I love this story about Mrs Goldburg. I first came across it in 1989 when I attended a workshop given by Richard Andersen at S.I.T. in Brattleboro, Vermont.

For me, it says so much about user engagement, and so much about what is misunderstood about engagement. The technique he describes won’t apply to every situation, but the principle behind it will.

This extract is from: Arranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic: Crises is in Education

by Richard Andersen (on Amazon)

Mrs Goldburg was in her last year before retirement and no two teachers contrasted as much as she and I. She was old, I was young; she was fat, I was thin; she was short, I was tall, or at least taller; she was losing her hair, mine came down to my shoulders.

“And nowhere were be more dissimilar than in our approaches to teaching. Literally and figuratively, we were on the opposite sides of the hall. Mrs Goldburg didn’t believe in relating to the students or putting on a show for them in front of the room. Nor was she very keen on whetting their interests or stirring their creativity. And preparing the ‘whole child’ for a role in society she left to fools.

Of these, I was probably the biggest. Willy Loman would have been proud of the way I kept my personality before m