Relevance and Engagement Are Not Embellishments

Love Learning....

Most of my work in school over the past ten years or so has been about making the curriculum relevant and engaging to children. Those words are not very trendy at the moment. Sometimes it seems that the ‘resilience/grit’ agenda has been hijacked by people who think that those qualities are simply about tolerating boredom. They are sadly misguided. Boredom is a negative state in which learning does not take place. That’s not to say we should avoid boredom at all costs – children who are bored on a Sunday afternoon might well find something useful to do. And being in a state of mindful inactivity is a healthy thing to be. But being bored in class does not lead to learning.


Instead, we should be aiming for engaged confusion. This state, rather than outright happiness is the optimal condition for learning. The puzzled frown is not the same as…

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