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Engagement by Design

Engagement by Design
Creating Learning Environments Where Students Thrive

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August 2017 | 192 pages | Corwin

Every teacher wants engaged students. No student wants to be bored. So why isn’t every classroom teeming with discussion and purposeful activity centered on the day’s learning expectations? 

Consistently finding a rhythm—where students progress through relevant and challenging content—isn’t easy. But not only is it possible, it can also seem effortless when teachers have the right design for genuinely engaging students.  

Classroom dynamics are inherently complex, as multifaceted as the personalities in the room, so where should a teacher begin? Engagement by Design gives you a framework for making daily improvements and highlights the opportunities that will bring the greatest benefit in the least amount of time. You’ll learn about relationships, clarity, and challenge, including

  • How getting to know each student a little better can fundamentally change the classroom dynamics—and how to do that
  • What it means to be an “intentionally inviting” teacher, and how it gives you an advantage in creating an environment conducive to learning
  • How to bring more clarity to key aspects of your work—and how it can reap substantial rewards for you and your students
  • How opening the culture to student voice—listening to students—is linked to academic motivation, and how to use it to shape your day-to-day planning
  • The best ways to increase learning for your students, boosting the proportional value of their school year

Understanding engagement—and actively pursuing it—can make all the difference between forging a real connection with students and having a classroom that’s simply going through the motions. Engagement by Design puts you in control of managing your classroom’s success and increasing student learning, one motivated student at a time.

List of Videos
About the Authors
Chapter 1. The Inviting Classroom
Are Students Engaged?

Intentionally Inviting Classrooms

Low-Hanging Fruit

Student Voice

Engagement by Design


Chapter 2. Relationships
Building Relationships With Students

The Invitational Aspect of Teacher-Student Relationships

The Equitable Aspect of Teacher-Student Relationships

How Teachers Communicate Expectations Differentially

The Advocacy Aspect of Teacher-Student Relationships


Chapter 3. Clarity
Clarity in Teaching

Know What Students Are Supposed to Learn

Know How Students Learn

Know How to Communicate What Students Will Be Learning

Know How to Develop Success Criteria


Chapter 4. Challenge
Inviting the Struggle



Strategic Thinking

Struggle That Builds Expertise


Chapter 5. Engagement
The Engagement Gap

Engagement: Overused and Misunderstood

Bringing It All Together

The Engagement Equation

Voice (V)

Self-Worth (SW)

Purpose (P)


Engaged Students

Engaged Classrooms

Engaged Student Outcomes

The Ending of One Story Is the Beginning of Another




I will be using this book for the second course in a MA in Teaching program. It will work beautifully to help pre-teacher candidates identify what learning theories look like when enacted in today's classroom.

Dr Joan E McGarry
College Of Education, Concordia University
July 8, 2020

Love all of Fisher/Fry books. Enrollment precluded use in class.

Dr Jim Nichols
School Of Education, Nyack College
December 21, 2018

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781506375717

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