Research Paper on Discipline in the Classroom

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George Washington University
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Research paper
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Discipline is the action under which teachers employ in guiding and changing a students behavior positively. Discipline is vital in not only class management but also for the purpose of raising upright individuals for the well-being of the society. However, the introduction of administrative regulations gives many rights to learners hence negatively affecting the act of disciplining by teachers. The teachers tend to experience several challenges in the classroom with other issues of student assaults. In this case, the teacher finds it hard for the lessons to run without student interruptions because students have more rights compared to them. Given the discipline case in classrooms, many teachers have traced the indiscipline problems from the student's homes and backgrounds. The student who causes disruptions in class might have problems at home or even due to puberty stage. Needless to say, it is the role of not only the teacher but the student in ensuring that discipline is necessary for the purpose of running the lessons smoothly. However, when correcting students, teachers should bear in mind to try and understand the reason behind the misbehaviors and instill the right type of discipline. Given the discipline case, it is then vital to understand that discipline should be exercised in a classroom for the smooth running of the lessons and making students morally upright even in the outside world.

History of Discipline

The act of students misbehaving is not an issue that has just begin in recent years. Student's misbehaviors can be traced back from the early years of the 1950s and the era in which public education was introduced. During the ancient times, students faced punishments like; corporal, detentions, reprimanding, fines and in or out school suspensions (Savage, Marsha and Tom 267). Suspensions as a mean of correcting student's behavior initially began in 1960's and continue to be exercised even till now. With the rise in students misbehavior, researchers embarked on studying the cause of the behaviors and how the discipline measures are impacting to the students. In the research, the main issue was to understand whether public classroom education was the causal of bad behaviors among student and advocate for the removal of out of school suspensions. With the findings of the research proving that students liked this form of punishment and that they took privilege in repeating the crime to be out of school again and again. According to Costenbader and Markson 1998, surveys carried out on the views of suspensions through setting up questionnaires proved that the illest behaviors that students commit are, lack of respect, aggression and even profanity. However, besides the findings on suspensions, the punishment continues to be practiced today but teachers without putting in mind that it is the form of discipline the students like. Amidst these forms of discipline, corporal punishment raised many questions in the early year of 1910. Many people advocated for the removal of this type of punishment after students registered a high number of missing schools due to fear of being beaten in classrooms. According to Philipp Emanuel Von Fellenberg, the best way to promote good class behaviors among students is to show them kindness to encourage them and not the use of corporal punishments (Wood and Babs 61). More so, European ideas were introduced by Francis Parker who analyzed the connections between discipline and education giving findings that the best way to boost the grade performance for students was for teachers to embrace teaching through play. However, this suggestion only favored the kindergarten and the elementary education only and not the whole system.

Lack of Discipline Today

Many teachers have come up to regret choosing the profession and terming it as a great mistake due to all forms of torture they endure from learners. Disrespect among students has highly grown to the extent that they treat the teacher like their age mates. Can this be the outcomes of ruling out corporal punishment which was the best way to correct students? With such a question in mind, it is clear that unless the education system thinks of bringing back the corporal form of discipline in classes or even develop new measures, then teacher are a risk of facing more problems from the unruly learners. However, lack of discipline today in a student can draw back on parents. According to the Executive Director of Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association, Beverly Braithwaite-Chan, the indiscipline in children comes from the failure of proper parental guidance (Nelsen, Lynn and H S. Glenn 150). Parents should not leave the issue of disciplining to teachers only as it is the parent's role to understand their children than the teacher. The parents have the role of parents in the lives of the children is to instill discipline through understanding the problem of their children and embarking on making the correction. The problem comes in when parents have time for the children, leaving all the children matters to the teachers to handle. It is even worst when the teacher has no good relation with the student in class. The issue creates a communication gap between the children and parents hence, the rise in misconduct among students. In this case, the teachers incur multiple challenges of playing the role of both the parent and the teacher, which is hard as they cannot understand the children like the parent does. Additionally, the issue of students misbehaving in class can be due to the problems at homes. In the case of the student's parents are divorcing, the issue can bring so much stress on the student making him, or her misbehave in class (Sprick 89). The action can be the way the student wants to deal with the stress at home since he or she is feeling helpless, thus seeking for attention. Moreover, in a situation where the student is severely abused or is not being given attention due to the encroachment parents in their divorce matters, the student have emotional outbursts which might lead them to disrupting the lessons. Additionally, other circumstances involving the student facing bullying at home from parents or even siblings, the student highly adapt the behaviors wanting to exercise the same actions in the classroom as a way of reducing stress. Due to these facts, lack of discipline in students is fueled by a multiple of challenges they face both in school and even at home.

