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April 2-4, 2016
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ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

2016 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Learn. Teach. Lead.
Get the tools to put it all together at this can't-miss education conference—with more than 200 sessions and five inspirational keynote speakers.

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Handbook for the Art and Science of Teaching

by Robert J. Marzano and John L. Brown

Table of Contents

Module 13: Using Games and Inconsequential Competition to Promote Student Engagement

A key component in promoting high levels of student achievement is ensuring that all students are intellectually, emotionally, and socially engaged with the content they are learning and the tasks they are assigned. The Art and Science of Teaching identifies five general factors related to student engagement:

  • High Energy—Teachers can use physical activity, appropriate pacing, and communication of enthusiasm and intensity in working with students to promote engagement and motivation.
  • Missing Information—Teachers can capitalize on the innate human need for closure by asking students to discover and supply missing information.
  • The Self-System—Effective engagement of students also involves incorporating topics, ideas, and processes that students find inherently interesting and valuable to them.
  • Mild Pressure—When students experience mild pressure while engaging in such activities as questioning, games, and competitions, they tend to focus their attention on key elements of the learning process.
  • Mild Controversy and Competition—Teachers can structure and manage nonthreatening forms of controversy and competition through such processes as debates, tournaments, and related forms of team-based activities.

This module (Module 13) and the next two (Modules 14 and 15) present strategies based on these five factors that teachers can use to engage students. This module focuses on the use of games and other forms of nonthreatening competition as catalysts for promoting student engagement.

Reflecting on Your Current Beliefs and Practices


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