Category Archives: behaviour

The problem with ‘unconditional positive regard’

If you’re a parent and your child misbehaves in public, what do you do? If you’re not a parent, and someone else’s child misbehaves in public, what would you like the parents

12 Rules for Schools – Rule 5 Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them

Welcome to the fifth installment in a series of posts adapting Jordan Peterson’s book, 12 Rules of Life to the context of eduction. All the posts in this series are collected here. This is not

Getting culture right Part 2: Understanding group psychology

This is the second post on getting cultures right in schools. You can find Part 1, on social norms and using normative messages, here. We are essentially social animals and have evolved to

Getting culture right Part 1: Normative messages

If you want to change anything within a school, culture is crucial. As Tom Bennett argues in Creating a Culture: How school leaders can optimise behaviour, culture is “the way we do things

Should teachers do what children want?

Every weekday morning, my daughters both moan about having to get up for school. They moan about their teachers and they moan about homework. Given free rein, they would spend all day

Why parents should support schools

Like all parents, I want the best for my children. When they’re unhappy, I’m unhappy. When they suffer injustice, I’m incensed. When their school makes a decision I disagree with, my first

Easy is easy, hard is hard

Recently, I had the ill luck to be present for a friend’s five-year-old daughter’s birthday party. To add to the naturally generated mayhem of putting 30 small children in a space with

The consequences of freedom Part 2

Last month I wrote about RD Laing and how his conception of freedom has had a lasting and negative impact on education as well as wider society. In this post I want

The consequences of freedom

Aye, fight and you may die. Run, and you’ll live… at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade all the days, from

Bottom sets and the scourge of low-level disruption

In many English schools, low-level disruption is the norm. Children talking when expected to be silent, fiddling with equipment and each other, calling out, and generally not being ‘on task’ are all

Is our behaviour a choice?

Arguments about free will date back to ancient Greece, but the scientific consensus now tends towards the belief that free will is an illusion. It’s become an article of faith in the life

Should everyone follow the rules?

I’ve never liked being told what to do. I’m not a great team player and I struggle with authority. I’ve always chafed at constraints and, as I get older, I’ve become increasingly