More And More Parents Are Calling For “Old School” Discipline In Classrooms

The debate surrounding disciplinary measures in Australian classrooms has intensified, with parents, educators, and scholars weighing in on the efficacy of implementing ‘old-school’ methods to curb disruptive behavior among students.

This discussion was sparked by a senate inquiry into classroom behaviors, which recommended a return to traditional disciplinary approaches to address the issue effectively. The proposed guidelines, now available nationwide, advocate for teaching students fundamental behaviors such as entering classrooms, sitting properly, and asking questions respectfully. Desks are suggested to be arranged in rows facing the teacher, promoting a structured learning environment.

Furthermore, students are encouraged to practice ‘super walking,’ a method aimed at promoting orderly movement throughout the school premises. These measures are designed to instill discipline and foster a conducive learning atmosphere.

The need for such disciplinary measures stems from research conducted by the Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO), which found that teachers spend a significant portion of their time, around 20%, addressing disruptive behavior in classrooms. Dr. Jenny Donavan, CEO of AERO, emphasized the importance of explicitly teaching students appropriate behavior, highlighting the correlation between classroom conduct and academic success.

Former teacher-turned-CEO, Dr. Donavan, emphasized the importance of consistency in teaching and practicing these behaviors throughout a student’s educational journey. She stressed that these skills are essential components of effective classroom management.

Parents have also voiced their opinions on the matter, with some attributing the problem to inadequate discipline at home. Others support the reintroduction of strict disciplinary measures in schools, believing it to be a necessary step in addressing the issue of disrespect and unruliness among students.

Former principal Adam Voigt weighed in on the debate, acknowledging the complexity of the issue. He emphasized the need for consistency across schools and cautioned against relying solely on punitive measures, advocating for a balanced approach that incorporates modern teaching methods alongside traditional discipline.

While the debate continues, it is evident that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to addressing disruptive behavior in classrooms. The key lies in finding a balance between modern teaching techniques and traditional disciplinary measures, all while fostering a supportive learning environment that encourages respect and responsibility among students. As educators, parents, and policymakers navigate this challenging terrain, collaboration and open dialogue will be crucial in shaping the future of education in Australia.

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