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Discipline is probably the most difficult and unpleasant part of any educator's job. When instructors effectively communicate rules, set high expectations and provided frequent feedback, the need for discipline will likely be infrequent. However, action is occasionally required to correct a situation where a student has broken the rules or is not putting in the required amount of effort. The approach taken to the disciplinary action often determines its effectiveness. Many traditional approaches to discipline are negative, punitive and reactive, which result in bad feelings for all parties involved. A positive approach to discipline involves a process designed to solve performance problems and encourage good performance. The basic theory behind the positive discipline approach is that when a student is treated as an adult who must solve a problem, rather than as a child who must be punished, the student is more likely to respond positively and correct the problem.
Well before any disciplining action is required, there must be acceptance and understanding of the rules of conduct and the disciplinary system by both teachers and students. Students should know exactly what is expected of them and what the consequences will be if they do not meet those expectations. The rules should be consistent and fair. The discipline system will be more effective when there is consistency between teachers.
Criteria for an Effective Disciplinary System
If discipline is to be effective, it should:
Key Components of an Effective Disciplinary System