I’m assuming that they are taught to be railroaded, and expect that the game master should sit and entertain them. I had players like that, and I play a lot on conventions where I sometimes stumble upon groups like that.
If this is the case, I would say that you need to start breaking habits. Pick up another game, and tell them how to play it. It doesn’t have to be true in how you should play the game, but you will at least get the chance to inject how you want to play the game. You could also play games that are involving the players more, like Lady Blackbird or InSpectres, that have a game master, but will leave space to the players to fill in with their own ideas.
Another thing to do is to create a successful Session Zero. I pointed out “successful” because I recently had a session zero that stated nothing about the world, nothing about the characters, and nothing about how we should roleplay, communicate with each other (in and off game), and what we expect from the game. It was merely a pitch for the adventure. So talk to your players, tell them what you don’t think is working and how you want the session to be played.
A third thing is to break your own habits. I don’t know your habits, but impose clues to them. Let nothing happen, unless they start acting on the clues, and then you give them more information. You’re basically rewarding them by acting. So if they don’t do anything, let them sit and rot on a the tavern they started in, watching the world pass on by. And don’t ever throw them into danger! You want to reward them, not punishing them. The reward could be a magic item, but they shouldn’t have to go through danger to get it. Let them figure out things, puzzle them together. Play intrigues and mysteries, where the consequence is happening to other people or the setting itself. If they puzzle good, good things will happen. If they don’t puzzle at all, the world will start burning more and more. In either way, good/bad, shit will happen but it will happen because something they did.