have had an outsized impact on students’ academic, emotional, and social wellbeing.
Kahoot! conducted the survey of K-12 and higher education educators in May 2022 to understand what practices and tools can best support students in the year ahead.
Among the key findings:
- Student engagement is still suffering: Despite many schools being back in person this past year, 59% of teachers surveyed noted that their students are less engaged and motivated in class than before the pandemic. And, 6 in 10 teachers said that their students have struggled with feeling a lack of control.
- Teachers see student choice as critical to supporting engagement and learning: 7 in 10 educators said their students are more likely to remember what they learn during learning activities they choose themselves. Likewise, 70% also reported that their students are more engaged when they’re able to explore a variety of learning experiences and choose what they’re interested in.
- Technology can play a role in facilitating student-centered learning: As more teachers use educational technology in their daily classrooms, 3 in 4 educators surveyed said technology has been an important tool for making learning more active and student-centered, primarily by enabling students to learn through play.
“I think teachers are willing to try new things to bring joy and excitement back into the classroom. What we’re seeing in this survey resonates with my experience supporting educators in our district. There’s an enthusiasm to leverage edtech to give students experiences that make learning fun,” said Ashley Morrison, an Innovative Teaching and Learning Coach at Indian Hill School District in Ohio.
“Motivating students is top of mind for all of us as we go into the new school year. The good news is, there are so many tools now at our fingertips that make it possible to find what clicks for each student.”
“Research shows that student-centered learning and pedagogies that give students choice and voice are great for learning. But what’s so encouraging about these survey results is that we see that teachers also perceive this to be true,” Rosenheck added. “The more they notice the efficacy of playful learning and student agency, the more likely they are to shift their practice and have a positive impact on students.”
This press release originally ran on Kahoot!’s website.
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