Every phase of school management is closely related to school disciplinary. A well-ordered class-room is likely to be from discipline problems. According to Hansen, “Discipline becomes a problem when students are not productively busy.” Discipline must not be confused with stupid forms of punishment.
Discipline is associated with wholesome class conduct. Discipline is always connected with a goal. The attainment of a goal which is bigger than that which can be reached immediately by the individual involves discipline. Thus, discipline may be thought of as an organization of one’s impulses for the attainment of a goal.
Modern educators think of discipline as primarily concerned with meeting the causes of maladjustments in the school so that right thinking and right conduct may be firmly established. Often-times, disciplinary problems grow out of poor class-room procedures and the teacher’s weak personality.
The teacher who really teaches will generally be able to maintain a fairly good order, and one may be quite certain that continuous disorder is the result of faulty organization and technique in the treatment of the lesson. Studies have shown that one chief cause of the teacher’s failure is his inability to maintain order in the class-room.
Good teaching is made possible by good discipline. Likewise, Grim and Michael is state that, “good discipline is a result of good teaching, a by-product, as it were.”
Good discipline implies obedience on the part of every pupil to class-room rules and regulations with the aim of achieving success in learning. It has been said that discipline is best when it is least in evidence. Ability to secure good discipline is one of the qualities of a good teacher.
Psychological studies have revealed that poor discipline is one of the causes of failure in teaching.
The correct techniques of management and method must be regarded as the principal agency of good discipline within the school. Good discipline is enforced not merely for regulative purposes; it has also important educational values inherent in itself.
The modern conception of discipline is that it is both regulative and educative wherein the attention of the teacher is directed to the development of constructive attitudes and habits of conduct, rather than to regulations of control negative in nature.
It is regulative because without quiet and order, effective teaching on one hand, and profitable learning on the other, are not possible. Pupils doing group work require a quiet and regulative class-room atmosphere in other that they may derive the maximum benefit from the exercises.
The true function of class-room discipline is to create and maintain classroom conditions favorable to effective teaching and learning, or to create a desire to help establish and maintain good working conditions to further the accomplishment of the objectives for which the teacher and the pupils are working the ideal conditions for teaching and learning depend largely upon the attitude of the learner, class-room conditions conducive to good teaching and learning, and the teaching skill of the teacher in setting the stage for learning.
The real purpose of modern discipline in school is to guide social development and adjustment. The problems of class-room discipline are problems for guidance and for education, not for coercion and punishment. And of course, the kind of guidance we give depends on what the teacher wants to produce.
It has not been long since most parents and teachers sought implicit obedience- unquestioning docility and conformity as evidence of successful discipline. But unfortunately this criterion is rapidly giving way to the idea that initiative, self-direction, and social conscience are the normal indications of wholesome development.
The modern concept of discipline is based on rational approach. In a rational approach to discipline, mere compliance is subordinate to understanding.
The pupils must be made to understand why certain modes of behaviour are to be followed, to question the reasonableness of things, to have the habits of finding out about things, and to make up their own minds. They must grow up as people who have had much practice in planning for the welfare of themselves and their communities.
The teachers must see to it that discipline of the home and the school does not interfere with that development by inculcating an attitude of subservience to the ideas and demands of the older generation.
The discipline of both the home and the school should recognize the dignity of each individual and his right to seek recognition and to direct his own activities. Modern discipline must be viewed with new insight and understanding.
The modern concept of discipline is based, on the following democratic principles:
1. Discipline based on devotion of humanitarian principles and ideals such as freedom, justice and equality for all rather than discipline based on a narrower and more egoistic affiliation.
2. Discipline which recognizes the inherent dignity and rights of every human being, rather than discipline attained through humiliation.
3. Discipline based on understanding of the goal in view rather than discipline based on high authority.
4. Discipline which develops self-direction, self-discipline rather than discipline based on compulsion and obedience.
It can be said that modem concept of discipline is based on democratic principles. Discipline is not coercion through force but it is a spirit. And a spirit cannot be ordered, or punished into or regimented for.
Democratic discipline is based on admiration and love of an ideal or good and the love of this goal must be so great that sacrifice for the attainment of this goal ceases to be sacrifices and becomes incidentals of a process.
Those persons who complain about the softness of the modem schools and who demand that the school use “Army methods,” do not understand the methods of education for a democracy.
The teachers must bear in mind that democracy is built on respect, on confidence in each other and on cooperation. True discipline is based on willing cooperation, which springs from knowledge, idealism, and a sense of service.
One great task of the teacher in a democracy is to understand and accept principles of democratic discipline. However, by understanding and accepting the principles of democratic discipline do not mean that all disciplinary problems are solved, or will- disappear.
The other great task which confronts the class-room teacher on his job is to translate the principles of democratic discipline into daily action in his class-room. It is with this idea in mind that the principles governing the handling of disciplinary problems are discussed in this Chapter.