Engaging lesson ideas: what does the research say?


Teachers have tried all sorts of tactics to ensure students are fully absorbed in a topic – but do any of them actually work? In their new book, Dennis Shirley and Andy Hargreaves explore the ‘myths’ surrounding the popular engagement strategies used in schools and reveal the approaches that have proved successful, some of which may surprise you ➧

Engaging teaching styles

Engagement is a serious business. Just think about the word in marital terms: it is a step that involves commitment and intensity. Or, think about the word in martial terms: to “engage” means to enter into combat with somebody.

In schools, however, “engaging” is often synonymous with “easy” or even “superficial”. Teachers looking to encourage disaffected teens to engage with their lessons will plan quizzes and games, and incorporate references to popular culture into activities that students might enjoy and be able to relate to.

But there is nothing trivial about engagement. So, why ...

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