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Discipline in Education

  • By: Jessica Nina Lester & Rachael Gabriel
  • In: Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: James Ainsworth
  • Subject:Sociology of Education (general), Sociology of Education, Education Policy

Public schools within the United States use a variety of disciplinary practices, each with roots in a specific philosophy of learning, behavior, and control. For example, corporal punishment (while used far less than in years past) is on one end of the extreme, with mutually developed social contracts detailing acceptable behaviors and consequences with students on the other. Historically, school discipline has been positioned as the means of maintaining control and order while shaping future citizens. School disipline, and the related concept of classroom management, have been identified as some of the most challenging aspects found in the day-to-day life of schools. Public schools have been a site for the formation of citizens that display particular behaviors, with classroom and schoolwide disciplinary practices justified in ...

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