A major concern that Wiggins voices during the article was the problem of student engagement. In the article he points out multiple situations that occur throughout the normal school day of a student that lead to a passive learning state for students and an overall decrease in desire to engage with the material. Students are expected to quietly sit most of the day and absorb the information presented to them with little opportunity given to using or discussing the material being covered. Students are introduced to complex ideas and not given time or opportunity to explore and examine the material. They are lectured at for half of the period and then expected to quietly complete assignments based on the work that was covered. These are the types of lessons that destroy the desire for students to learn and expand their knowledge. It teaches students that learning is more of a chore than a pleasure and that it has to be suffered through.
This style of instruction also leads teachers to thinking that students are unmotivated and have no desire to learn. However a simple examination of the work students are doing in their free time will show that students are actively engaged in finding information and learning about subjects that they feel have value. Students are actively researching personal projects that require higher critical thinking and problem solving than many of their classes for pleasure. As educators we need to find ways to create these same levels of excitement and desire in our own subjects. Students need to be given work that engages their creativity and passions and can draw them into the lesson.
Students need to also feel that they are having a noticeable impact on the class they are in. Wiggins points out that students who are passively engaged in education feel that they have no stake in the class and that their participation or presence has no direct impact on the class. The lessons we teach students need to give students a sense of voice.