Tom Bennett, founder of researchED, author, and behaviour advisor to the DfE, exorcises his demons here.
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Educating Essex 4.5: You shall not pass!
Off to speak at an education conference in Spain about Cyberbullying for a few days, so the Educating Essex blog will drop sometime on Monday. Unless they get 4OD in Leon in which case I am ON THAT THING. Incidentally, Vic Goddard kindly let me know that the Film Club were watching... Lord of the Rings. Of course.
Enough is enough- it's time to stop taking bad advice about behaviour when children's futures are at stake
Years ago I waited tables in TGI Fridays, where they used to run competitions for staff to see who could sell the most sticky, smoky meat and goldfish bowls of margaritas. Until one day the good times stopped rolling and the managers decreed there would be no more. The reason? One of them had read a book: ‘Punished by rewards’, and claimed that it described how people shouldn’t be incentivised by something so gaudy as an incentive. The author was Alfie Kohn. Years later when I became a teacher I discovered his advice was following me around like eyes on a painting in Scooby Doo. Kohn has become one of the most influential writers in education. His books have found homes in libraries from Beirut to Bearsden. Sadly, rarely have trees been so needlessly pulped.
I frequently hear him described as a behaviour expert. But I find this strange, because surely one of the defining …
I think it’s important, once in a while, to write about what researchED stands for. It’s important to continually define ourselves, in order not to be misrepresented or misunderstood. Recently some people have asked me where researchED stands on a number of issues, and I am glad to do so.
One of these is representation at conferences. It shouldn't need saying that conferences should represent the communities they serve; but then, many things that shouldn't need saying do need saying, and if we take them for granted, others will create new, bleaker narratives.
So, to be carved in the side of the wall:
researchED welcomes submissions from all people regardless of ethnicity, sexuality, or gender. We particularly welcome submissions from under-represented peoples or groups, considering all such submissions equally. In order to redress historical and cultural misrepresentation, I would urge anyone reading this to encourage any members of underrepresented groups who wish to, to sen…
There were many common themes (because all students are humans, with human capacities, appetites and reactions) many different ways these themes were achieved (because context matters, and few things in human behaviour are universal). Detail matters.
One of the most commonly encountered strategies was the use of well-described routines, defined, embedded and maintained by an alert and consistent staff, and self-sustained by the community of students. For routines to work, they have to be consistent. There need to be understood exceptions, and exceptions need to be exceptional, rational and coherent with the culture. Laws are laws but without room for wise interpretation they become prisons rather than climbing frames.