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Full Description

"So students can either comply or defy, but neither of these are engagement."

Daniel Pink, author of
Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates US.



Sign up now.  Let's learn together about the nature of engagement!

*** SIGN-UP OPENS MON., AUG. 29 AND CLOSES MON., SEPT. 19 at 5:00 PM PDT - Sign-up here ***

This course will explore the definition and nature of Student Engagement and uncover how Student Engagement methods allow for better learning and more confident and effective teaching.

Target audience: U.S. K-12 educators

Prerequisite knowledge/skills:

  • Solid understanding of your current grade level standards.
  • Knowledge of different teaching methodologies.
  • Practice with engaging students in the classroom environment.
  • Willingness to try out activities and share experiences with fellow participants.
  • Ability to openly dialogue about theoretical ideas compared to classroom practice.


Course dates: Sept. 28-November 15 (6 weeks)

Course commitments:

Participants should be willing to:

  • Participate in 2 to 4 hours of work, personal reflection, and sharing each week.
  • Share openly as a member of a learning community.
  • Keep a journal, blog, and/or notes pertaining to your observations and learning.
  • Try out practices in your own classroom and bring back experiences to the group.
  • Watch videos of instruction and instructional ideas and observe for specific practices.
  • Read and discuss articles and blogs related to engagement.
  • Disagree and agree in a respectful, dialogue-encouraging manner.
  • Design and complete a course project that tests out ideas about engagement.


Course goals:

After this course, participants will:

  • Define Student Engagement and describe elements that are a part of engagement 
  • Describe factors that add and distract from engagement, and ways to address those factors.
  • Describe Student Engagement methods for different instructional frameworks: direct instruction, project-based, and process-based.
  • Explain pros and cons of different methods of engagement within different frameworks.
  • Be able to explain how their ideas about engagement fit into their instructional context.
  • Offer methods of engagement that can help teachers to address standards.


Syllabus Here

Course developer/facilitator:

Bonita DeAmicis is currently a principal of a K-5 public school in Los Angeles County. Prior to administration she worked as an elementary teacher, a staff developer, a math methods instructor for a state college, and an adult art teacher. She has two and a half books available to teachers through Corwin Press and K12 Handhelds and completed her doctorate in educational leadership at UCLA in 2004. Her love of learning makes her happy to be part of a new learning environment where course facilitators and learners negotiate and collaborate their way to deeper understandings.  

Bonita also enjoys drawing, painting, and waxing philosophically over a glass of wine and a view.

Task Discussion