AbstractRecent research has shown that the involvement of youth in the liberation struggle which ended in 1994 caused them to develop arrogance towards adults, that is, both educators and parents. Another reason for the decline in the level of discipline in recent years might be the overemphasis on human rights, especially children’s rights, in reaction to the increase in child abuse or the lack of a human-rights culture in the apartheid era.
A lack of learner discipline may seriously hamper the teaching and learning process, and, if disruptive behaviour prevails, education cannot be successful. This article focuses on educators’ positive and negative reactions to learner misconduct in South African public schools, as revealed by qualitative data gathered by means of interviews, as part of a national research project on learner discipline. Fourteen schools were visited by a group of researchers and field workers, during which principals, other educators and learners were interviewed.
Special reference is made to forms of learner misconduct that have the most prominent influence on discipline, possible causes of these, and preventative or proactive measures taken by educators to restore or maintain learner discipline. Value-driven approaches to discipline and to approaches that might be educationally unsound, are also incorporated. All the mentioned approaches are evaluated from within a reformational framework.
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