Approaches to student engagement: Does ideology matter?

  • Vibert A
  • Shields C
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This paper examines the concept of "student engagement" as an inescapably ideological term. The paper begins by problematizing politically neutral iterations of student engagement in the literature on school improve~ ment and school effectiveness. Then, drawing on data collected during a much larger national study of student engagement, it provides an analysis of differential meanings of student engagement across three ideologicallenses: a techno~rational, an interpretive/student~centred, and a criticalf transformative lens. Examples of policy and practice in action in schools and classrooms are posited as illustrative of the various ideological lenses, and educational/political consequences of such stances are explored. Culminat~ ing in an argument for a critical/transformative pedagogy as providing possibilities for a just and humane education, the paper concludes that ideology does, indeed, matter

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  • An B Vibert

  • Carolyn Shields

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