Discipline in the Classroom
"You're nothing but a wuss. Your mama ain't here to help you now so why don't you stand and fight me like a man…. That's right, saying nothing is going to make the situation better. You gonna go cry to Mrs. Wilson about it now?" This type of harassment in the classroom distracts the students from their main objective-to learn. Disciplinary problems in the classroom interrupt the atmosphere of the classroom, a place where learning takes precedent above all else. A tense environment detracts from learning and everyone loses. Mrs. Wilson got upset, the other school children endured constant harassment, and the children responsible for this harassment got lost in the system. Although experts cite many responses, multicultural education remains an answer that benefits both the teacher and all of the students. Disciplinary problems not only disrupt the serenity of the classroom, but if left untreated, manifest into societal problems. Violence grows as America's answer to any problem. This trend has been growing steadily in our nation's classrooms, and recent incidences like that of Columbine High School remind us that angry children become everyone's problem if no one reaches out to them. cal1966, please do not redistribute this work. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this work elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned. Detention, suspension, and expulsion remain popular methods for dealing with discipline, but these methods serve only to remove rather than to solve the problem. Multicultural education stimulates the children to incorporate their own life experiences into what they learn and makes them active participants in their own learning process. Multicultural education serves to help bridge gaps between different classes, races, and genders. Not a seemingly easy task, drastic measures are imperative when the future of our country rests on the futures of our children. Take an eighth grade classroom located in a rural district with only three middle schools servicing the entire county. Mark and Jake, two white boys, constantly disrupted Mrs. Wilson's Social Studies class. The situation distracted the teacher from her lesson plan, meaning that the other children's learning fell behind their peers. Also, Mark and Jake jeopardized their own academic careers and threaten to become societal menaces. If left untreated their problems might develop into larger societal ills that hurt members of the population at large through their abuse of welfare or filling up the jails. Previously detention failed to help Mark and Jake correct their behavior, but Mrs. Wilson felt that the rest of the class should not suffer because of two members of the class. Disciplinary problems usually stem from some deeper anxiety that the children are facing. Mark's parents work in an assembly line of a car manufacturer and net $40,000/year combined. They work long hours and spend little time with Mark after school. He takes the school bus to and from school, and he lives in a poor area of town where the houses are run down. Neither of his parents finished formal high school, although they both received GED's. He has several younger siblings that look up to him as an example, but education is not stressed in his family. This hypothesis from studentcentral.co.uk Part of his disciplinary problem could be that he resents the fact that the state requires him to go to school. Mark sees that his parents struggle to get by, but no connection between improving his situation and education in his mind exists. People who succeed in class and come from upper-middle class backgrounds receive the brunt of his harassment. He feels resentment towards these students because he feels that he tries hard but society and good fortune still shun him. Jake's parents come from working class backgrounds, and he...
Bibliography: Nieto, Sonia. Affirming Diversity: The Sociopolitical Contex of Multicultural Education. 3rd ed. New York: 2000.
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