Professional development

5th November 2004 at 00:00

This book is a result of action research and will be of interest to teachers and support staff in mainstream and special schools who support children with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties. It emphasises the importance of relationships in schools and encourages a therapeutic approach.

It explores reasons why children are badly behaved. Although it is difficult to change behaviour, the handbook explains how it can be done through a learning process involving discussions about thoughts and feelings. While acknowledging the teacher's right to teach and the student's right to learn, it emphasises everybody's right to be physically and psychologically safe and treated with dignity and respect.

The book also emphasises the importance of communication. By controlling reactions of responding to and dealing with conflict, planning and problem-solving skills can be developed alongside anger management and emotional literacy.

It explains that educators need to plan for good behaviour and clarifying relationships between rights and responsibilities, choices and consequences.

Inevitably, rules and routines are needed. Primary behaviours need focusing upon, and trust and rapport built. Good behaviour needs modelling. Issues that count need following up and, when things break down, relationships need repairing and restoring. The core principles of fairness, honesty, trust, justice, integrity and equality are emphasised.

Angie Rutter

Specialist teacher, Buckinghamshire communication and interaction team

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