Following a Red Top newspaper carrying a front page story about the practice of one primary school head teacher to hang a plaque around the neck of young boys going to the toilet as discipline for all those boys ‘missing the target’. Siarad Da were asked to take part in a discussion about this approach to ‘discipline’.
Many callers, to the Oliver Hines programme, claimed that ‘discipline’ in schools had disappeared. Retelling their experiences of ‘the dap’ or ‘the cane’ and how ‘…it didn’t do me any harm…’ Comments from callers included ‘…teachers should have more power to use discipline…’
Dr Kitchener, suggested we should consider using the term ‘behaviour management’ instead of discipline, describing how the word ‘discipline’ conjures up images that are aimed at causing pain and fear in students, as retold by many callers. Instead schools should be teaching children to manage their own behaviour and helping teachers to develop strategies that included working with parents and students to look at ways forward. She suggested that a change of vocabulary may also encourage those teachers who still discipline by bullying and ridiculing students to rethink their practice and discover positives strategies to help students learn to manage their behaviour.
This topic may need a wider discussion, what do you think?