The Complete Classroom

Author(s) Steven Hastings
Publisher Routledge,an imprint of Taylor & Francis Books Ltd
Published 2006
Pages 192
Price £65.00
ISBN 0415392616
Reviewed by Mrs Christine Jenkins
University of Winchester
Review published 21 August 2006

Although clearly work-related, I found this the perfect summer read. The Complete Classroom is a readable, interesting book which provides an up-to-the-minute overview of several key issues facing teachers in both primary and secondary schools today.

Steven Hastings, a regular contributor to the Times Educational Supplement, writes regularly for the weekly series The Issue; a selection of these articles forms the basis of the twenty four short chapters of this book, ranging in topic from nits to emotional intelligence, from handwriting to pupil power. The book is arranged in three sections: the healthy classroom, the thinking classroom and the well-rounded classroom. Each chapter is supported by a list of references, many of them electronic, enabling further research to be undertaken.

The Complete Classroom is quite different from the denser, less digestible academic reading with which I regularly engage in my role as an initial teacher trainer. For me, its usefulness lies in its relevance to current classroom debate and the concise overview of current thinking it provides. I will draw on several of these chapters to introduce these topics to my students. The book is most directly relevant to all those – teachers, governors and school leadership – engaging with these issues on a daily basis in schools. I would recommend this book – a definite addition to the staff-room bookshelf, or even your bedside table!