Effects of discipline in schools

The Holy book says that whoever spares the rod, hates his son, but the one who loves him disciplines him diligently. Discipline in schools is important. It helps to build the foundation for the schoolchildren’s success later in life. It is what helps children achieve good performance in school and it is responsible for maintaining orderliness. Yet, it constitutes one of the greatest challenges facing teachers nowadays. Discipline is defined as “the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behaviour, using punishment to correct disobedience.”

A lack of proper parental and school discipline can result in disruptive behaviours in the classroom. Disruptive behaviour interferes with the teacher’s ability to effectively deliver a lesson, as it requires a large amount of the teacher’s time and attention.  Disruptive pupils/students can also influence their peers with their actions and encourage them to behave similarly, thereby compromising the teacher’s authority.

Nowadays, however, the views of many child psychologists on discipline conflict with what is scripturally recommended. A spanking may therefore be a lifesaver to a child. If parents and teachers hold the children’s life interests dear to them, they will not weakly or carelessly let disciplinary action slip from their hands. Love will motivate them to take action, wisely and fairly, when it is needed.

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As regards discipline, it is not limited to punishing. Discipline basically means ‘instruction and training that holds to a certain order or framework.’ Discipline, rightly given, is evidence to a child that he is loved.

There are types of discipline. Preventative discipline: Establishing expectations, guidelines and rules for behaviour.

Supportive discipline: Measures taken when rules are broken, usually a verbal warning or a suggestion for the correction of behaviour. Corrective discipline: Measures taken when supportive discipline has failed to change the child’s behaviour after repeated attempts. It mostly refers to the consequences delivered following an infraction.

Children need discipline to mould and learn the correct ways to behave. Without this, they will only continue in bad behaviours and many will escalate those behaviours over time. Children are always trying to figure out their world, and they do that by testing limits, pushing boundaries until they reach resistance. .” Therefore, if resistance and discipline don’t come, they may not learn what is right and wrong.

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Before proceeding with punishment, teachers should think carefully and understand its pros and cons. While punishing students can quickly stop a problem, it tends to be a short-term solution that can often be accompanied by negative effects, such as a drop in positive attitudes towards school and a more negative perception of teachers. Punishment is defined as inflicting a penalty as retribution for a transgression. According to the definition, since schoolchildren are likely to commit offences, it would make sense to punish them for their bad behaviours. However, teachers must refrain from applying such a routine approach to deal with unruly behaviour and use critical thinking instead to determine whether punishment is necessary. Teachers should always consider alternative options for dealing with bad behaviour, before proceeding with punishment.

Acceptable forms of punishment include but are not limited to demerit systems, apologies, time-out, detentions, being made to write essays, and being made to pick up refuse around the school, among others.

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However, in case of severe problems with classroom management and children that are unresponsive to corrections, teachers should reach out to colleagues for support and involve the school’s administration and the child’s family when necessary. This method has proven to be useful.

There is never an easy answer, or even one correct answer when it comes to raising children. Discipline is no different, and there are many theories on how it should be administered in school settings.

In conclusion, the following steps are guides for parents and educators on raising balanced children and adults: love abundantly, discipline constructively, spend time together, teach your children right from wrong, develop mutual respect, really listen to them, offer guidance rather than a speech and be realistic.

Over time, educators, administrators, parents and policy-makers can work together to create better discipline policies in education. They all play an important role in instilling morals in children.

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