The Classroom X-Factor: The Power of Body Language and Non-verbal Communication in Teaching
Routledge – 2012 – 208 pages
Why is it that some teachers have a kind of magical charisma and charm which sets them apart from their peers? This book gives us a fresh and exciting answer – They have the classroom X-Factor! White and Gardner’s gripping text, The Classroom X Factor, examines the notion of having what the public has come to call the ‘X-Factor’ from the perspective of the teacher, offering fascinating insights into the use of non verbal communication in the classroom.
Using classroom and curricular examples, this book sets out to show how both trainee and practising teachers can identify their own ‘X-Factor’ in order to help transform their perspectives and perceptions of themselves during the ‘live act’ of teaching. The book demonstrates how teachers can transform the way in which they connect with their students, whilst also creating meaningful and potent learning experiences for them. White and Gardner show that by following simple methods borrowed from psychology and cognitive science teachers can develop their own ‘X-Factor’ and in so doing increase their enjoyment and efficacy as professionals. The techniques described include some of the following:
In addition, the book provides a section containing fictional stories that aim to contextualise the findings detailed throughout the text. The inclusion of chapter summaries, questions aimed at identifying the readers’ own ‘X-Factor’, lesson exemplars and a user-friendly self-evaluation framework all work together to make the book a stimulating and easy read where reflective learning and the practical application of classroom techniques are the order of the day.
This comprehensive guide to developing the classroom X-Factor within you will be of value to teaching and learning and is of immense use to both practising and student teachers and to schools seeking to develop models of reflective practice. It will also be of interest to curriculum and assessment agencies, policy makers, academics and others whose roles involve the design, provision, support and evaluation of teachers’ efficacy in the classroom.
'…there's plenty of valuable material here, entertainingly and thoughtfully presented, with bags of enthusiasm…'
Teach Secondary, March 2012
Section 1 The X-Factor and You the Teacher
Chapter 1 General Introduction
Chapter 2 Your X-Factor and Classroom Communication
Chapter 3 The X-Factor within You.
Chapter 4 The X-Factor on the Education Stage of Today’s World.
Chapter 5 How good are pupils at reading your X-Factor?
Chapter 6 The X-Factor and Pupil Achievement
Chapter 7 The X-Factor and Special Education.
Section 2 The X-Factor Orchestra – Getting to know the Various Instruments
Chapter 8 Smiling
Chapter 9 Body Language
Chapter 10 Gestures
Chapter 11 Vocal Expression
Chapter 12 The X-Factor and ‘Classroom Eyes’
Chapter 13 Our Use of Space
Chapter 14 Facial Expressions
Chapter 15 Attractiveness: Dressing for the Classroom –Does My school bag look big in this!
Chapter 16 Colour and the Classroom X-Factor
Section 3 The X-Factor Instruments in a Classroom Symphony
Story 1 Your X-Factor and Differentiated Learning - The Yellow Teddy Lunchbox
Story 2 Spartacus The X-Factor and Expressing your Emotions
Story 3 The Great Horse of Troy. Your X-Factor, Motivation, Nonverbal Drama and Immediacy
Story 4 The Butterfly – Motivation
Story 5 Bushfires - Experience and Reflection
Section 4 Concluding Remarks
Section 5 Appendix 1 – Self-Evaluation Framework
John White (Ed. D) is a primary school inspector for the Department of Education and Skills in Ireland. Prior to this, he worked as a primary teacher, head teacher and lecturer. He has also been involved in research on school leadership, classroom nonverbal communication and teaching skills.
John Gardneris a Professor of Education in the School of Education at Queen’s University, Belfast. He is President of the British Educational Research Association, and was a founding member of the Universities' Council for the Education of Teachers – Northern Ireland (UCET-NI).