School Discipline

School discipline is a system of certain rules which are considered appropriate to regulate behaviour and maintain order among the school going children The term also refers to code of behavior commonly known as School Rules and Regulation. These rules may include the expected standards of clothing, timekeeping, social behaviour and work ethic. School discipline often is enforced through the application of punishment which results from breaking the code of behavior. Often School Discipline becomes a means of administration of punishment, rather than behaving within the school rules. The means of Punishment often turn abusive and it is here that School Discipline becomes controversial and raises it's ugly head.

The aim of school discipline is to create a safe and happy learning environment in the classroom. When a teacher is unable to maintain order and discipline in the classroom, students may become unmotivated and distressed, and the climate for learning is diminished, leading to underachievement. Discipline is a necessary part of school life and Methods of maintaining discipline in schools are not always successful. Indiscipline among children is common in all schools, although most schools manage to contain it to tolerable limits. However at times, poor disciplinary management within school can cause a general breakdown in order. This disorder often results in violence against teachers and other children.

Each school's head is responsible for promoting good behaviour and discipline. The head has the power of the school's discipline policy and can use them in governing a discipline framework. The head is also entitled to publicise the discipline policy. And as such these are to be known within the schools and to parents, and by bringing it to the attention of students, parents and staff at least once a year. Good discipline is based on an agreement between the school and parents about what is expected from a child. Parents are always encouraged to work with the school to try and solve any problems that may arise.

Disciplinary Methods

There are certain methods that are/were used to maintain School Discipline.

  • Physical Punishment - Deliberate infliction of pain through various physical methods of punishment like striking the student on the buttocks or the palm of the hand. These were /are intended to maintain discipline or reform a wrongdoer or change a person's behavior. In certain countries like Singapore it is still prevalent.
  • Detention - Detention is one of the sanctions schools can use on disciplinary grounds.
  • Use of Reasonable Force to Restrain - Teachers and other staff in school can use reasonable force to prevent students from committing a crime, causing injury or damage or causing disruption
  • Praising - It is positive method which encompasses deliberate Appreciation of student upon an act of discipline.
  • Merit Marks - These are reflected in the report card, bulletin board etc. to encourage discipline.
  • House Points - These become a source of pride and motivation as members of a certain house are united as a group in achievement of discipline.

Causes of Indiscipline

1.  Ineffective Discipline Policy - The school's discipline policy needs to be clear as to what is tolerable and intolerable behaviours.

2.  Improper Implementation of Discipline Policy - Policy needs to be fairly and consistently applied by teachers in handling disruptive behaviour.

3.  Influential Candidates - Certain pupils having influential background have no regard for authority and if involved in any indiscipline have an easy getaway

4.  Bullying - Certain Bullys who use deliberate hurtful behaviour tend to have the same influence on others which can cause indiscipline over a period of time

5.  Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco - Usage of these items produces a False Sense Of Pride, acting upon which the addicts create nuisance.

6.  Student Background - Some pupils come from backgrounds which have no or scant regard of Law which is transferred to the offspring as well

Maintaining Discipline

Discipline does not necessarily mean punishment. A right balance between discipline and independence are the proper means to deal with this problem. Kids resent rules as they view it as a limitation of their rights and freedom. Any exaggerated focus on excessive discipline or unlimited independence leads to inappropriate behaviour. At the same time

Try not to limit your child’s independence. An independent child will easily overcome small obstacles of life, have more confidence in their own ability and grow up as mature, healthy adult. Kids feel safe and secure when given appropriate boundaries. When we provide rules we are providing healthy boundaries for them. The discipline methods are meant to teach children how to convey knowledge about the appropriate behavior in different situations.

Kids are unpredictable and some methods may or may not suit them. Specific techniques are therefore needed

Some Suggestion to Maintain Discipline

  1. Parental Role - Parents should ensure maximum positive interaction with. Though it is not easy but this is crucial for a child’s development. A child who lives constantly with put downs cannot develop into a well functioning person if he is being limited all the time.
  2. Abolishing Harsh Punishments - Though many schools have stopped indulging in such practices, there are still some schools which need to end such punishments.
  3. Counseling - This is another positive method of dealing with miscreants where in the cause of indiscipline needs to be understood in order to deal with it.
  4. Respect - It is important for teachers to give respect to students and not to to humiliate them on the basis of their caste,creed, colour, ethnicity etc. as it spreads hatred.
  5. Teacher-Pupil Ratio - Teacher-Pupil Ratio should be maintained for efficient discipline. More students means ineffective management.
  6. Positive Punishment - These include Practical Chores, standing facing against a wall, loss of privileges, additional homework etc.
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