TITLE: Examining the Paradox between Freedom and Discipline in the Classroom
The main intent of this study is to develop a clearer understanding of the seeming paradox between freedom and discipline in the classroom. In doing so, I will attempt an impartial and objective examination of the correlation between the degrees of student freedom in non-learning related social behavior and teacher discipline procedures in a diverse urban school setting.
Ninth grade students in urban schools often spend much time focusing on self-awareness and personality inventories designed ultimately for them to make appropriate choices about goals, activities, and future development in preparing students for the working world and their post-secondary future. However, students seeking to achieve these objectives do so in context of school behavior expectations and resulting discipline procedures. At the same time, young adolescents may need to have a level of freedom and independence that maintains their sense of self-esteem expectations for gaining, and giving mutual respect to and from others (Ladson-Billings, 1994)). This study seeks to examine the forms of “discipline” and “freedom” that may support these sometimes contradictory goals. The central question guiding this study is: For ninth grade students in an urban high school, in what way does teacher discipline affect students’ perceptions of freedom in the classroom?
THESIS DEFENDED AND APPROVED: Spring 2017