Every teacher can identify the signs of a disengaged student, seemingly uninterested in the topic at hand. This could be the result of a genuine disinterest, or the student may think the topic has no relevance to their life. They could be overwhelmed by too much information, or they may have misunderstood a concept and given up rather than asking for clarification. The child could also be preoccupied with trouble at home, a playground incident, or any number of other distractions.

Educators know that engaged students enjoy their learning experience and are more likely to learn in a meaningful way. Increasingly the research shows that engaging students by establishing connections between the curriculum and their observations about the world outside the classroom leads to better academic outcomes and better preparation for careers and their future daily lives.