Evolution of the Study of Engagement from Three Approaches


  • Catalina Patricia Morales Murillo Universidad católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir http://orcid.org/0000-0001-7519-5891
  • Robin McWilliam The University of Alabama
  • María Dolores Grau Sevilla Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir
  • Pau García Grau The University of Alabama




Engagement, Historical Evolution, Time on Task, Experiential Education, Research, Ecological-Behavioral, Approach


Engagement in classroom activities is relevant for the development and learning of children and adolescents with and without disabilities. Although researchers in Spanish speaking countries are studying the construct of engagement, a need prevails to present a synthesis in Spanish language on the onset and evolution of engagement. This article presents the historical evolution of the construct of engagement from three perspectives: time on task, ecological-behavioral studies and experiential education. The first two perspectives are born in the United States during the 60s and 70s, while the latter emerged in the late 70s in Belgium. We present the chronological evolution of the investigations for each of these perspectives and the challenges that arise to continue the study of engagement.

Author Biographies

Catalina Patricia Morales Murillo, Universidad católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir

Profesora Doctora

1Departamento de Neuropsicobiología, Metodología, Psicología Básica y Social

2Campus Capacitas

Robin McWilliam, The University of Alabama

Department Head

Department of Special educational and Multiple Abilities

María Dolores Grau Sevilla, Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir

Directora de Departamento

1Departamento de Personalidad, Evaluación e Intervención Terapéutica

2Campus Capacitas

Pau García Grau, The University of Alabama

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Department of Special educational and Multiple Abilities


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How to Cite

Morales Murillo, C. P., McWilliam, R., Grau Sevilla, M. D., & García Grau, P. (2019). Evolution of the Study of Engagement from Three Approaches. EDU REVIEW. International Education and Learning Review / Revista Internacional De Educación Y Aprendizaje, 6(4), 245–258. https://doi.org/10.37467/gka-revedu.v6.1862



Research articles