n Journal of Emerging Trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies - Critical thinking in the elementary classroom : exploring student engagement in elementary science classrooms through a case-study approach

Volume 5, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 2141-6990
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There are many factors that contribute to a classroom with engaged learners. In order to have student engagement in the classroom, teachers must create deep connections of content to the students' lives. Knowing each individual student will help the teacher to better engage each student in a deeper and more meaningful way. In the science classroom there is a common issue that students become disengaged because they do not feel connected to the content and the scientists that created the scientific concepts (Kidman, Yen, & Abrams, 2012). This case study approach explores engagement of male students in four elementary school classrooms, ranging from grades 2-5. The students' different backgrounds lead to various moments of engagement and disengagement, both promoted and deterred by teachers and other classroom factors. Although each child is unique in the way they learn, there were many common themes and similar findings found among the four students. The purpose of this study is to understand that student success is based on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral engagement. While these three engagement types are necessary for student success, disengagement is also a large contributing factor to engagement in the classroom. The potential impacts of this study include improvements to learning activities produced by teachers in hopes of higher levels of student engagement, a stronger understanding of the impacts of engagement on student learning, and strategies for working with specific student discourses.

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