6.2 Overview

In one images an “Overview” of Friendly and Fair Teaching (FFT) along with directions on how to read this overview.

I use the overview of‘ Friendly and Fair Teaching’ as a starting point to reflect on my teaching and to draw up a plan of action.

1. Bottom – four perspectives

You start with reflecting on your teaching with these four perspectives:

  1. Establishing a friendly tone,
  2. ‘Establishing fairness,
  3. Planning lesson
  4. Observing learning

With these four perspectives you create a positive learning environment.

2. Top – Behaviour management strategies

No matter how good you teach, disturbances can occur. If so you have ‘Behaviour management strategies’. With the first steps (1+2) and the next steps (3+4) of ‘Reinforcing positive behaviour’, you address disturbances of the lesson.

The first steps do not cost a student time, the next steps do. Behaviour management strategies are designed as a ‘Ladder of action’ (see technical language). Taking the steps of this ladder you reinforce positive behaviour. The reading direction of this ladder is from bottom to top: At the bottom of this colourful ladder is indicated “Beginning of Lesson” and at the top “End of Lesson”.

Teitler uses the term escalation ladder. FFT adopts the ‘ladder’ element from him but omits the ‘escalation’ part. FFT uses the self-coined term ‘Ladder of Action’ to indicate that you perform all actions by which you reinforce positive behaviour in a friendly and fair manner: without escalation. When climbing a ladder, you start at the bottom (beginning of the lesson). Usually you use only the first rung of the ladder, sometimes you use several rungs of the ladder. With each new disruption, you start at the bottom again.

Depending on how the lesson goes, you use the ladder more or less often. How higher the steps the more weight for the students, but at FFT you take all the steps in a neutral friendly and fair manner. You do not get angry by performing any of these steps, you remain friendly and fair. In doing so you adhere to the framework.

In Friendly and Fair teaching, you leave out escalation. You avoid dominance, hierarchy and conflict. If you do behave in a dominant manner, some students will resign at your hierarchy and dominance, they will become docile under the influence of your dominance. Others, on the contrary, will enter into conflict with you. By being dominant yourself, you get partly docile and partly rebellious students. What you don’t get are intrinsically motivated students.

3. Colours – traffic light


The perspective ‘Behaviour management strategies’ has two modules:
Reinforcing positive behaviour: first steps. These steps do not cost a student time.
Reinforcing positive behaviour: next steps. These steps cost a student time .

In the lower part of the ‘Ladder of action’, you see these colours: Using body language = green, 1st Tip = Orange, 2nd Tip = Red.
With this you can obtain the same effect as with a traffic light:
Every student knows that a traffic light consists of three lights. Most road users react to these signals: Green drive, red stop. Those who do drive through a red light know that they can be fined.
In the top  part of the ‘Ladder of  action’, you see two assignments. Future behaviour letter 1 and Future behaviour letter 2. When you teach the entire group, you have a yellow and a red letter at your disposal. When students are working independently, you can hand out a future behaviour letter on white paper.

At FFT, you use the colours of a traffic light to signal your limit. The real traffic light is replaced by images coloured like a traffic light. These images are combined in an ‘abacus folder’. Most students stop disturbing the lesson when they see the colour read in the abacus. Those who keep disturbing the lesson can expect you handing out a Future behaviour letter in which you ask the student to come up with a suggestions to improve behaviour.

More about colours with Tips and Future behaviour letters.

4. Summary

When Friendly and Fair Teaching, you create a positive learning environment. You notice that it is less often necessary to reinforce positive behaviour. As a result, more time becomes available for Biesta’s three domains: Qualification, Socialization and Subjectivation (See Educational goals).

5. Credits

Sam van Dijk – Student at the Hogeschool Arnhem Nijmegen (HAN)

Sam contacted FFT and indicated that he wanted to create a final product for his studies where you could see at a glance how FFT works. His initiative was also carried out by FFT itself. This overview is the result. The following people contributed to this overview:
Jan Wolters, Enero Moestalam, Ellen van Kooten, Jose Caballero, Ruben van den Broek, Anne Jellema and Wietske Tijssen, Nick Sorensen.

Nick Sorensen, Emeritus Professor of Education Bath Spa University

Al names used in this overview are being translated by Nick Sorensen. Nick also suggested to show all five perspectives with large black letters and suggested to make the ‘Reinforcing positive behaviour’ first steps’ green and ‘Reinforcing positive behaviour: next steps’  red.

With these changes the lower part of the ‘Ladder of action’ clearly shows the colours of a traffic light. Nick also suggested to start at the bottom of the overview with ‘Reflecting on teaching‘.