Effectiveness of alternative discpline strategies in secondary schools after ban of corporal punishment in Bondo district, Kenya
Alawo, Consolata A
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of alternative discipline strategies in public secondary schools after ban of corporal punishment in Hondo District. The study examined the extent to which discipline strategies used were influenced by the age, gender, teaching experience and academic qualification of the teachers. The study also determined whether the discipline strategies used was influenced by the school size. The study reviewed literature on general factors related to discipline and punishment, causes of indiscipline, school administrators and discipline, alternative discipline management strategies, theoretical framework and conceptual framework in which McGregor's (1960) Theory X and Y was used as the basis for the study. Theory Y employs a human and supportive approach to discipline management. Head teachers who look at discipline as punishment subscribe to theory X. The survey research design was used in the study because it enabled the researcher to describe the nature of existing conditions of discipline in schools and determine relationships that exist between the variables and discipline management strategies used (Cohen and Manion, 1994). From a target population of 273 teachers in 30 public secondary schools, a sample of23 Head teachers, 23 deputies and 46 teachers was drawn. Mulusa (1988), advocates for one third of this population which is 92 teachers. The District Education Officer also participated in the study. Questionnaires and interview schedule were used to collect data which was analyzed using frequencies, percentages, mean, and standard deviations. Chi square statistics was used to establish the relationship between variables such as age, gender, sex, teaching experience and academic qualifications and discipline strategies used. Chisquare assisted in comparing the proportion observed in each category with what would be expected under the assumption of independence between the variables. The teachers rated dialogue with students (75%) as very effective, guidance and counselling (54.1%) as effective and teacher-parent conference (50%) as fairly effective strategies. The least effective strategies were expulsions (27%), time out, peer mediation, and suspension (18.9%). The study also found out that teachers' involvement of parents of indisciplined students was significantly related to teachers' age. Older teachers (75%) preferred the strategy. The teachers' decision to send the involved students to a disciplinary committee was significantly related to teachers' gender as this was done by female (100%) teachers. Teachers' involvement of parents and use of physical exercises were significantly related to the teachers' longer (16 years) teaching experience. Use of corporal punishment preferred by Bachelor of Education (Sc.) graduates (66.7%) and Bachelor of Education (Arts) graduate and Diploma teachers' (87.5%) involvement of parents in discipline matters were significantly related to teachers' academic qualifications. Teachers need to be empowered by Ministry of Education to deal with discipline promptly. There is also need by Ministry of Education to strengthen guidance and counselling in schools by employing more teachers who are trained in guidance and counselling and empowering them by providing them with infrastructure and resources. School administrators need to focus on making schools student friendly, with students being encouraged to freely interact with other students. Administrators also need to give special attention to mixed day schools because these were the schools observed to have critical discipline problems such as boy-girl relationship, lateness and absenteeism.