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'Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners'
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'Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners'

Pedagogy Book Review

Outstanding Teaching: Engaging Learners

Andy Griffith and Mark Burns

Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners is a book I have used throughout my teaching from being a History NQT through to Subject Leader. This book was gifted to myself and my fellow NQTs within our first weeks as teachers with the slightly tongue in cheek challenge to live up to its title.

I have regularly dipped in and out of this title to inform my practice and my HertsCam Research Project focussing upon improving engagement and developing enquiry based learning in History, was in part influenced by the strategies and ideas I had gained from this book. I find it genuinely useful in helping to overcome the temptation to teach a lesson, or approach a topic in the same way, simply because it worked last time. This ensures my students are consistently engaged with, and challenged by their learning.

The book is formatted to make it easily accessible to teachers at all stages of their classroom careers, first introducing the premise of why there is a problem of engagement and the concept that pervades the book, and subsequently my thinking behind every lesson activity: flow.

The following chapters are helpfully structured around a key topic or foci such as ‘That was great! My brain hurts’ with each chapter adding another element to support engagement to your repertoire with the intention of either physically or metaphorically eliciting the response from your students such as ‘Miss- Can we stay back and finish this?’ or ‘Sir, I really enjoyed that lesson.’

The final two chapters are effective in enabling reflection with the focus upon ‘Is this the same class as last term?’ and with useful next steps to help embed each small change into your day to day teaching.

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