Deconstructing a review of Teaching with Emotional Intelligence

…I thought I might as well analyse a second book review… no point in rushing my own… haha…


This is a breakdown of a review from my chosen journal – the International Journal of Academic Development. The reviewer is Dorothy Spiller (writing in 2013), and the book is ‘Teaching with Emotional Intelligence: a step-by-step guide for higher and further education professionals (2nd ed)’, by Alan Mortiboys (2012).

P1: Holistic comment on value and audience of book. Sentence summarising aim of book and how this is achieved. Description of the structure of book and the standard format that all chapters follow. Examples of topics covered in chapters. Exceptions to standard chapter format (first chapter and final three, new to this edition).

P2: Comment on how author has balanced theoretical principles and practical focus, incorporating limited praise: For the most part, Mortiboys manages to keep the balance…’

P3: Comment on value and limitations of book, incorporating limited praise: ‘it is as a practical handbook that [this book] works best… the practical imperatives mean there is little opportunity to explore the underlying theories…’ and praise-criticism pairs within metadiscourse: ‘this is the flip side of Mortiboys’ succinct citing… it may lead to a somewhat formulaic uptake of ideas and behaviours’.

P4: Further development of the central argument as above; that the book should be used as a basis for discussion, where its various caveats and provisos can be explored.

P5: Comment on novelty using praise-criticism pairs: ‘what Mortiboys offers is not new’‘[his] chapters on teacher self-awareness provide very detailed and thoughtful tools for self-reflection’.

P6: Focused criticism of final chapters, concluding with praise-criticism pair: ‘while the three chapters illuminate important areas, they sit rather uneasily in the book as a whole.’ 

P7: Positive final message recommending book to developers and teachers and outlining its key strengths, referencing their pertinence in the present day. Reiteration of recommendation on use from P4.

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