Managing learner-discipline in secondary schools
Nthebe, Bakang Golden
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This research intended to explore the phenomenon of managing discipline in secondary schools. An exposition of discipline in the South African schools' context indicated the historical perspective as consisting of the use of corporal punishment in the past, the abolishment of any form of corporal punishment post 1994 through various legislation, including the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the South African Schools Act and the introduction of the so-called alternative to corporal punishment. The analysis of discipline indicated that within the secondary school context, a distinction can be made between the management of classroom discipline and whole school discipline. Discipline problems in schools included an exposition of both out-of-school and in-school discipline problems, further classed into primary and secondary causes of learner mis behaviour. Managing discipline at schools highlighted the importance of a holistic and inclusive school discipline planning programme culminating into a whole school or school wide discipline programme. The empirical research found that there indeed were discipline problems in secondary schools as a result of inter aha, parental involvement or lack thereof. These include fighting and bullying, school work dereliction, late coming and noisemaking in class, which are manifestations of indiscipline; overcrowding in classrooms, peer group pressure, which creates a situation where learners copy the mis behaviour of others so as to belong, ineffective educators' teaching approaches and conduct towards learners, shortage and or lack of facilities for extra curricula activities especially in the light of disparities between, in this case, township and rural schools and lack of learner assistance programmes such as peer mediation and counselling. The need for a whole-school approach to discipline was confirmed as critical for whole school discipline in secondary schools. This implies addressing all causes of indiscipline as against focusing on ad hoc manifestations of these problems.
- Education