Tes focus on…the art of negotiation

Most behaviour policies don’t advise negotiating with students, but Richard Mullender, one of the world’s foremost experts in hostage negotiation, tells Simon Creasey that it could be an effective way for a teacher to bring pupils into line

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The idea that teachers should negotiate with a student, whether it’s about their behaviour or discussing what they should be learning, is an incredibly divisive issue. Some teachers believe that “pupil voice” and a collaborative approach to topic choice, rules and learning techniques are productive. Others think that this is the devil’s work because kids don’t really know what they want or what is good for them.

The latter camp believe that negotiation is a sure-fire sign of weakness and a route that won’t get you to where you or the pupil need to be. For Richard Mullender, this view is ...

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