This video presents educational thought – through the efforts of language of educators, administrators and students – in the process of trying to articulate and identify ‘engagement’ in education. In many ways this is the heart of this particular “Exploring New Pathways…” sequence, for here we see the thing itself, ‘engagement,’ confront our efforts to name it, appear and disappear as we reach for it.
Through this effort indeed, “a powerful thing has emerged.”
Arguably, it is only through engaging with the question of engagement itself in this methodical fashion – by way of this extended ‘difficult conversation’ – that we can come to appreciate both its challenges and its richness. As we will often find, inherent in our conceptions of what we claim as central to education is the very richness and contingency that will allow it to transform. Education may less change because we aim for engagement, make it a curricular value or an educational policy, but because of the searching diversity of our efforts to deploy it with significance. What if, instead of enacting, fostering, demonstrating or producing engagement as an educational ‘good,’ an outcome or input, engagement is a locus of evolving meaningful questions, a conversation?
Let’s have it…
What do you see named here as engagement? How does this speak to your own understanding of the aims and meanings of education? How would you characterize the effort to name the phenomenon of engagement in education, and why is this important?
This video includes the comments of one superintendent, three principals, two vice-principles and seven teachers. They work and live in seven school districts from throughout British Columbia, two from the Peace River region, one from Vancouver Island, two from the Kootenay region of the Southeast and one from an island in the Salish Sea. The interviews took place from 2012 to 2016.