21st Century Learning: Application of Learning Theories for Student Engagement


“The drop in student engagement for each year students are in school is our monumental, collective, national failure. There are several things that might help explain why this is happening – ranging from our overzealous focus on standardize testing and curricula to our lack of experiential and project-based learning pathway for students – not to mention the lack of pathway for students who will not and do not want to go on to college” (Busteed,2013).

Gallup Poll

Figure 1. The school cliff: Students engagement drops over time

Student engagement with school and learning is a gold standard that every parent, teacher and school strives to achieve. If we were doing right by our student and our future, the numbers would be the absolute opposite. For each year a student progresses in school, they should be more engaged, not less.

In this paper, I will share my observations from kindergarten to college to see the level of engagement in the classroom, discuss the term student engagement and its connection to constructivist learning theory, and explore what is needed toward a more active and engaging format to increase learning in the digital age. And, as a proposal, I will propose flipped classroom to get students more engaged in their learning.

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