Purposeful Engagement: How Creative Thinking Can Inspire Learning

I could spend hours browsing the various talks on the TED website or app. Why? Because everyone who speaks at TED has a fascinating story to tell. I become completely immersed in topics that I’ve never been actively interested in, to name a few: Evolution, toasters and happy secrets.

The point I’m making is that once we have a genuine, relevant ‘hook’ by which we can purposefully engage our student audience, most of the work is done for us. The hard work lies in finding the ‘hook’.

I’m not suggesting that TED is the answer, or that we should tune students in to lessons by showing them these videos, but here is one which I was able to draw from this week when beginning a discussion on Asia and linking our Maths talk to real-life.

Which resources do you draw from to ‘hook in’ your students?

Do you have any examples of your favourite ‘hooks’?

What are your favourite TED talks? Share the best of them and your comments below!



4 Comments on “Purposeful Engagement: How Creative Thinking Can Inspire Learning”

  1. Rhoni says:

    Absolutely Teddy, this is the case with any learning. Find something to engage, attract, make links to to real life and even a sense of humour (god forbid!) We recently surveyed our student cohort and one of the things they said they appreciated from teachers was a sense of humour!

    • Teddy Mercer says:

      Thanks for your comments, Rhoni.

      I love that you’re engaging with your students via surveys – student voice is something that I’m beginning to think about more critically and we have recently completed a student survey too.

      As well as a sense of humour, I think students love it when they know that a teacher cares about them and wants to help them in every way they can. They almost have a sixth sense, I find.

      So much to learn and think about!



  2. Liz says:

    This is kind of the crux of my whole “stance” on teaching and learning. I really try to make things as real life as possible. Whenever I am planning something, I think about how the content/knowledge is actually used in the real world and then plan according to how my students can use this real life context. I often try to create an emotional connection to our learning for my students and many opportunities for student choice. It is the opportunity for choice within a real world context that really drives my students’ creativity and interests. I think a great resource for thinking about this is The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High Quality Units by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe (I’m a bit UbD obsessed, admittedly) but it really helped put the ‘nuts and bolts’ of how to plan this way all together!

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