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civic engagement community engagement engagement personal engagement social change society

Terms of Engagement

Considering all the different ways people talk about engagement, a few years ago I laid down a series of essential definitions related to engagement. In this graphic taken from a presentation I did in North Carolina last year, I detail four of these “terms of engagement.”

The definitions:

  • Engagement. The sustained connection felt with a thing outside oneself.
  • Connection. An attachment of meaning, purpose, or belonging outside oneself.
  • Participation. The self-driven investment of personal energy in a thing outside of oneself.
  • Attendance. The act of arriving to a thing outside oneself.

Since creating this I have come to define engagement a bit differently, instead focusing on the sustained connection; whether its within or outside oneself is irrelevant. Personal engagement is wholly necessary before successful social, school, community, or civic engagement. All are necessary for universal engagement.

But in the meantime, this provides a simple introduction to the terms of engagement. What do you think?

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

By Adam F.C. Fletcher

I'm a speaker, writer, trainer, researcher and advocate who researches, writes and shares about education, youth, and history.

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