Best Of The Best: Engagement

Isabella Wallace and Leah Kirkman’s Engagement is a carefully curated collection of experts’ insights on the theme of teacher and learner engagement, which – as they ably demonstrate – can be facilitated and encouraged in a number of ways. The Best of the Best series brings together – for the first time – the most influential voices in education in a format that is concise, insightful and accessible for teachers. Keeping up with the latest and best ideas in education can be a challenge – as can putting them into practice – but this highly acclaimed series is here to help. Each title features a comprehensive collection of brief and accessible contributions from some of the most eminent names in education from around the world. In this third volume, Wallace and Kirkman explore the core concept of engagement – an essential facet of effective learning both for learners and for teachers – and share practical, realistic, cross-curricular and cross-phase strategies to make the most of these important insights. Engagement, whether of the teacher or the learners, can’t be compelled and will always be contingent on the complexities of motivation. Indeed, it could be argued that it is teacher engagement which is the key to successful learning. Such engagement can be facilitated by encouraging professional dialogue between staff, or it may be that the school’s high expectations alone could encourage in its teachers a sense of professional empowerment. But how do we recognise learner engagement, and what can we do to encourage it? From this compendium of expert voices emerge three important themes: that teachers’ engagement and positive example should be seen as a prerequisite for establishing learner motivation; that learners’ interest needs to be actively engaged, whether by meaningful challenge or by tapping into their natural curiosity; and that an expectation of appropriate behaviour must precede expectations of engagement. In this volume you will find many practical suggestions of ways to apply these ideas both in the classroom and in the staffroom. VIC GODDARD suggests that a bottom-up, staff-led approach to CPD can be a more motivating catalyst for teacher engagement than that which is top-down and senior leadership team-led. IAN GILBERT points out that in order to encourage engaged behaviour we need first to banish classroom boredom, and that the opposite of ‘boring’ in a learning context should be ‘challenging’. Dr DEBRA KIDD argues that the motivation to remain engaged will always be contingent on learners being able to see the relevance, purpose and value of what they are being asked to do. PHIL BEADLE raises the question of whether levels of engagement are largely contingent on geography and environment, suggesting that inner city schools may be facing the problem of learner disengagement on a scale not experienced elsewhere.

Author: Phil Beadle

Author: Ian Gilbert

Author: Vic Goddard

Author: Debra Kidd

Publisher: Crown House Publishing
ISBN: 1785832476
Publication Date: 28/02/2018
Price £9.99

Each contributor has provided a list of further reading so you can dig deeper into the topic and, in addition, the Teacher Development Trust offer their advice on how to plan effective CPD and responsive changes to practice based on the contributors’ suggestions.