Learner Motivation and Engagement in High School Social Studies Classrooms


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The purpose of this study was to determine if the use of hands-on and cooperative learning strategies would increase the engagement of students enrolled in United States History. The measurement tools were created by the researcher and were based on the National Survey of Student Engagement. The study used a counterbalanced design with a pretest/posttest to compare each student’s level of engagement before and after the intervention. There was no statistically significant increase in student engagement, although there was a significant correlation between student understanding of a lesson and student engagement in lessons using traditional strategies and those using engagement-targeted strategies. Research of engagement in secondary schools, especially in social studies, is limited and should therefore be continued in order to determine the best strategies for increasing learner engagement.