Forms of discipline practised at two rural schools

Lapperts, Desmond Michael (2012-03)

Thesis (MEd)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The study aims to research discipline in schools and I explored alternative forms of discipline. The literature indicates that alternative forms of discipline exist to the canings that were inflicted in the past, which have now been outlawed. However, effective alternatives to corporal punishment are not obvious. Before deciding on alternatives, it is advisable that teachers go through an experimental phase, and be prepared to make adjustments along the way. The literature also shows that classes with fewer behavioural problems have teachers who tend to use non-violent and child-centred approaches to classroom discipline. Studies show that the vast majority of disciplinary problems result from the circumstances in which such learners find themselves, which are characterised by problems at home, learning barriers, trauma, and ineffective teaching methods. I conclude that the application of corporal punishment aggravates such problems, rather than solving them. Present-day educators are required to fill a greater pastoral role than they did in the past, as learners nowadays tend to face many more difficult challenges than they used to do in the past and also are likely to experience less support outside the school. Most educational psychologists recommend that educators place learners, in cases of them suffering from emotional problems, child abuse, sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, or alcohol and drug abuse, in an intensive process of counselling, with them being referred to experts in the fields of reference (Porteus et al., 2001:45). I conclude that attempts to improve classroom discipline can be effective if the whole school community is involved. One of the ways in which the whole school community can become involved in attaining a better discipline system is through the adoption of a code of conduct that is arrived at by means of consultation, persuasion and agreement with all role-players concerned. The maintenance of such a code is, however, only likely to be successful if it is strictly enforced and the appropriate sanctions are imposed against those who violate it.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie doen navorsing oor dissipline in skole, en spesifiek alternatiewe vorme daarvan. Die literatuur dui op die bestaan van alternatiewe vorme van dissipline na die afskaffing van lyfstraf in Suid-Afrikaanse skole. Alternatiewe vorme van dissipline is egter nog nie duidelik sigbaar nie. Voordat daar besluit kan word oor alternatiewe vorme is dit egter raadsaam dat onderwysers eers eksperimenteer en die haalbaarheid van alternatiewe vorme probeer vasstel. Die literatuur dui aan dat klaskamers met min of geen dissiplinêre probleme, onderwysers het wat nie-geweldadige en kindergesentreerde benaderings volg. Studies dui aan dat kinders met dissiplinêre probleme uit huise kom met leerprobleme, trauma, en oneffektiewe onderrig metodes. My gevolgtrekking is dat lyfstraf sulke problem vererger, eerder as om dit op te los. Daar word van hedendaagse onderwysers verwag om meer as ooit tevore 'n pastorale rol te vervul. Sielkundiges adviseer dat leerders met ernstige dissiplinere problem eerder na deskundiges verwys behoort te word in plaas daarvan om dit in die klaskamer te probeer oplos. My gevolgtrekking is dat klaskamer dissipline kan effektief toegepas kan word indien die hele skool, ouers en gemeenskap betrokke word. Dit kan slegs geskied met 'n gedragskode wat deur wye konsultasie, beraadslaging en in ooreenstemming met al die rolspelers daar gestel word. Die handhawing van so ʼn kode kan slegs slaag indien dit streng toegepas word en indien daar strafmaatreëls in plek is vir diegene wat die kode verbreek.

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