About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 6117-6128
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain


L. Szlizewski

Western Carolina University (UNITED STATES)
Background and Context: This essay is about how classrooms are being made better, with very little effort on the part of the teacher and school administrator, by implementing a student centered pedagogy that uses content as the raw material for building intellectual capacity and capital rather than the reason. A large number of observations, in K-12 classrooms have shown that classroom teachers, intentionally or unintentionally, do things to students that create habits of disengagement. Teachers have a profound effect on student disengagement, in classrooms, by: enforcing passivity; isolation; silence; providing little or no helpful attention when needed; and offering few, if any, enrichment and/or remedial tasks when appropriate. Disengagement occurs with all levels of student capability and is often due to pedagogy and student intellectual capital management practices of individual teachers that perpetuate further disengagement.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: Are the dominant pedagogies of single pace whole class instruction that use mostly low cognitive level teaching, testing and limited opportunities for student engagement able to change?

Research Design: This study, informed by over 2,000 classroom observations over a 20 year period in numerous K-12 public and charter schools; review of research on engagement, disengagement, and teaching pedagogy that encourage both reflects on similarities of engaging classrooms and disengaging classrooms along with quantitative and qualitative studies that helped amplify the differences. Understanding pedagogical differences will help teachers and building level administrators both understand why habits of disengagement are so persistent and prevalent and how it can be minimized. From the accrued evidence of direct observation and extensive reading of the research, many reasons for the persistence and growth of student habits of disengagement gain clarity and expressed below.

Conclusions/Recommendations: The uniqueness of each classroom and teacher in combination with the variety of learning and teaching styles; grade level; content being used; knowledge capital students bring with them; and parental influences make for a very complex mix. In spite of this variety, many of these characteristics, when altered, can help change habits of disengagement into habits of engagement. There are also many ways for classroom teachers to alter their pedagogy by learning and building positive student centered practices. My years of observing and helping struggling and high quality teaching pedagogy has shown me that classrooms with quality teaching and learning opportunities tend to have very few disengaged students and very few behavior issues. Classroom teachers, administrators, and anyone who is serious about building a quality learning environment has to start by examining what is going on that causes students to become persistently disengaged. Once a few of the disengaging characteristics are understood and seen the necessary pedagogical changes can be, over time, introduced, implemented, and modified and learned.

author = {Szlizewski, L.},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {6117-6128}}
AU - L. Szlizewski
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 6117
EP - 6128
ER -
L. Szlizewski (2009) CREATING DISENGAGEMENT, ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 6117-6128.