Strategies and Interventions for Promoting Cognitive Engagement

  • Angie J. Pohl


Cognitive engagement refers to students’ investment and interest in their learning, motivation to learn, goal setting, perception of relevance of learning, effort directed toward learning, and use of self-regulated learning strategies. Cognitive engagement is important because it influences students’ academic and behavioral engagement, with students who are more cognitively engaged more likely to attend school regularly, complete coursework, earn credits, and achieve academically. Though cognitive engagement is a covert subtype of student engagement, meaning it is difficult to observe and measure directly, indicators may be detected indirectly through think alouds, discussions with students, surveys or questionnaires, or written records. Indicators include valuing of learning, demonstrating self-efficacy, setting personal mastery goals, attributing success to effort, investing time and effort into learning, and utilizing self-regulated learning strategies such as appraising tasks, planning, self-monitoring progress, and self-evaluating. Recognizing the indicators of cognitive engagement that are present and absent for students will help to identify students who would benefit from interventions and also inform the selection of appropriate interventions. Interventions may target students’ motivation to learn and/or their ability to select and implement self-regulated learning strategies. This chapter discusses in greater detail the indicators and facilitators of cognitive engagement, the importance of cognitive engagement for students’ school success, and strategies and interventions that promote cognitive engagement.


Cognitive engagement Cognitive engagement intervention Investment in learning Value of learning Self-regulation Self-efficacy Meta-cognitive strategy use Self-regulated learning Personal investment Effort Goal setting 


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Angie J. Pohl
    • 1
  1. 1.Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School DistrictBurnsvilleUSA

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