Talking Student Engagement

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Webcast Details

Aired on: June 13th, 2017

3:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

Presentation Slides

Resources PDF

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Our Guest(s) This Week

Teri Dary

Teri Dary is a partner with Cascade Educational Consultants, providing consultative services in policies and practices to increase student engagement, along with program development and resources on teacher quality, positive behavior interventions and supports, and inclusion. Teri has taught in both general and special education and served as a consultant to local districts. She also led collaborative efforts among state-level experts for the National Coalition for Academic Service-Learning. At the state level, Teri worked as an education consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Recent projects include serving as a technical assistance coordinator for the U.S. Department of Education’s Rural Dropout Prevention Project, consulting with the Waupun Area School District, and resource development for Special Olympics International.

Terry Pickeral

Terry Pickerel is the president of Cascade Educational Consultants  and provides leadership in  youth engagement, school climate, social inclusion, civic development, education policy, state and district leadership, and other practices to sustain quality education reform focused on equitable student and community engagement. He is a National Dropout Prevention Center/Network Research Fellow, former senior education consultant on the Special Olympics Project UNIFY® national social inclusion initiative, former executive director of the Education Commission of the States National Center for Learning and Citizenship, and inaugural cochair of the National School Climate Council. He has been described as a local and national change agent who cares deeply and passionately about democracy and the fundamental importance of engaging youth in meaningful learning. He is an active blogger on education-related topics. His blog can be found at

This Week's Topic

Student engagement is an effective approach to dropout prevention that aligns with the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network’s 15 Effective Strategies. This webcast defines student engagement, shares research demonstrating the positive impacts on students, identifies conditions needed for schools to support student engagement, and provides specific strategies that can be integrated into classrooms and identifies corresponding resources.

The copresenters share the recently published NPDC/N position paper, Weaving Student Engagement Into the Core Practices of Schools, that responds to eight critical questions asked about implementing student engagement in schools. They present a framework that analyzes and supports student engagement from participation, to voice, to leadership, to engagement that establishes the responsibilities of students and teachers along the continuum.

Examples from preschool to high school are shared to demonstrate the successful integration of student engagement along with a focus on the context (school climate) necessary to sustain these practices. The examples illustrate strategies schools can use to guide them to implement, integrate, and sustain student engagement, leading to positive student development and the attributes and aspirations to remain in school.


Talking Student Engagement Presentation Slides

A Peek Into an Engaging, Student-Centered Chemistry Classroom:
Dary, C. (2016, September). What does a Mastery Learning classroom look like? [Video file]. As presented in Dary, T., and Pickeral, T. (2017, June 13) Talking student engagement [webcast series program]. In Solutions to the dropout crisis. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network. Retrieved from

A video portraying attributes of caring, supportive relationships that positively affect student engagement in K-12 classrooms.
Dary, T., & Pickeral, T. (2017, June). Connecting, reflecting, perfecting. [Video file]. As presented in Dary, T., and Pickeral, T. (2017, June 13) Talking student engagement [webcast series program]. In Solutions to the dropout crisis. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network. Retrieved from

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. ASCD’s Whole Child approach (see is an effort to transition from a focus on narrowly defined academic achievement to one that promotes long-term development and success of all children. ASCD provides a set of engaged indicators and in-depth resources that move schools from a vision for educating the whole child to action that results in successful, well-rounded young people.

ASCD. (2016, August). The engagement gap: Making each school and every classroom an all-engaging learning environment: A report on the Spring 2016 ASCD Whole Child Symposium. Retrieved from

Bridgeland, J. M., DiIulio, J. J., Jr., & Morison, K. B. (2006). The silent epidemic: Perspectives of high school dropouts. Civic Enterprises, in association with Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Retrieved from

Brandon Busteed, Executive Director of Gallup Education: Presentation at the NASDCTEc, October 21, 2014. Retrieved from

Dary, T., Pickeral, T., Shumer, R., & Williams, A. (2016). Weaving student engagement into the core practices of schools: A National Dropout Prevention Center/Network position paper. Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network. Retrieved from

ENGAGE: The International Journal for Research and Practice on Student Engagement

National Coalition for Academic Service-Learning. (2016). Engaging students through academic service-learning: National guide to implementing quality academic service-learning. Retrieved from

The Forum for Youth Investment helps leaders get young people ready for life. The Forum works with state and local leadership groups to fundamentally change the way they do business for young people. Working with others, the Forum implements field-tested strategies that strengthen state and local partnerships focused on youth, expand and improve learning opportunities for all youth, and align and advance policies and resources to make them more effective.

The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (see is committed to increase graduation rates through research and evidence-based solutions. Since inception, it has worked to improve opportunities for all young people to fully develop the academic, social, work, and healthy life skills needed to graduate from high school and lead productive lives. By promoting awareness of successful programs and policies related to dropout prevention, the work of the Center/Network and its members has made an impact on education from the local to the national level.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation (see stimulates transformative change of public education systems across New England by growing a greater variety of higher quality educational opportunities that enable all learners—especially and essentially underserved learners—to obtain the skills, knowledge, and supports necessary to become civically engaged, economically self-sufficient lifelong learners. The Foundation’s focus on student-centered approaches acknowledges that students engage with learning in different ways, so public schools need student-centered strategies—rather than a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach. Student-centered approaches to learning highlight four key tenets, drawn from the mind/brain sciences, learning theory, and research on youth development that are essential to students’ full engagement in achieving deeper learning outcomes.

Pickeral, T. (2017, May 3). Fifth grade students’ professional learning community [Blog post].

Williams, A. (2008). Understanding the continuum of youth involvement. Retrieved from

Wistar, R. (2009). Effective use of self-paced learning in the classroom environment. The Knowledge Network for Innovations in Learning and Teaching

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