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Authentic Engagement

For CLASSROOM TEACHERS of all subjects, department chairs, and academic administrators

Learn practical tools and strategies to make academic learning a source of meaning, vitality, and community in students’ lives—not regardless of who they are, but fully regarding their identities, interests, needs, and values.

All sessions are 90 minutes long. Sessions and can stand alone or be combined into a series.

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Designing Instruction So Students Connect with the Content, Their Work, and Each Other

Authentic Engagement with the Content. Discover instructional design strategies to help students engage with the content so it becomes a source of meaning in their lives.

  • Session 1: Inclusive Materials: Ensure students can see themselves reflected in their learning and encounter unfamiliar stories, perspectives, and ideas.​​​

  • Session 2: Connective Prompts: Help students say something meaningful about the content and make it relevant in their lives.​​

  • Session 3: Orienting Rituals: Enable students to navigate transitions between topics and bring their values to their learning.

  • Session 4: Values-Based Task Choice: Create opportunities for students not only to choose how they learn the material but to make those choices based on what’s important to them.

Authentic Engagement with Their Work. Discover instructional design strategies to help students engage with their schoolwork so it becomes a source of vitality.

  • Session 5: Affirming Assignments: Ask students to create things that matter—to them personally and in the world.

  • Session 6: Empowering Work Processes: Make school projects intrinsically fulfilling for students.

  • Session 7: Co-Constructed Definitions of Success: Recognize established learning objectives as well as what matters to the student.

Authentic Engagement with Each Other. Discover instructional design strategies to help students engage with one another so the class becomes a source of community.

  • Session 8: Respectful Discussions: Make class discussions equitable and participatory, and turn them into a site of relationship-building within the group.

  • Session 9: Collaboration Protocols: Foster academic understanding and interpersonal connection during group projects and inquiry-based lessons.

  • Session 10: Appreciative Reflection: Help students acknowledge their own learning, one another, and the group as a whole when they come to the end of a lesson or unit.

Related Resource: Teach for Authentic Engagement (coming in July, 2023 from ASCD)

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