Sunday, February 2, 2014

School Discipline: The U.S. vs. The Brits | EdCentrist

School Discipline: The U.S. vs. The Brits | EdCentrist:

School Discipline: The U.S. vs. The Brits

Quality teaching and student learning cannot occur in a chaotic classroom. Organized chaos, i.e. student-centered stations and activities, is extremely productive. Disruptive behavior, however, is extremely unproductive and problematic, to say the least.  So, it’s rather interesting that while the USDOE is calling for schools to relax its “zero tolerance” disciplinary policies, the Brits are calling for a more stern approach to curbing student misconduct. But, why? Why the divergent paths?
The Elephant in the Classroom, Revisited.
A few months ago, I expressed my view on this issue. In addition, I’ve even stated myresponse to the USDOE’s Guiding Principles for School Climate and Discipline. As a public school teacher, I get it. I completely understand why we – the professional education community – need to establish a positive school climate and a fair set of disciplinary policies. Trust me, as a middle school teacher within a tough neighborhood public school I absolutely understand why student suspensions are the least favorable option. Students who are often suspended lose instructional time and have a difficult time mastering lessons lost.
With that said, I can’t help but wonder why, in the U.S., “school discipline” discussions, i.e. zero tolerance and suspensions, become cloaked with accusations of racism? As a minority