Engagement Without Gimmicks: stripping out the superficial.


This week we started the new term’s cycle of T+L workshops. One of the workshops on offer was entitled “Engagement Without Gimmicks”. This was delivered by a very experienced colleague in the English Department who has a track record of great results and who, like me, endured the years of mind-boggling obsession with child-centred, experiential, discovery-based teaching that had such a negative impact on behaviour and results in schools across the UK.

My colleague opened the workshop by sharing a Guardian “Secret Teacher” column that she said had really angered her (I had to stop reading the column years ago as I find the needy, whiny, navel-gazing tone nauseating). In the column a science teacher wrote about how as a young teacher she spent hours creating resources to help her students learn in fun and “hands-on” ways and that she loved doing this, despite her husband’s pleas for her…

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