The Importance of Engagement | Ray Ravaglia | 5 Min Read

August 4, 2022

One often hears that in life, the most important thing is just showing up.  In education, just showing up is certainly necessary, after all, truancy laws make the alternative somewhat unpalatable.  But given the performance of most schools, just showing up isn’t sufficient.

Determining what might actually be essential for effective education has been a driving impulse behind our work at Opportunity Education.  In developing Quest Forward Learning, Opportunity Education began by conducting a thorough review of the education research and of best practices from established programs to determine what factors drive ownership of learning among adolescent high school students.  This was done to address the observation that even though students will spend more time engaged in learning while in high school than at any other time in their lives, most students view school not as an investment but as a tax on their time.  Rather than making the most of their studies to lay the groundwork for a successful future, they too often find school boring and irrelevant.  In looking for ways to reverse this trend we identified engagement as the potential crucial ingredient to improving ownership of learning.  

Corporate leaders have long recognized the…

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Ray Ravaglia

Raymond Ravaglia, Chief Learning Officer at Opportunity Education, founded Stanford University’s Education Program for Gifted Youth, was the principal architect of Stanford University’s Online High School and is also author of Bricks and Mortar: the making of a Real Education at the Stanford Online High School. He has presented regularly at conferences on gifted education and e-learning for the past 15 years. He has published in scholarly and professional journals on different aspects of e-learning, was the 1996 recipient of the paper of the year award from GiftedChild Quarterly, and in 1997 received a Central Pioneer Award. Raymond has served as an external reviewer for the Office of Post-Secondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education, has been an advisor to the College Board on the subject of online education, and was a founding board member of the International Council for Online Learning. He received his BA and MA degrees in Philosophy from Stanford University.