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Five Paths of Student Engagement

Blazing the Trail to Learning and Success

This is a breakthrough book on student engagement. Join Dennis Shirley and Andy Hargreaves, two award-winning authors and leaders in their field, on a profound educational quest that will take you through exciting and challenging terrain. Five Paths of Student Engagement will open your eyes, heart, and mind and empower you to implement practices that lead directly to your students' well-being, learning, and success.


  • Learn why active engagement is the new frontier of student achievement.
  • Understand how engaging students means so much more than defeating boredom.
  • Consider psychological and sociological theories that cast new light on engagement and motivation.
  • Reflect on how engagement is about mystery and magic, meaning and purpose, and focus and mastery.
  • Understand why increasing classroom engagement requires much more than surveys, rubrics and observation protocols.
  • Learn strategies to battle all five enemies of engagement in order to engage students totally and motivate unmotivated students.
  • Explore five clear paths of engagement that lead to improving student learning and success that all teachers and schools can embark upon immediately.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: From Achievement to Engagement—Two Ages of Educational Change
Chapter 2: Theories of Engagement and Motivation—From Maslow to Flow
Chapter 3: Three Myths of Engagement—Relevance, Technology, and Fun
Chapter 4: The Five Enemies of Engagement—And How to Defeat Them
Chapter 5: Standardized Testing—The Archenemy of Engagement
Chapter 6: The Five Paths of Student Engagement—In Theory and Practice
Epilogue: The Promise of Engagement and the Battle for Change




  • Barber, M. (2009). From system effectiveness to system improvement: Reform paradigms and relationships. In A. Hargreaves & M. Fullan (Eds.), Change wars (pp. 71‒94). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Hargreaves, A. (2020). Moving: A memoir of education and social mobility. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.
  • Wiliam, D. (2017). Embedded formative assessment (2nd ed.). Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press.