Teacher Disciplining a student in classroom setting
Chantel Brink
Chantel Brink
May 29, 2024 ·  3 min read

Some Parents Are Calling For “Old School” Discipline In Classrooms

The discussion on discipline in classrooms has become more intense, with parents, educators, and scholars all weighing in on the effectiveness of implementing ‘old-school’ methods to address disruptive behavior among students. This debate gained momentum following a senate inquiry into classroom behaviors, which recommended a return to traditional disciplinary approaches as a solution.

Nationwide Implementation of Traditional Discipline Guidelines

Nationwide Implementation of Traditional Discipline Guidelines
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These guidelines, now implemented nationwide, advocate for teaching students fundamental behaviors such as entering classrooms, sitting properly, and asking questions respectfully. It is suggested that desks should be arranged in rows facing the teacher to promote a structured learning environment. Additionally, students are encouraged to practice ‘super walking,’ a method aimed at promoting orderly movement throughout the school premises. These measures are designed to instill discipline and foster a conducive learning atmosphere.

Read More: 11-Year-Old Jumps From School Bus Window In A Desperate Attempt To Escape Bullies

Research-Driven Need for Discipline

Teacher in classroom with children
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The need for such disciplinary measures arises from research conducted by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO). They found that teachers spend around 20% of their time addressing disruptive behavior in classrooms. Dr. Jenny Donavan, CEO of AERO, emphasized the importance of explicitly teaching students appropriate behavior, highlighting the strong correlation between classroom conduct and academic success.

The Perspective of a Principal

Tracy said teachers don't have support from the government and schools to teach discipline.
Image Credit: Today

However, while the idea has received a mixed reception among teachers, former principal Tracy Tully remarked on Today, “Teaching discipline is really basic information and every school should already be doing it. This will definitely work – the very first thing that needs to happen when teaching a lesson is that the teachers are there on time, they line the kids up outside the classroom and they tell them what they’re going to do and how they want them to enter,” she said.

There is nothing difficult about it, the problem is now it’s been out of control for so many decades, they need to bring it back in and they can do it, they just need the support of the schools and support needs to be given to the schools by the regional councils.”

Read More: ‘Parents Are The Problem’ Retired Teacher’s Letter is Praised By Hundreds – Do You Agree?

Voices from the Educational Community

Nationwide Implementation of Traditional Discipline Guidelines
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Former teacher-turned-CEO, Dr. Donavan, stressed the significance of consistency in teaching and practicing these behaviors throughout a student’s educational journey. She emphasized that these skills are vital components of effective classroom management.

Parental Perspectives

Parents have also voiced their opinions on the matter, with some attributing the problem to inadequate discipline at home.
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Parents have also voiced their opinions on the matter, with some attributing the problem to inadequate discipline at home. Others support the reintroduction of strict disciplinary measures in schools, viewing it as a necessary step in addressing the issue of disrespect and unruliness among students.

I think you need to cane the parents, to be honest. That’s where it is at for me. Kids are a product of their mum and dad or their parents… discipline starts at home,” one parent said. “They need to be taught to listen and learn to take direction. Just no respect (in the classroom). That’s the biggest problem,” another added.

Expert Opinions on Balanced Approaches

Teacher in classroom with children
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Former principal Adam Voigt weighed in on the debate, acknowledging the complexity of the issue. He emphasized the need for consistency across schools and cautioned against relying solely on punitive measures, advocating for a balanced approach that incorporates modern teaching methods alongside traditional discipline.

Towards a Balanced Solution

Teacher in classroom with children
Image Credit: Pexels

While the debate continues, it is clear that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing disruptive behavior in classrooms. The key lies in finding a balance between modern teaching techniques and traditional disciplinary measures, all while fostering a supportive learning environment that encourages respect and responsibility among students. As educators, parents, and policymakers navigate this challenging terrain, collaboration and open dialogue will be crucial in shaping the future of education in Australia. Will the US follow suit? Or are we not ready for that discussion yet?

Read More: Teacher Gets Fired for Giving Zeroes to Students Who Didn’t Turn in Their Work

Sources

  1. Heated debate sparks after parents demand ‘old-school’ discipline be re-introduced to Australian classroomsMail Online. Carina Stathis. April 30, 2024.
  2. Calls for schools to bring back more traditional disciplinary methodsToday. Tom Livingstone. April 2024.
  3. Old-school discipline doesn’t work any more – and shouldn’tED Source. Martin Blythe. April 24, 2022.
  4. Ways to Implement Restorative Practices in the ClassroomED Week. Larry Ferlazzo. January 09, 2020.