When students are not engaged in your class or the content, we often take it as a personal challenge to break through to these learners. I really enjoyed Chapter 16 in The Skillful Teacher, as I reflected upon the reading, I thought of specific students who were disruptive in the class, not only to the other students but to myself as well. The question is do you ignore them and do not waste your time trying to get through to them, or do you address these behavioral problems and try to inspire them.
I actually don’t fully agree with Brookfield, I would try to not waste too much of my time trying to engage the students, but the disruptive behavioral issues must be dealt with otherwise you are just passing the problem along to someone else and you are not creating a self awareness in the students on the effect they are having on their fellow classmates, regardless of their interest in the course material. Of course we have had all had students that even with this type of intervention, no change occurs, but I feel it is still important to at least attempt a mitigation, and maybe at the same time you may gain insight to why they are disengaged to begin with.
One of the reasons I love this course so much is that when you start researching different topics, you start going off in so many directions and find an enormous amount of information that you can utilize to become a better teacher. One site I found that has lots of advice on the resistance students is Busy Teacher:
I particularly liked the article on This Class ####%!$ Stinks! Relating to Students Who Show Blatant Disrespect, actually reminds me a bit of myself in my younger days when I was the problem student!