Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

An Exploratory Study on Students' Engagement in Social Studies of Year 7

Academic journal article Journal of Management Research

An Exploratory Study on Students' Engagement in Social Studies of Year 7

Article excerpt

Abstract

There is lack of student engagement noticeably among secondary schools. Willms, Friesen, & Milton (2009), studied that disengagement typically becomes a concern in middle school and high school. The study involved student engagement in the classroom, with three specific interests firstly, to look at the perception of teachers on student engagement, where teachers conceptualized student engagement as only behavioral dimension and both agreed that cultural context is a factor in student learning. Secondly, to look at the degree students exhibiting engaging behaviors and thirdly, to explore the factors that affect student engagement. From the analysis, students did exhibit engagement as they were engaged to do the activity (behavioral engagement) and excited to do a group work (affective engagement). Positive body language, consistence focus, verbal participation, student confidence, fun and excitement play deterministic roles in conceptualizing students' level of engagement. Hopefully, the study will generate outcome that are beneficial to teachers to be aware on the importance of engaging students in learning especially in Social Studies.

Keywords: Student engagement, Student learning, Behaviours, Social Studies

1. Introduction

The main purpose of this study is to develop or create interest and desire in learning Social Studies hence, to increase the level of engagement amongst students in Year 7 taking Social Studies. In order to do so, this study will attempt to explore the perception of teachers on student engagement, to investigate at the factors that influence or affect student engagement from the perspective of the students. We need to develop and create interest among students so that they can engage fully in their learning in order to increase student learning and achievement. There is lack of student engagement noticeably among secondary school. Willms, Friesen, & Milton (2009), studied that disengagement typically becomes a concern in middle school and high school. It can be a struggle to make students to engage more in their learning as students have changed over the last twenty years, perhaps as a result of their upbringing in technological rich society. They appear to have different needs, goals, and learning preferences than students in the past. To enable students to fully engage in learning, teachers must understand their learning needs and learning preferences. Based on own observation, students are easily attracted to gadgets, technologies and social network such as iPad, Facebook, Twitter and others. This is why educators and other stakeholders have tried to incorporate over the past years those technologies and social network into education so that our students will be more engage and increase their interest in learning. Brunei 21st Century National Education System (SPN 21) was aim to improve students' success rates and specifically aims to develop 21st century skills, and to fulfill the needs and challenges to develop the country. Students as future leaders must possess the relevant knowledge and skills, as well as the right values and attitudes in order to meet the changing needs of the society of the future (UNESCO-IBE, 2011).

When the activities are challenging and interesting, students exhibit fun and joy, hence engage in the activities. On some rare occasion in the class, I had a "good" level of student engagement as there is evidence from the students that they are listening to the lesson; engage in conversation with me and their peers in doing the activities. However it was rare to find majority of the students exhibiting that behaviors. Thats why this study was conducted as to understand and make relevant on the importance of engaging students, and as students' participation in class increases, we can predict that student learning and achievement would also increase. It is important for subject like Social Studies require students to have prior knowledge to build so that they able to have better learning skills. …

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