Collect Rapid, Actionable Insights
- Students respond to targeted questions about classroom conditions that affect student engagement.
- Survey results are paired with relevant, evidence-based recommendations.
Iterate & Adapt
- Since every class is different and every teacher is different, evidence-based recommendations are just the starting point.
- Teachers use cycles of inquiry and action to refine recommendations and find what works for them and their students.
Collaborate with Colleagues
- Teachers work on a team with colleagues to swap insights about what works best in their local context.
- Guidelines for constructive meetings help teachers stay focused on supporting each other’s improvement.
Engagement and Learning Conditions
Many factors influence students’ motivation and ability to engage, and some of those factors are outside teachers’ control. For example, students might have trouble focusing if they come to school hungry or if they don’t get enough sleep. But research is clear that teachers do have control over certain learning conditions that affect student engagement.
The Engagement Project focuses on three learning conditions that affect student engagement, are easy to assess with brief surveys, and have clear, evidence-based strategies for improving them:
Teacher Caring. Students engage more deeply in their work when they feel like their teacher likes them and cares about them as a person.
Feedback for Growth. Students learn more effectively when their teacher recognizes and encourages their progress, and offers supportive feedback to help them improve.
Meaningful Work. Students are more motivated to learn when they can see how their classroom experiences relate to their lives outside of school.
Why Focus on Engagement?
Academically engaged students are more likely to learn and succeed. Of course, it’s not just about grades or test scores—engaged students are better positioned for a productive, healthy, and intellectually stimulating life.
Unfortunately, motivating students to engage can be challenging. Stanford University’s PERTS designed the Engagement Project to help teachers leverage the science of motivation and each other’s expertise to foster students’ internal drive to learn.
The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) is an applied research center at Stanford University. We help educators apply insights from the learning and developmental sciences so that every learner gets the support and stimulation they need to thrive.
PERTS works with developmental scientists and educators across the nation to build tools and services that help schools foster student engagement and success. Through our work with schools, teachers, and other educational organizations, millions of students around the world have benefited from evidence-based practices.
Susan Colby, Founder & CEO, Imagine Worldwide
Carol Dweck, Professor, Stanford University
Camille Farrington, Managing Director, UChicago Consortium for School Research
Becky Margiotta, Principal, Billions Institute
Jason Okonofua, Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley
Greg Walton, Associate Professor, Stanford University