In brief

2nd May 2003 at 01:00
The Positive Behaviour Handbook

By Lynn Cousins and Julie Jennings, PFP Publishing pound;15

This guide for primary teachers is a digest of helpful advice on classroom management. It says all the right things about making expectations clear, using praise to motivate and build self-esteem, emphasising rights and responsibilities: all ideas that have become accepted good practice in managing behaviour.

There are useful sections on lesson planning, pace, and sample letters to parents. It gives guidance on how to manage parents' evenings and make best use of parent helpers in the classroom.

The design is strange, with a queasy two-tone colour scheme and a bizarre mix of pictures. Washed-out photographs of real teachers in real UK schools are followed by a bright, saccharine image from a United States picture library of children beaming at an Apple Mac - which could be seen as demonstrating that good principles of classroom management are universally applicable.

That aside, I can see it being welcomed by new recruits to the profession.

It provides a refreshingly clear and unpatronising guide to issues of classroom management and has obviously been written by practitioners.

Geoff Barton is head of King Edward VI school, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

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