Tag : engagement

Do Schools Kill Learning?

Ten years ago, a talk by Sir Ken Robinson was published on TED. Having being viewed over 41 million times on TED alone, it has become one of the most – if not the most – viewed TED talk ever. It was provocatively titled: Do Schools Kill Creativity?  The popularity of Ken’s talk catapulted him into the Public Speaking Stratosphere, not only in education, but also more broadly with many corporate and multinational organisations engaging him to present to their communities. Clearly his message […]

Continue Reading

Developing a Minecraft Mindset

What’s in this post: How I used Minecraft to discuss Mindset with kids for whom mainstream education doesn’t work Access to the materials I created in order for you to do similar if you wish Of late I’ve found myself working with kids from some fairly tough backgrounds. Whether it’s kids who are wards of the state, living in temporary shelter, or kids in mainstream settings who don’t hold out much hope for their future, I’ve been keen to explore how Carol Dweck’s […]

Continue Reading

Should You *Reward* Good Behaviour?

I’ve been doing a lot of work around Carol Dweck’s Mindset theory of late. This complements the approach I take to engagement in school (or any environment) which I largely base on Ryan & Deci’s Self Determination Theory. The essence of what I explore is that authentic engagement is achieved when: Relationships have been established built around trust, respect and care. individuals have a level of choice and voice (autonomy). Individuals improve for the sake of improving – not merely […]

Continue Reading

Snake, Walkmans, Moments & School…

What do these three things have in common,  and why on earth would I waste your time asking you that question? If you’re of a certain vintage you’ll be aware of just how amazing Nokia phones were. What’s that? You can’t remember? Check this out. Of course, Sony Walkmans were so popular even competitor’s offerings were referred to as Walkmans, and how many times have you thanked your lucky stars that your Kodak Moments weren’t captured in the era of Facebook or Instagram? Nowadays, a straw poll of any […]

Continue Reading

Stop Blaming ‘The System’

I often get asked to speak about engagement. I outline that four key considerations are essential if we are to genuinely engage kids (and staff) in our schools. They are: establishing good relationships, developing a sense of autonomy, encouraging mastery and having a bigger purpose than just chasing grades. Sometimes I hear that whilst these ideals are admirable – ‘The System’ means we can’t achieve them. To be honest, I’m tired of hearing this argument. I’m not even sure what people mean when they say ‘The […]

Continue Reading

3 Common Myths About Innovation in Education

1. We’re innovative. The kids all have iPads.  To do what? To do what you already did quicker, more efficiently or on a larger scale? In many schools the power of the iFad or whatever technology has been wheeled into the school is compromised by the way in which they’re allowed or – more importantly – not allowed to be used. Even if we adopt the higher order thinking of the SAMR Model, how innovative are we really being? Innovating in […]

Continue Reading

#MakeItMatter2Me

I regularly annoy math teachers by questioning why I would need to learn Pythagoras’ Theorem as a kid. Or Calculus? Seriously… does that even exist? And just to prove I’m not being mathsist, why should we care about Shakespeare? Whilst you might this I’m being facetious when I’m doing this, I’m trying to highlight that whilst I – as a somewhat educated 37 year-old – can see the value in each of the above, I wonder if it’s as apparent […]

Continue Reading

Do we get Engagement Wrong in School?

I’m really pleased to say that in 2014 I’ll be writing a regular column, School of Thought, for the Australian Teacher Magazine. My first column for 2014 is now up! I say engagement is overused because I witness, all too often, schools confusing conformity for engagement. Measures such as attendance, grades, homework, and adherence to uniform rules etc. are all taken to determine whether students are engaged or not. Why not go and read the full article on the Australian Teacher […]

Continue Reading

Are the smartest kids also the saddest?

Late last year, the OECD published the latest of their PISA tables. Predictably, many went into meltdown, whether it was due to their country’s position on the table, their respective government’s reaction to the results or those who detest standardised testing. But as this article shows, the tests are not all about numeracy and literacy. As part of the tests, students were asked to agree or disagree with the statement: I feel happy at school. The responses to this statement […]

Continue Reading