“The students were engaged” – a meaningless phrase

Clio et cetera

I have frequently on this blog commented on the fact that genericism is one of the biggest problems we face in education (http://viewrz.com/video/genricism). Being generic means we don’t have to be specific, but being specific is good because it forces us to say exactly what we mean. If we are specific we can’t get away with meaningless platitudes.

A very good example of this is the use of the word ‘engaged’.

How many times have you heard “the pupils were really engaged in your lesson” or “this lesson would have been better if those boys had been more engaged”. My hunch would be that you’ve heard this more than once.

But what on earth does it mean?

On its own, it actually means very little. The word ‘engaged’ is sometimes used to mean ‘having fun’ or ‘enjoying oneself’. If this is what someone means when they say ‘the pupils…

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About teachingbattleground

I teach
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