Key Features

Collect Rapid, Actionable Insights

  • Students respond to targeted questions about classroom conditions that affect student engagement.
  • Uses only 40 minutes of class time.
  • Teachers receive survey results in customized reports, like this example.
  • Results are paired with relevant, evidence-based recommendations.

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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.
  • Teachers gain access to the Learning Conditions Resource Bank: a library of practices designed to improve learning conditions.
diagram of arrows forming a circle

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.

teachers in a meeting

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 showing caring for students

Teacher Caring. Students engage more deeply in their work when they feel like their teacher likes them and cares about them as a person.

teacher giving feedback

Feedback for Growth. Students learn more effectively when their teacher recognizes and encourages their progress, and offers supportive feedback to help them improve.

student experiencing motivation while reading

Meaningful Work. Students are more motivated to learn when they can see how their classroom experiences relate to their lives outside of school.

Teacher Stories

Learn how teachers across the country have used the Engagement Project to create more engaging, supportive, and meaningful classrooms for all of their students.

Read Teacher Stories

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.

teacher and students with raised hands

Select Your Role to Learn More

About PERTS

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.

Key Advisors

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

Key Funders

The Raikes Foundation

The Overdeck Family Foundation

Other PERTS Projects

The Mindset Kit

Growth Mindset for 9th Graders