Deep Engagement as a Complex System: Identity, Learning Power and Authentic Enquiry

Ruth E Deakin Crick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book

59 Citations (Scopus)
419 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter develops a definition of engagement which is underpinned by a participatory enquiry paradigm and invites an exploration of patterns and relationships between variables rather than a focus on a single variable. It suggests that engagement is best understood as a complex system including a range of inter-related factors internal and external to the learner, in place and in time, which shape his or her engagement with learning opportunities. The implications of this approach are explored first in terms of student identity, learning power and competences; second in terms of student participation in the construction of knowledge through authentic enquiry. Examples are used to illustrate the argument which have been generated from research into the theory and practice of Learning Power and from the Learning Futures programme, in the UK and Australia. The chapter argues that what is necessary for deep engagement in the 21st century is a pedagogy and an assessment system which empowers individuals to become aware of their identity as learners through making choices about both what, where and how they learn, and to make meaningful connections with their life stories and aspirations in authentic pedagogy. In this context the teacher is a facilitator or coach for learning, rather than a purveyor of expert knowledge.
Translated title of the contributionDeep Engagement as a complex system: identity, learning power and authentic enquiry
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Student Engagement
EditorsSandra L Christenson, S. Reschly, C A. Wylie
PublisherSpringer, New York, NY
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781461420187
ISBN (Print)9781461420170
Publication statusPublished - 2012


Dive into the research topics of 'Deep Engagement as a Complex System: Identity, Learning Power and Authentic Enquiry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this