Out for good behaviour

12th January 2001 at 00:00

BEHAVIOUR MANAGEMENT AND POLICY. By Mary Fielding Folens pound;14.95.

This is an invaluable manual for schools: accessible without being superficial, and rich in ideas. It starts by providing a framework for a whole school review of behaviour management, giving detailed guidelines on how such an audit can be set up and implemented. It proceeds with a store of practical ideas about the origins of difficult behaviour and it suggests how such behaviour should be tackled.

The author starts by looking at the structural antecedents to misbehaviour, such as clutter and crowding, and she suggests ways of avoiding such problems by making space available.

Management techniques come next, with the need for rules, reward, the establishent of power and other strategies carefully but simply explained. Ways of using circle time and "paired staffing" are spelt out and discussed, as are ways of working with parents. This is followed by a very helpful behaviour clinic in which common problems, such as verbal abuse, rowdiness, talking out of turn and temper tantrums, are raised. In all of these, the author gives a brief introduction before going on to give masses of suggestions on how to improve things.

This excellent book could form the cornerstone for the review of any school's behaviour policy. Equally, it could provide an invaluable element of any new teacher's induction pack.

Gary Thomas is a professor in education at Oxford Brookes University.

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