The Kindness Principle Making Relational Behaviour Management Work In Schools£16.99*
- This book shows how a school behavioural ethos can be built on a principle of kindness.
- The book sets out the ways in which the adoption of relational approaches can help create safer and happier schools.
- Dave supports his approaches around psychological research, along with considerations on how the young brain develops and responds to positive interventions.
- The 'carrot-and-stick' approach for dealing with staff and students is truly turned on its head.
- Dave demonstrates how schools can turn 'zero tolerance' policies into 'tolerance and compassion' gives teachers and school leaders space to help understand the context of any poor behaviour and showing empathy.
Kindness – it has been claimed – is a sign of weakness. Show too much kindness, and people will take advantage of you and your good nature, ultimately leading to an imbalance within a relationship that could be harmful. No wonder then that kind acts within schools (or the education system that too often reaches for the carrot-and-stick approach to dealing with poor pupil behaviour) can sometimes be hard to find.
However, kindness can mean being tough and fair – exposing frailties and weaknesses but doing it with warmth and compassion. This is the premise of Dave Whitaker’s new book, ‘The Kindness Principle – Making Relational Behaviour Management Work In Schools’, which argues that relationships should be at the heart of behaviour management and culture, setting out the ways in which the adoption of relational approaches can help create safer and happier schools. Covering critical topics such as restorative approaches, unconditional positive regard, building personal resilience, structures and routines, and the ins and outs of rewards and sanctions, the book offers techniques and advice on how to work effectively with all children (even the most challenging and troubled ones) without resorting to zero-tolerance, no-excuses and consequence-driven practices.
Starting off with highlighting unconditional positive regard (UPR), a phrase coined by psychotherapist Carl Rogers, Dave asks the reader to consider how positively embracing a UPR could impact your own setting. Genuineness, acceptance, empathy and self-actualisation are explored, with examples of how supporting and believing in the potential of everyone within the school community can lead to more manageable situations. But behind all this, is creating a culture where people feel valued, seen and can grow in a supportive environment. Managing behaviour is part of the kindness principle, and thinking about how schools can turn ‘zero tolerance’ policies into ‘tolerance and compassion’ gives teachers and school leaders space to help understand the context of any poor behaviour and showing empathy. Dave makes it clear though that turning to this tolerance and compassion approach does not compromise on expectations, rigour and standards.
The chapter on ‘rewards, sanctions and praise’ is a very interesting read, as Dave highlights some of the (negative) unintended consequences of reward systems, progressing onto behaviour policy ideas underpinned by kindness, consistency, and with a pinch of psychology thrown in.
This book is not only just about think about behaviour policies and strategies in schools, but also how teachers and school leaders can build a community ethos built on kindness, empathy and trust. The ‘carrot-and-stick’ approach for dealing with staff and students is truly turned on its head, and the book argues that school excellence can be built from profound humanity – something sadly missing in many aspects of society. A series of real-world examples are shared throughout the book, and it makes essential reading for teachers, school leaders and anyone working with children.