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Disciplinary Challenges How do Principals Address This Dilemma? Gathogo Mukuria An Analysis and Critique.

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Presentation on theme: "Disciplinary Challenges How do Principals Address This Dilemma? Gathogo Mukuria An Analysis and Critique."— Presentation transcript:

1 Disciplinary Challenges How do Principals Address This Dilemma? Gathogo Mukuria An Analysis and Critique

2 Disciplinary Problems Discipline – degree of order and structure within school Lack of Discipline Students cannot learn Instructors cannot teach

3 Disciplinary Problems Leads to High student dropout rates Student absenteeism Also for teachers High turnover rate for teachers Suspensions – temporary Expulsions – permanent Extreme form – school shootings

4 Public, Urban Schools Disciplinary Problems Disruptive behavior Violence (includes fighting) Misbehaving students Drugs Vandalism Many students with persistent discipline problems eventually drop out of school

5 Public, Urban Schools Students are: African Americans Hispanic Americans Poor European Americans Larger schools tend to have more problems than smaller schools

6 Public, Urban Schools African-American urban schools Overcrowded Schools are in poor condition No human resources No technological resources Drop out rates exceed 50% African-American males are more likely to drop out than females

7 Purpose of Study Different leadership styles Difference among principals Principal controls school High suspension rates Low suspension rates Superintendent controls whole school district

8 Purpose of Study Schools were ranked by suspension rates Include schools where principal was there for at least 3 years Restrict to urban schools Study Louisiana Tends to be one of the poorest states in the U.S. Identified 65 schools with African-Americans composing 55% or higher the student populaton

9 Study Background Statistical techniques Used Spradleys (1980) developmental research sequence Domain analysis Never heard of it If it discriminatory analysis, this is the most subjective in statistics Sensitive to method and starting values

10 Hatarini Middle School 800 students School had: Broken windows Faded paint Surrounded by old, neglected, and rundown houses Judgment call

11 Lafayette Middle School Large school (no enrollment data) Built in 1926 Still in good physical condition Many residents worked in factories in the city Judgment Call

12 Molo Middle School School playground Unkempt Play equipment was either broken or missing. School was not attractive Racial and obscene graffiti Tough looking students High crime area 85% of students eligible for free school lunches

13 Pwani Junior High School School has 1,020 students Built in 1926 Clean Well-planned Attractive to eye 99% of students on free lunch program Students wear uniforms All students are equal No difference between rich and poor students

14 Principal Leadership Style Low-suspension rate schools High-suspension rate schools

15 Low-Suspension Rate Schools School wide disciplinary programs A joint effort to formulate programs Students Parents Administration Teachers I never seen this before.

16 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Discipline is a joint effort Principal supports teachers Respects and values teachers opinions Teachers have high morale Dont want frustrated teachers Teachers and principal are consistent enforcing rules and discipline If students can find inconsistencies, then they will Students always give weak teachers problems

17 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Suspension policy is a flexible guideline Not a rigid document. Flexible guidelines Counseling Reality therapy???? Behavior clinics???? In-school suspension Group mediation????

18 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Discipline problem A judgment call by administration A small fight may not result in suspension Depends on circumstances Does this violate following consistent rules???

19 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Principal has high vision for school High expectations Create a school environment that is safe for students and teachers Set high academic standards

20 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Structured school environment Students play basketball during recess Keep students occupied Keep students busy Keeps students out of trouble

21 Low-Suspension Rate Schools Discipline is a community problem School with uniforms Easy to identify which school student attends, if causing problems in a community Schools have corporate sponsors

22 High-Suspension Rate Schools Principals do not value or respect teachers suggestions Teachers distant themselves from administration Schools did not have well-established routines in school Could not articulate a clear vision for school

23 High-Suspension Rate Schools Low expectations Students lack support from parents (home) Difficult to motivate students to work substandard students Lack of parental involvement Reduces motivation of staff, principal, and teachers

24 High-Suspension Rate Schools Administration said School reflects neighborhood Drug problems Crime Unemployed parents, etc.

25 High-Suspension Rate Schools Followed discipline policy rigidly Policy is a blueprint Whether to suspend or not No flexibility Must suspend students

26 High-Suspension Rate Schools To some students, a suspension is a reward Time off from school Does not address the problem Detrimental to students

27 Criticism Does this pattern generalize to all 65 schools? Statistics can handle this Looking at 4 schools out of 65 is a biased sample! Many observations are judgment calls Was the research consistent?

28 Criticism Wished author defined Group mediation Reality therapy Was not consistent on schools descriptions

29 Criticism A good paper Paper cited McCarthy (1991) Schools with behavior problems there often is a mismatch between the curriculum and students interests and values. Consequently students act out because curriculum is imposed on them Really?????

30 References 1.Mukuria, Gathogo. May 2002. Disciplinary Challenges, How do Principals Address This Dilemma? Urban Education 37(3): 432-52.

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