Michael McQueen on navigating around student engagement.

This is the second post from that Principal’s conference I attended last term. The theme if your read the first post (McCrindle) was on social trends and their impact on education, schools and teachers.

We were fortunate to have two keynotes from Michael the first on understanding the eras of the various generations from the builders of the 1930’s to the Gen Z’s 1999 onwards. If your interested in that information Mark has a PDF titled “Understanding the Generations @ Work” which is free to download and McCrindle has a chart worth looking at titled” Generations defined Socialogically“.

In his talk he puts out 6 shifts for teachers if they are to engage young people”

  1. Put relationships before role
  2. Matrix Learning
  3. Adopt a facilitator role
  4. Give regular feedback
  5. Use stories to make your point
  6. Go for commitment not compliance

Perhaps a few words on some of these shifts might help explain his shift:

Relationships: Michael attempted to debunk the old teacher myth of don’t smile before Easter tip as that was about role separation (command and control) and not relationships. Don’t get him wrong he has a formula (rules + relationship = respect). He suggested that students have a well-defined BS (bullshit) meter and that teachers need to be themselves (authentic) and interested in students as people. I think is close to Mark McCrindles thinking here and certainly our work with George Otero – relationships matter.

Matrix learning is simply about showing the relevance and interconnectivity with other subjects of what’s to be learned.

The facilitator role was really about being a good questioner. “the purpose of a question is not to get an answer but lead to a discussion – so ask with an inquiring tone”.

Feedback was an interesting area and I think he was talking about praise and his “rules” challenging

  • do it in person – eye contact with touch if appropriate
  • do it publicly – people work hard for public praise
  • give it proportionally for effort (i think he was talking about praise here) don’t give it for everything.
  • be unpredictable and give praise randomly

He talked about adjusted your expectations and finished this point saying “what gets recognised gets rewarded gets repeated”

Using stories to make your point is good one for as Michael suggests stories show how it work in life.

His last point on commitment is that we need to give a reason to do something not just because we expect it as that leads to compliance.

I hope this summary helps you.