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Book of the week: A Passion for Teaching

A Passion for Teaching By Christopher Day RoutledgeFalmer pound;21.99

Passion? Steady on. "Passion" and "passionate" are words that have been socially dry-cleaned. They might be used privately about teaching, among consenting adults, so to speak, but to proclaim publicly your devotion to your profession is to invite scorn for your embarrassing sentimentality, or at best a nervous giggle.

The reason is that we British are supposed to be cool about life, especially anything to do with work (traditionally people have to say they hate their jobs, in locations such as the pub). Upper lips must be firmly non-quivering at all times. We can be "keen", "committed", or "enthusiastic", but for goodness' sake don't ever exude passion publicly, or you may embarrass society to the point where its representatives, in their white coats, lead you gently away to the Kenneth Baker Rest Home for Knackered Teachers.

So I congratulate Christopher Day, professor of education at Nottingham University, for having the courage to put the word up front in the title of this interesting and unusual book. It might have been safer to conceal it in a subtitle, as in "Emotions and the Teaching Profession: a special study of the concept of passion", or even skip it altogether and call the book "Emotional Aspects of Teaching", but he is confident enough to go the whole hog.

Read the full review in this week's TES Friday magazine

Also reviewed this week:

Getting Organised By Angela Thody and Derek Bowden

Homework By Victoria Kidwell

Getting Promoted By Tom Miller Continuum Classmates pound;4.99

Behaviour Management Pocketbook By Peter Hook and Andy Vass Management Pocketbooks pound;6.99

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