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what do you think about self-discipline?

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by happyseaurchin, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. I am new to this forum, been teaching for long enough to realise that my classroom practice is a bit odd. Can I test the waters and ask what people's response is to self-discipline? Has anyone had any experience implimenting a self-discipline system in their classes, or indeed school?
  2. I am new to this forum, been teaching for long enough to realise that my classroom practice is a bit odd. Can I test the waters and ask what people's response is to self-discipline? Has anyone had any experience implimenting a self-discipline system in their classes, or indeed school?
  3. You mean for the kids to learn self-discipline? Plenty of experience, nil success.
  4. bessiesmith

    bessiesmith Occasional commenter

    You would need to explain what this means in practice in order for anyone to give a useful response. For example, do you mean that you don't get involved in creating a disciplined classrooom atmosphere but hope that the children will do it naturally? (I can't imagine this approach being a marked success in most schools...) Or are you talking about something a bit less extreme?
  5. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Well I have fabulous self discipline...I need to or would have been convicted for assault before now. Not sure it is considered 'odd' though.

    My class sometimes have the self discipline to learn and function as a team, but not always. However they are only 10 and 11 years old, so I feel it is more my job to teach them self discipline than to expect it of them all the time.
  6. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Well said.
  7. How exactly does one do this?
  8. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I have year 11 and 13 classes who have self-discipline. If I am not in the room when they arrive they will automatically get on with something constructive. I have even came in to find heated debates about homework tasks. However, i teach in an international school in Qatar where most of my students are from cultures where parents value educational achievement very highly and are not averse to getting involved in their child's education.
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    When they get it right, praise to the hilt and talk lots about what was right and why. When they get it wrong show them what was wrong and why it would have been better for all concerned had they done things differently. If they get it wrong and I know they already know what is right I tend to hit the roof and dish out sanctions.

    I find over the top praise (and sometimes reward) for getting it right and a little over the top ranting (and sometimes punishment) for getting it wrong works well.

    Certainly classes I have are always more self disciplined at the end of the year than at the beginning, as they should be being a year older.
  10. I don't have one, but one of my daughters had a teacher with a brilliant approach. We're talking year 6. Right from week 1 term 1, he started a program of telling the students he had to go out of the room for 5 minutes - he expected to see them working quietly when he got back.
    This didn't always work well to start with. He reinforced the message by telling them that if they could be quiet and get their work done when he was out of the room, they'd be allowed back in the classroom at lunchtime to use the computers and game tables in the room. (He had the place beautifully set up for this.) He was absolutely ruthless about withdrawing privileges.
    By the time term 2 arrived, he could walk out virtually any time for any length of time and there'd be no problem. So then he told them that this was all about a school trip. By the time he took them away interstate for 6 days a term later, they were eating out of his hand.
    As for parents and other teachers. We could walk into that area any time of the day, class time or break time, and his classroom would have some or all the students in there. Working or playing computer or other games. Brilliant.
  11. experience of teaching self-discipline?
    do tell!
  12. More about creating a healthy learning environment, one that has arisen not through the threat of top-down, authoritarian discipline, but because students have learned how their own self-discipline allows their various enthusiasms and interests and personalities to find a place. I do think this can come "naturally" to kids, given the right conditions. Given an authoritarian environment, self-discipline doesn't have a chance to seed. I was wondering if any teachers had played with the conditions necessary for this, and indeed, some have!

    Initially, I just wanted to know how... readily the term of self-discipline came to teachers here, whether people used the term, had explored how to generate it, etc.
  13. Interesting... especially because you are talking about the age group, and that you mention teams. Do you talk about team work much? Or employ any techniques that play at the team level, eg competitions?

    I may have to disagree about "teaching" self-discipline... I suspect it is something which is learned, not taught.
  14. Thanks. Yes, I have had experience in private schools and found behaviour generally better, and it mostly comes down to parents' ethic. In this thread, I am hoping to find out if there are teachers in mainstream education, secondary preferably, who have conducted any experiments which might fall into the camp of "self-discipline" or team work.
  15. Yes, this sounds great. I wonder, do you know or could you find out if he was giving various privileges to individuals, or if it was per group, or introduced as a whole class event? Eg, could some kids cme back into class, or did the whole class win the right to use the room? A critical point this, I think.
  16. Withdrawing privileges? Now you're testing my memory.
    If I remember correctly it was all or nothing to start with. As time went by he applied some more individual approaches.
    But when he discussed it with me halfway through the year, he was definitely pushing the idea (not overtly with the kids) that the combination was intended to be self-discipline for most students, for most of the time, peer pressure to guide the thoughtless back to the norm, teacher authority to hold the whole thing together and to deal with the occasional recalcitrant individual.
    He took large groups of students away every year for many years. I believe he had a very rare instance of telling a family a child could not attend because of their poor behaviour. When my husband went away with our daughter's year group (by the time he got back he never wanted to see another sausage on a barbie ever again) he said the behaviour was terrific.
  17. RaymondSoltysek

    RaymondSoltysek New commenter

    Mmmm... an interesting notion. Isn't learning facilitated by teaching? Yes, we can learn things without being taught them - but doesn't teaching make the whole process better? As teachers, if we identify something which should be learned - like self discipline or good behaviour - isn't it part of our job to teacher it?
  18. This looks like you are training the children when self discipline surely involve each child training themselves.
    If you accept self discipline as the act of training oneself then this thread seems more and more ridiculous. What we have is either people who don't understand the difference between self discipline and training children to behave or people who are actually taking credit because their students happen to behave themselves independently.
  19. '....experience of teaching self-discipline? do tell! '
    Well, for instance, I'd try to discourage them from sneering rather than asking for clarification..... but as with most teaching of any form of morality, I never met with much success. The kids who generally treated others decently, had already picked up the rudiments of civilized living from home and parents, while the others ... well, I think the words 'indifference' and 'resistance' ---- if not outright hostility---- come nearest to describing their response to all efforts to introduce a bit of self-awareness into their approach to life. The teacher who described a classroom of students showing self-discipline is right to mention the influence of the home. Schools ... and teachers.... can't do alone what it used to take several social forces --- the family, the church, the community or the social environment--- to do; and that's what's happening today... I mean, that's what the teacher is being expected to do.
  20. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I would say I teach the children, by example and direct teaching to have self discipline. Yes the self discipline comes after one has been trained to see the benefits. At certain stages of development children are motivated by extrinsic rewards, later by intrinsic. Later still they simply have self discipline. The age I teach are some way in the middle of the journey and so all aspects are present.

    I don't accept that self discipline is the training of oneself. More the product of having been trained.

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