According to Department of education (2008:11) every teacher is responsible for discipline and has the full authority and responsibility to correct behavior of learners whenever such correction is necessary. In this study the teacher must ensure that they make effective rules that do not violate learner’s rights to manage learner discipline in the classroom.
A governing body of a public school must adopt a code of conduct for learners after consultation with learners, parents and educators of the school (South African Schools Act 84 1996 chapter 2). In the light of the given statement educators must consult learners and parents to make an agreement on setting classroom rules that must be used in the classroom and the rules must state consequences that learners will have to face when they violate classroom rules.
The Department of education (2000:12) encourages educators to implement proactive approach to put things in place which will safe –guard the interest of the learners and culture of teaching and learning in the classroom. The handbook suggest the following mechanisms which will set the stage for a positive learning environment and that can significantly reduce problems with discipline in the classroom.
? Preparing lessons.
? Exercising self- discipline.
? Having extension work available.
? Ensuring that teaching and learning happens consistently.
? Ensuring that learners are stimulated.
? Establishing class rules with the learners.
? Making a space for time out or a conflict resolution corner.
? Affirming learners.
? Building positive relationships with learners.
2.2.2 Positive reinforcement
When a learner behave well in a classroom a teacher should praise the learner to set an example to his/her peers so that they can behave in the same way. DOE (2001:17) indicate that learners who behave in a positive way are given positive responses that promote them to repeat the same behavior.
When learners violate classroom rules the teacher must ensure that the learner face consequences, a learner can clean the whole class alone and record his/her misbehavior in a book. Repercussions may include withdrawal of privileges, time outs and daily reports (DOE 2001:15).( Duplessis et al 2007:144-145)believes that if children are met with a model of compassion, patience and understanding they are more likely to adopt the forms of behavior for themselves.
2.3 The difference between positive and negative discipline
As a teacher you must always make sure that you implement positive discipline in the classroom to keep order and to encourage participation, using negative discipline can make learners feel that you abuse them emotionally. Joan Durrant (klhh) states that Negative discipline focuses on punishment, it uses measure aimed at hurting learner physically and emotionally as a way of stopping misbehavior, punishing them and preventing bad behavior in future, furthermore he indicates that negative discipline aims to embarrass children.
Positive discipline focuses on discipline rather than punishment. It aims to teach learners to understand and follow social rules both within the classroom and outside without using emotional violence. It emphasizes on teaching a learners to do right things rather than punishing them for misbehaving.
Table 1: showing difference between discipline and punishment
Gives children positive alternatives. Tells them what not to do without explaining why.
Acknowledges, rewards efforts and good behavior. Only reacts harshly to misbehavior.
Positive, respects the child Negative, disrespects a child.
Teaches children self-discipline Requires adults to enforce discipline.
Consistent, firm guidance Controlling, shaming, ridiculing.
2.4 Roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in implementing positive discipline within the school
For the school to run efficiently all the stakeholders (teachers, principal, SGB, parents must be involved in building a safe and secure leaning environment for learners. All the stakeholders must implement a code of conduct for the school. Doe explains roles and responsibilities of stakeholders as follows
SGB: Has the key role play in developing and updating school code of conduct to support positive discipline in school. They ensure that disciplinary practices of the school take place within framework of South African constitution and SASA.
Principal and SMT: they must provide leadership on positive discipline, establish and drive the concept, ensure that policies are implemented. Ensure that learners are dealt with fairly and consistently, they need to ensure that staff get the support and adopt positive discipline approach.
Educators: they need to create learner centred classrooms that stimulates learners and encourage participation and discussion in a focused and orderly way. Prepare well so that lessons can run smoothly and discipline can be applied more easily, they must ensure that discipline is always in the line with the school’s code of conduct for learners and that learners are treated fairly and consistently. Furthermore teachers need to work with parents to keep them up to date with what is happening with their children and help them practice positive discipline.
Parents: need to help the school in ensuring consistency between home and school, and create a safe atmosphere for children in which they grow and develop positively. Moreover they need to know the school’s code of conduct and encourage children to uphold it. They need to assist in creating respect for school rules by ensuring that children attend school regularly and get to school on time. Parents need to get to know their child’s educator hence a good parent-educator relationship ensure happier child with a strong sense of security. It is important that they participate in school meetings and other opportunities to support positive discipline approach.
2.5 In this chapter the researcher investigated strategies that can be implemented to manage learner discipline, explained the difference between positive and negative discipline to emphasize why positive discipline should be implemented by teachers and lastly the researcher discussed roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders in implementing positive discipline within the school. It is clear that the absence of corporal punishment impacted negatively regarding the process of managing discipline.