Effective School Discipline: Promoting Safe, Positive Behavior and Academic Success

National Association of School Psychologists. Communique, September 2010 | Go to article overview

Effective School Discipline: Promoting Safe, Positive Behavior and Academic Success


We all have an investment in creating safe, orderly, and positive learning environments. This is a primary purpose of school discipline. A second equally important goal of discipline, whether at school or home, is to develop children's positive behavior and self-discipline. The two approaches work together, and both are critical to an effective comprehensive school-wide plan that supports student and staff safety and well-being and academic achievement.

For some schools a comprehensive approach to discipline requires a shift in thinking. Too often, schools rely exclusively on punitive discipline that uses harsh strategies, such as suspension and expulsion, as primary disciplinary actions for even minor misconduct (this is common with zero tolerance policies). While clear, consistent consequences for misbehavior are vital to effective discipline, there is no evidence that strictly punitive practices create safer or more functional schools. On the contrary, extensive use of suspension and expulsion does not correct misbehavior over time and actually contributes to increased misconduct, declines in academic achievement, poorer school climate, an elevated dropout rate, and increased juvenile delinquency and incarceration.

CREATING A COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOL-WIDE PLAN

A comprehensive school-wide plan consists of a range of evidence-based strategies to achieve four important goals:

* Developing self-discipline

* Preventing misbehavior

* Correcting misbehavior

* Remediating and responding to serious and chronic behavior problems.

Developing Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is seen in socially responsible behavior that is motivated primarily by intrinsic factors, not solely by the anticipation of external rewards or fear of punishment. Self-discipline promotes positive relations with others and a positive school climate, fosters academic achievement, and promotes self-worth and emotional well-being. Specific strategies include:

* Implement curriculum activities that teach social, emotional, and behavioral competencies.

* Provide multiple models of social and moral problem-solving and responsible behavior as part of the curriculum and school culture.

* Provide opportunities for students to apply skills of social and moral problem-solving and responsible behavior.

* Challenge self-centered thinking. Nearly all children tend to rationalize or justify transgressions (e.g., "He started it," "I didn't mean to hurt him," "Others did it, too"). Such self-centered thinking should be tactfully confronted, and alternative ways of thinking, feeling, and acting should be highlighted.

Preventing Discipline Problems

Authoritative discipline is proven effective and is different from authoritarian (arbitrary, inconsistent, unfair) and permissive (inattentive, unclear, and inconsistent) discipline. Authoritative adults set high standards and hold high expectations; enforce rules and standards in a firm, fair, and consistent manner; and promote autonomy by encouraging students' active participation in decisions regarding their behavior. Authoritative adults focus on positive, proactive techniques for increasing the likelihood that students will exhibit appropriate behavior willingly rather than grudgingly. Specific strategies include:

* Develop positive relationships between students and staff and among students. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Effective School Discipline: Promoting Safe, Positive Behavior and Academic Success
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.