Long-Term Effects of Discipline in Classroom

Discipline comes in three major faces which are vital in classroom management by the teacher. When the teacher embraces the three faces of discipline, then indiscipline cases in the classroom will be minimal. The need to embrace discipline in the classroom for smooth running of lessons and bettering the life of students even in the outside world should be a primary concern for teachers. In the face of relationship listening process, it is vital that the teacher carefully evaluates the student's capabilities believing that the student can drive positive change in his behaviors, hence employ the minimum form of discipline (Curwin, Allen and Brian 167). In the case where teacher embraces this face, the student will put more concentration in class knowing that their teacher believes in them. More so, the students will develop a good relationship with the teacher making the lessons more enjoyable and even easier to understand since they have the freedom to make any inquiries in areas they have not clearly understood.

Additionally, when the teacher embraces the confronting - Contracting idea of discipline, the student is in a better position to change the ill classroom behaviors completely. In this situation, the teacher adopts the scolding from where he or she faces the student squarely and making a demand on why the student misbehaved. The teacher would further command the student to stop the behavior as he or she is disrupting the class. For the purpose of maintaining class discipline, the teacher makes another concrete move by making the student adopt change in behavior through contracting. In the contract, the teacher gives the student a chance to make the decision on how best he or she will change the habits for good. Thus, in the process of plastering the change permanently in the life of the student, the teacher helps the student in formulating solutions that will curb the problem forever. In so doing, the teacher is sure to have the lessons run smoothly without interruptions and hence, a peaceful classroom.

Regarding Rules and Consequences as the process of disciplining students in the classroom for long lasting solutions, the teacher in this situation exercises much control in the classroom. The teacher sets the rules and standards under which the students are to follow once in class, and failure to follow the regulations leads to consequences. Like the head, the teacher is in a position to decide on the consequences that students are to face to ensure that peace and tranquility exist in class (Campbell 17). However, the teacher also offers rewards to students who actively embrace the rules as a way to motivate other students to behave well to get the reward. With such measures, it is evident that students will embrace classroom courtesy fearing that lack of respect will lead to receiving punishments. On the other hand, students will have the courage to adopt good class manners not for the sake of rewards but for acquiring good grades. Additionally, parents should not only leave the teachers in matters of disciplining children but work with them instead. A child who receives moral values from parents has minimum chances of disturbing the teacher in the classroom since she or he clearly knows that it is wrong to do so. In this case, the action of acquiring good grades by students starts from having a comfortable class environment.


Given the discipline case, it is then vital to understand that discipline should be exercised in the classroom for the smooth running of the lessons and making students morally upright even in the outside world. For easier learning, the teacher should always employ disciplinary measures that will make the classroom environment tranquil. However, this cannot be so if the teacher is not authoritative in a classroom. Students who misbehave in class do so after underrating the teacher bearing in mind that there is nothing the teacher can do to him or her. Therefore, it is evident to say that lack of discipline in class among students is affected by the actions of the teacher himself. Moreover, the choice of disciplinary actions employed by teachers should be those that best bring change in the behaviors of the students and not fuel. For example, teachers should do away with out of class suspensions since this is the form of punishment that students like as it helps them evade lessons.

Works Cited

Campbell, Doug. Discipline Without Anger: A New Style of Classroom Management. Lanham, Md: R & L Education, 2012. Print. Retrieved from:

Curwin, Richard L, Allen N. Mendler, and Brian D. Mendler. Discipline with Dignity: New Challenges, New Solutions. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 2008. Computer file

Nelsen, Jane, Lynn Lott, and H S. Glenn. Positive Discipline in the Classroom: Developing Mutual Respect, Cooperation, and Responsibility in Your Classroom. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2013. Print. Retrieved from :

Savage, Tom V, Marsha K. Savage, and Tom V. Savage. Successful Classroom Management and Discipline: Teaching Self-Control and Responsibility. Los Angeles: SAGE, 2010. Print. Retrieved from:

Sprick, Randall S. Discipline in the Secondary Classroom: A Positive Approach to Behavior Management. Chichester: Wiley, 2013. Internet resou...

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