The General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) stipulate several professional standards that must be achieved for a student teacher to gain full registration. One of these Standards for Registration (SFR) is the requirement to have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry and that student teachers must know “how to engage critically in enquiry, research and evaluation individually or collaboratively, and apply this in order to improve teaching and learning.” (GTCS, 2012)
The process of practitioner enquiry has been defined by Baumfield, Hall and Wall (2012) as one relying on engagement in deep reflection leading to sustained action research. It has been further defined as a well-established methodology which allows practitioners across a range of professions to ‘solve problems and improve their practice.’ (Koshy, 2010 in Forster & Eperjesi, 2017)
Enhancing and maintaining student engagement is an important goal of educators, given its link to improved persistence, achievement, and retention (Finn, 2006) It has been defined as “the energy and effort that students employ within their learning community” (Bond et al, 2020) and is the core component required for a lesson to be effective (Griffith and Burns (2012: 2). Whilst much research has been carried out in the area of ‘flipped learning’ and engagement, much of it is centred around higher education. (Henrie et al, 2015)
This enquiry seeks to examine engagement in online and classroom-based learning over a period of five weeks and look at ways in which it could be facilitated and improved. At the time of this enquiry, Scotland was under lockdown and schools were closed. Children were therefore learning via online learning for the first three weeks of the enquiry and classroom-based learning for the final two weeks, when schools reopened to Primary 1-3 children.
The aims of this enquiry are to investigate strategies that could improve engagement in both online and in class learning.