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Respecting students reaps rewards in the classroom

Respecting students rather than trying to control them reaps rewards in the classroom

Dr Louise Porter launches new handbook ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Management‘

Renowned child psychologist and author Dr Louise Porter has launched a comprehensive, authoritative and potentially controversial new handbook on how to proactively manage primary and secondary students’ behaviour in the classroom.

In the textbook, called ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Management’, Dr Porter’s key message is that understanding and providing for children’s needs means there is no need to try and control or ‘manage’ children’s behaviour in the classroom.

The text convincingly demonstrates that using a guidance approach to managing student behaviour, rather than one of reward and punishment, is the key to the long term success of the pupil, the teacher and the school.

“Children don’t behave well because of rules: They behave well because they can. Having a system of rules and consequences does not make young people any more capable of managing their emotions and impulses, but simply punishes them for not being able to,” says Dr Porter.

“Instead, children need our compassion most when they appear to deserve it the least,” says Dr Porter.

Due on shelves in early June, ‘A Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Management’ provides teachers and teaching students with a robust and effective approach to managing behaviour and helping students to develop into happier, more confident and successful individuals in the community.

“Supporting students so that it is easier for them to do as expected, and so that they are more willing to do so, is an easier task for teachers than compelling students,” Dr Porter says.

“This means no more rewards (praise, stickers, or student-of-the-day awards) for achievement or behaviour.

“Instead of attempting to persuade children to repeat the success, we need to give them information that helps them to appreciate for themselves what they have achieved and what their next goal might be,” Dr Porter advises.

“By delivering information instead of a judgement, we ensure that we do not shame children, which is vital because as Brené Brown says ‘believing that you made a mistake is very different from believing that you are a mistake,’” Dr Porter says.

A ‘Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Management’ provides vital evidence and understanding into the psychology behind youth behaviour, vital for teachers and teaching students.

“Every behaviour is an attempt to meet a need,” says Dr Porter.

“Therefore when, by their actions, students are saying ‘no’ to something their teacher is asking we should listen for the ‘yes’ behind it.

“If they don’t want to sit and listen, then perhaps the need is to be active – and that need is what the students are saying ‘yes’ to. When we honour the need, we will have solved the disruption,” says Dr Porter.

The handbook is being heralded among the education industry and child psychology experts as ‘highly readable, encyclopaedic and compelling.’

Dr Ted Cole, lead editor of the Routledge International Companion to Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties says there is so much to absorb in this impressive blend of research, idealism and sound sense.

“I highly recommend it for principals, aspiring school leaders and teaching students,” says Dr Cole.

Born and educated in New Zealand Dr Louise Porter is a renowned child and clinical psychologist with over 30 years of practical experience.

She is the author of a number of titles including ‘Children Are People Too’, ‘Young Children’s Behaviour’, ‘Gifted Young Children’, and ‘Teacher-parent collaboration’.

Dr Louise will be in New Zealand to promote the launch of A Comprehensive Guide to Classroom Management in August. The book is on sale from May 30, 2014 in leading books sellers nationwide.


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