Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

"They should try to find out what the children like";exploring engagement in childhood

By Christine Stephen, Peter Cope, Iddo Oberski and Peter Shand


This paper is an account of an exploratory study of the perspectives children and teachers hold about the learning experiences and pedagogical activities which\ud engage primary and secondary school learners. The investigation was prompted by the apparent contrast between the enthusiastic, self-initiated engagement observed\ud in preschool playrooms and the efforts teachers report as necessary to engage older pupils. A review of our interrogation of the literature on disposition to learn and\ud motivation is followed by a description of our empirical work to explore the ways in which the main actors in classrooms make sense of engagement in learning. Our\ud findings suggest that for the children engagement stems from active involvement, enhanced by a perception that there is some scope for freedom of action and opportunity for choice. On the other hand, the perspectives of the teachers were focused on participation in learning activities selected and led by the teacher and carried out in a way which meets the adults’ expectations

Publisher: University of Stirling
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (2003). An Inclusive Perspective on Transition to Primary School, doi
  2. (1979). The Ecology of Human Development,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.