Positive behaviour management (PBM) has recently been recommended as a more acceptable form of management in the classroom than traditional behaviour modification (Cheesman & Watts, 2001). It focuses upon building up a positive atmosphere by involving the pupil as a partner in the educational process (Pierce & Van Houten, 2000) and emphasises the need to give pupils every opportunity to develop self discipline through appropriate learning experiences (Brophy, 2001; Duke & Jones, 2001; Pepper & Henry, 2001; Wayson, 2001). Where behaviour needs to be changed pupils are invited to set behavioural goals with the teacher and, in some cases, monitor and record their own progress (McNamara, 2004). In relation to Skinner's theory, I have observed this in the classroom situation positive behaviour management relies upon the principles of positive reinforcement (Skinner, 2003) with appropriate behaviour rewarded and inappropriate behaviour ignored, wherever possible. It therefore avoids the negativity incumbent upon the withdrawal of privileges in time out' and response-cost systems of behaviour modification. ...
s, such measures, introduce an "adversary orientation" into a classroom which "fosters super ordinate-subordinate and competitive relationships both between... teachers and students and students and their peers"(Thomas 2000, p. 149). Positive behaviour management, as per the National Curriculum Science, offers a more optimistic alternative, for it seeks to change the problem' behaviour by changing both the contingent conditions, which may be maintaining the behaviour, and the antecedent conditions, which may have initiated the behaviour in the first place. I agree with Jason & Kuchay (2001, p. 413) who suggested that the antecedent' conditions (the stimulus' in Skinnerian terms) exert just as powerful a control over behaviour as do contingencies of reinforcement. Moreover, changing the antecedent conditions of the behaviour is seen as less mechanistic and manipulative than the control of the schedules of reinforcement for, in this way, positive behaviour is invited rather than behaviour which is deemed inappropriate, suppressed. (Wragg 1984)
I observed during my experience as a student teacher that Brophy's description of instruction, as "actions taken specifically to assist students in mastering the formal curriculum" (2001 p. 2) is very much true, in view of my experience as a student teacher. Actions taken in the classroom that are not directly or explicitly designed to improve students' mastery of a particular subject are considered "non-instruction". One aspect of non-instruction is the teacher's management or organization of the classroom, which includes the creation and maintenance of learning environments that support the goals of academic instruction (Brophy, 2001). However, I think that accumulating evidence points to a crucial role for classroom