Discipline in the Classroom
Student Researcher: Kaitlyn McIntyre
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nicole Hesson
Abstract: Discipline is one consistent factor in classrooms everywhere around the world. It is something that becomes a major focus for teachers, but there can be unconscious biases a teacher has in regards to who is the recipient of the discipline. These biases can stem from a variety of areas, such as gender, race, or perceptions about a student. Through this research project, I was trying to uncover some of these unconscious biases teachers may have when disciplining students. My approach for this project was to track the number of times students were disciplined during a class period. Students receive discipline in a variety of ways, so I chose to focus on when they lost recess or were sent to complete their work somewhere else. I tracked the frequency of discipline implemented by the same teacher in two different classes, a third-grade class, and a fourth-grade class. In the third grade class, the boys were more frequently disciplined in one class period than the girls were. In the fourth grade class, the opposite was true. the girls were disciplined more frequently. The implications of this research project indicate that it is probable that teachers have internal biases that are present when choosing who to discipline and how frequently. These biases may not be the same from year to year, or even between different groups of students they are teaching.