Tutorial Friendly & Fair Teaching

Welcome to the tutorial of Friendly & Fair Teaching. We share all information with our visitors for free and without any obligation. If you have any questions please contact us or sign up for an (online) personal course.

Within this website we have chosen to structure content as it relates to five perspectives. With this tutorial we suggest an order in which you take and process our information. We recommend that you first read this tutorial before getting started.

Introduction video

1. About us

Friendly and Fair Teaching has grown from thoughts that extend beyond the classroom. It is connected to philosophies that anchor in nonviolence, community and personality development.

Friendly and Fair Teaching started in the Netherlands as an initiative of teachers at the Pieter Nieuwland College in Amsterdam. At about us, you can see the team that is now contributing to FFT. The website vriendelijkordehouden.nl started in 2015. These teachers were looking for the preconditions that make students interact well with each other and develop their talents. These preconditions are summarised in the five perspectives of FFT. The goal is to ensure students experience the lesson as meaningful and that order arises naturally.

This method is now freely available to all on this website. Creating this website took years of time and effort, during which the creators considered, unraveled and rewrote their own practice. They supplement their experiences with quotes from literature, professional literature and philosophy. As a result, essences came into focus that were detached from a casual personal style or circumstance.

FFT distributes contributions from students, teachers and experts among the five perspectives in the expectation that colleagues will adopt their ideas. The origin of our insights can be found at the bottom of each module/perspective under the heading ‘Credits’. This summation of valuable ideas is why we consider the content of this site a ‘collective memory of teachers’.

That it succeeded, and continues to improve, is evidenced by the high and growing appreciation of the many trainees of recent years. It is also evident from the fact that the approach is being adopted by subject teachers in the Netherlands in Primary Education, Secondary Education, Vocational Education and Higher Professional Education. In the Netherlands Friendly and Fair Teaching has now been given a stage in teacher training as well.

This English version friendlyandfairteaching.com of the Dutch website: ‘Vriendelijk Orde Houden’ is made available in 2023.

2. General goal FFT

FFT advocates to incorporate students’ learning needs into lessons. As you become more experienced in teaching, you are better able to respond to different situations and you are better able to understand the needs of students. If you have effective ‘Behaviour management strategies’ you can improvise and respond to students’ needs in a friendly and fair way. In doing so you are a model to your students for how to relate to the student’s self and the world. Read world-centred education – Biesta 2022

The real educational work:
Not to supppress expression and creativity, also not just let it happen but bring what or who expresses itself into dialoque with the world. Arousing the desire for wanting to exist in the world in a grown-up way.” Quote from Biesta in a lecture in Lyon.

The balance between group identity and individuality is the key to successful social systems.” (Christakis, 2019)

Differences Teacher-centred education and Student-centred education

Typically, the information on this site applies to both ‘Teacher-centred education’ (You are teaching the entire class – you are in charge) and ‘Student-centred education’ (working independently where each student charts their own course). If there are differences in approaches for teacher-centred education and student-centred education, we break the information down into two columns, each with its own image: beret or cap:

Differences primary and secondary education

There are many similarities between primary and secondary education, but there are also differences. When we name these differences, we do so in two columns, ‘Primary education’ on the left and ‘Secondary education ‘ on the right.

3. Reflecting on your teaching

You are  ‘Reflecting on your teaching‘ with the goal to create a postive learning environment. You reflect on these five perspectives.

  1. Establishing a friendly tone
  2. Establishing fairness
  3. Planning lessons
  4. Observing learning
  5. Behaviour management strategies

Each perspective contributes to a good lesson.

Figure 1: Gert Biesta

‘Establishing a friendly tone’ is at the base of this image. Creating a positive learning environment starts with being friendly. Read our overview and our images related to the five perspectives from bottom to top .

In this illustration, you see the five perspectives as links of a chain. Each link is indispensable.

Figure 2: Chain

The colours of the links in this chain are taken from a traffic light. With green coloured perspectives, you create a positive learning environment. Disruptions you handle in a friendly way with the orange/red part upper link: Behaviour management strategies

Sixth chapter

Certain topics involve multiple perspectives. These topics can be found in our sixth chapter ‘Implementing Friendly and Fair Teaching’. In this chapter you find information about the use of body language. See also: Starting with FFT – Across the school?


The perspectives break down in modules. In our overview (also in the sixth chapter) and in our menu on the right side (Contents Tutorial) you can see how we have classified different topics. To avoid getting lost in all this information, use the breadcrumb trail at the top of the page that starts with the text “You are here”.

Figure ? – Navigation

4. Professional language of Friendly and Fair Teaching

Gradually, Friendly and Fair Teaching (FFT) started using professional language.

