Best of the Best: Engagement(9781785832475)

Provider: Crown House Publishing
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Description Isabella Wallace and Leah Kirkman’s Engagement is a carefully curated collection of experts’ insights on the theme of teacher and learner engagement, which – as they ably demonstrate – can be facilitated and encouraged in a number of ways.

Crown House Publishing's website
Categories Primary, Secondary, Higher, Leadership and Management, Teaching and Learning, Management, Support Staff, Teaching staff, In school
Learning outcomes for participants/users and, where relevant, pupils or students

The Best of the Best series brings together – for the first time – the most influential voices in education in a format that is concise, insightful and accessible for teachers. Keeping up with the latest and best ideas in education can be a challenge – as can putting them into practice – but this highly acclaimed series is here to help. Each title features a comprehensive collection of brief and accessible contributions from some of the most eminent names in education from around the world.

In this third volume, Wallace and Kirkman explore the core concept of engagement – an essential facet of effective learning both for learners and for teachers – and share practical, realistic, cross-curricular and cross-phase strategies to make the most of these important insights.

Evidence underpinning this approach

"Student engagement is increasingly viewed as one of the keys to addressing problems such as low achievement, boredom and alienation, and high dropout rates."

Source: Jennifer A. Fredricks, Phyllis C. Blumenfeld, and Alison H. Paris, “School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence,” Review of Educational Research 74, no. 1 (2004): 59; online at

Engagement, whether of the teacher or the learners, can’t be compelled and will always be contingent on the complexities of motivation. Indeed, it could be argued that it is teacher engagement which is the key to successful learning. Such engagement can be facilitated by encouraging professional dialogue between staff, or it may be that the school’s high expectations alone could encourage in its teachers a sense of professional empowerment. But how do we recognise learner engagement, and what can we do to encourage it? From this compendium of expert voices emerge three important themes: that teachers’ engagement and positive example should be seen as a prerequisite for establishing learner motivation; that learners’ interest needs to be actively engaged, whether by meaningful challenge or by tapping into their natural curiosity; and that an expectation of appropriate behaviour must precede expectations of engagement. In this volume you will find many practical suggestions of ways to apply these ideas both in the classroom and in the staffroom.



How users/participants can evaluate success

Each contributor has provided a list of further reading so you can dig deeper into the topic and, in addition, the Teacher Development Trust offer their advice on how to plan effective CPD and responsive changes to practice based on the contributors’ suggestions.

Follow-up activities and support

Isabella Wallace is co-author of the bestselling teaching guides Pimp Your Lesson! and Talk-Less Teaching, and has worked for many years as an AST, curriculum coordinator and governor. She is a consultant for and contributor to the Oxford Dictionary of Education and presents nationally and internationally on outstanding learning and teaching.

Contact Isabella at:

Leah Kirkman is co-author of the bestselling teaching guides Pimp Your Lesson! and Talk-Less Teaching, and is an experienced AST and trainer. Keeping the needs of both the busy teacher and the discerning learner at the heart of all her training, Leah works with teachers both across the UK and abroad developing outstanding teaching and learning.

Leah can be contacted at:



Review comments received include: Rebecca Poorhady, Louise Laming, Helen Mulley and Colin Hill.

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