Understanding Engagement in Grade 8 Health Education


  • Kyla Christiansen
  • Twyla Salm University of Regina


Engagement, pedagogy, school health


Set in the context of Comprehensive School Health, the purpose of the this study is to examine what makes learning engaging for grade 8 health education students, and to develop a deeper understanding of how a teacher plans for and supports student engagement in health education. This is a bound case study that captures the circumstances and conditions of a commonplace classroom over seven weeks. Twenty-two students volunteered; 11 girls and 11 boys as well as the teacher. Four techniques were used to gather data including interviews, focus groups, a researcher's journal and observations, and field notes of health lessons. The data suggests that planning for engagement in health education is related to four interdependent and interconnected ideals, behaviours and emotions, categorized as the following: enjoyable learning, purposeful learning, planning for student voice and choice and planning supportive learning environments.