  • Some terms we came up with ourselves: Ladder of action, Future behaviour letter, Cheat sheet.
  • Others were coined or first mentioned by course participants: Motivation coach, Tip, Tip book, Expectation management.
  • Still other terms were adopted from Gert Biesta and later slightly altered: Qualification, Socialization and Subjectivation. The folder you use to count Tips, we call ‘abacus’.

In our ‘Professional language‘ page we explain these terms. This page can be found under the ‘About Us’ tab.

5. Order of work

Everyone is free to find their own way through our information. We recommend this order of working:

  1. First read this page in its entirety and then choose a perspective or one of the corresponding modules of this perspective.
  2. Then read the overarching introduction to the course, which includes an introduction to the five perspectives and their modules.
  3. Periodically have a look at our Overview. There you see the consistency of all elements of Friendly & Fair Teaching.

To decide which perspective to start with, fill in our questionnaire.

Starting with Friendly and Fair Teaching, is a process of adjusting and getting used to. Teachers who have been working with FFT for some time, regardless of the dynamics of the group, can immediately start teaching as they want.

Friendly and Fair Teaching can be compared to driving a car. It is something you can learn. Friendly and Fair Teaching is a peaceful teaching style that is engaging, understanding, accepting, directing, inviting and trusting. It is a transparent style of teaching in which you clearly set reasonable boundaries. With this style of teaching students feel valued.

6. Starting with FFT – Across the school?

As a teacher, you can start with FFT on your own initiative or the school leadership can start implementing FFT. Read this news item

7. Fixed sections

With FFT the five perspectives are divided into fifteen modules.

Every module and every perspective has the same structure. With this structure all perspectives and modules can be used independently to reflect on your teaching and change your way of teaching.

  • Table of Contents
  • Summary module or perspective / Affirmation / Anecdote-Citation
  • Approach: Here we ask about your current and future way of teaching
  • Introduction video
  • News
  • Examples
  • Introduction
  • Importance of + how to start with it
  • Content
  • Summary
  • Image of a light bulb along with suggestions you can apply in your lesson
  • Video
  • Credits

8. Form of address

  1. Each perspective and each module begins with a bolded paragraph in the third person plural: ….. teachers… to indicate that this module is intended for all teachers.
  2. Immediately following the first paragraph is a paragraph in the first person singular: …..I….The sentence is worded so that it seems like you are speaking and you are already applying the perspective. You can imagine through this sentence what you will accomplish if you incorporate this module into your teaching style. This is meant as an affirmation (don’t confuse this with a quote).
  3. This is usually followed by an italicized quote with source citation.
  4. Next, a question about your current approach; this serves as a baseline. In this question, you describe your current way of working regarding this module. Interpret this question as follows: “What am I already doing well regarding this module?”
  5. Then a question about your future approach. This question is about the changes you want to make or have already made yourself. Interpret this question as follows: “What improvements/additions do I make to my teaching.
  6. The content then continues in second person: ……you……As if a coach is explaining FFT to you.

9. Difference between preventive and curative

FFT distinguishes preventive actions by which you ensure that, in general, fewer disruptions occur.

No matter how you teach, disruption can always occur. The way you resolve a disruption is what FFT calls curative. There is then an element of “healing”. As a result, the disruption is more likely to be managed effectively, and less likely to return.

Most of FFT’s actions are preventive. Only with the last module, you give a student an assignment which takes a student’s time. Only this we consider a curative action (Reinforce positive behaviour: next steps).

Read more about the preventive/curative distinction at the introduction

Figure 11: Preventive – curative

10. Tools FFT

FFT uses tools:  ‘Abacus‘, the ‘Managing expectations folder’, the ‘Framework‘, ‘Future behaviour letter‘ and ‘Tip book‘ Images and texts can printed from this PowerPoint. At the ‘Professional Language‘ page you find a definition of these and other terms. With the perspective ‘Behaviour management strategies‘ these tools are explained. These tools will help you to remain friendly and fair.

FFT advices to hang a poster of the framework on the wall. With it you call on everyone (including yourself) to always be friendly and fair. With the abacus you show your students the number of Tips you give within a lesson. Pay attention to the difference between whole class teaching and working independently in counting Tips.
Use the ‘Managing expectations folder‘ to indicate the attitude you ask from your students at each approach to teaching (When you are teaching the whole classe or when students are working independently).

11. Evaluation teacher goals FFT

  1. You can use our questionnaire not only to choose one of the five perspective to start with. You can also use this questionnaire to reflect on your teaching on a regular basis to determine to what extend you achieve your goals. When you have reached a goal, select a next perspective or module of FFT to integrate in your teaching in the next period.
  2. Ask your students to evaluate your teaching methods and materials.

12. Credits

Michel Couzijn – Teacher Educator UvA Michel advised FFT to ask teachers about their current  and future approach of teaching. Every module and perspective starts with these two questions.