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IMPACT OF DISCIPLINE ON INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG STAKEHOLDERS IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS

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ABSTRACT

This study examined the Impact of Discipline on Interpersonal Relationships in Secondary Schools in Kaduna state, Nigeria. For the purpose of this research, six research objectives were set to include; examine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the principals and teachers, between the teachers and students, interpersonal relationships among the teachers, between the students and the school management, between the school and members of community and interpersonal relationships between the principals and non-teaching staff. Also, research questions and research hypotheses were formulated in line with the objectives of the study. The population of the study involved 54 principals, 2,532 teachers, 4,731 students and 1,392 nonteaching staff. However, a total of 14 principal, 70 teachers, 140 students and 63 non-teaching staff were served as a sample of study. Survey research design was adopted for the study and data were collected using a self constructed questionnaire. The validity of the instrument was determined through vetting of the content by experts in Educational Administration. The reliability coefficient was obtained at 0.77 using Cronbach's Alpha statiscial technique. The data collected were presented by the use of frequency and percentages. The formulated hypotheses of the research were tested using Analysis of Variance and hypotheses were tested at 0.05 level of significance. The findings revealed among others that maintenance of proper discipline in schools often leads to good interpersonal relationships, just as they also believed that adequate attention to school work by students commands respect from the school management. Based on the findings, it was recommended among others that proper discipline should be maintained in schools so as to build good interpersonal relationships between the principals and teachers. Likewise, students should be encouraged to pay more attention to school work since when properly carried out constitute good discipline and build worthy interpersonal relationship between students and the school management.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1         Background to the Study

The existence of any educational system at whatever level cannot be effective without proper discipline and smooth interpersonal relationships. As this had constituted one of the essential variables instrumental to effective teaching and learning processes. Education is noted to be an effective instrument par excellence for effecting national and global development irrespective of the economic sector. It plays a veritable role in the communication process of its norms and values from one generation to another. Education, whether formal or traditional exists in every society. One of the most pressing issues in education is discipline at schools. School discipline and behavior management are isspues that every school administrator or teacher deals with on a daily basis. A major component of being an effective teacher is making correct classroom discipline decisions. (Fincham and Beach, 2010). Teachers who cannot manage students discipline in their classroom effectively are limited in their overall effectiveness in almost every other area of teaching.

School discipline is the system of rules, punishments, and behavioral strategies appropriate to the regulation of children/students or adolescents and the maintenance of order in schools. Its aim is to control the students' actions and behaviour. An obedient student is in compliance with the school rules and codes of conduct. These rules may, for example, define the expected standards of clothing, timekeeping, social conduct, and work ethic. The term discipline in the opinion of Evertson and Emmer (2005), is also applied to the punishment that is the consequence of breaking the rules. The aim of discipline is to set limits restricting certain behaviors or attitudes that are

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seen as harmful or going against school policies, educational norms, school traditions, et cetera. According to him, discipline is an art that requires knowledge, skill, sensitivity, and self-confidence. Like any art, it is one that you will acquire through training and experience and it becomes easier with practice. Some people confuse discipline with classroom management. Discipline is one dimension of classroom management. It is how a teacher organizes his/her students, time, space, and materials so students can learn in the proper environment. Discipline in school system includes the classroom environment, the layout of the desks and chairs, the flow of teachers‟ lessons, space, time and materials. In any classroom, there is a wide range of behaviors. Students, as individuals, develop unique ways of responding to what goes around them. Most of these behaviours are appropriate and develop further when adults or peers show approval. Some behaviours are inappropriate which we call misbehaviour.

Discipline is the required action by a teacher toward a student (or group of students), after the student‟s behaviour disrupts the ongoing educational activity or breaks a preestablished rule created by the teacher, the school administration or the general society (Sudbury Valley School, 2010). Discipline, guiding children's behaviour, or setting limits are all concerned with helping children learn how to take care of themselves, other people, and the world around them. Greenberg (2006) opined that discipline is a major component of education because if the teacher does not maintain the discipline in the classroom, the teaching and learning process cannot be accomplished. It is a first step in creating a learning environment. As socialization agents, teachers have to teach their students which behaviours are expected in which situations. Hence, through their own actions and reactions, teachers transmit the

messages to children about their expectations for proper behaviour in particular situations.

To be successful in the classroom, teachers need a well planned, individual approach to discipline. They must understand various theories of discipline and the assumptions on which they are based, they must understand their own values and educational philosophy and they must make an approach to discipline that is in harmony with their beliefs. If you believe in something and do something, else, you will experience personal conflict and you also confuse your students.

Its worthy of note that whenever the school administrator or teachers failed to maintain proper discipline in in the school, this action will definitely makes students to misbehave. Misbehaviour is any behaviour that, through intent or thoughtlessness, interferes with teaching or learning, threatens or intimidates others, oversteps society‟s standards of moral, ethical, or legal behaviour. Some students have been well nurtured, and life has granted them the best. They are charming and require little guidance. Other students are more demanding and challenging, requiring strong limit setting. We also face with very difficult students who bite, hit, and attack classmates and teachers, as well as passive students who are nonresponsive. These diverse types of student require principal, teacher, and school administrator to maintain proper discipline, different responses and right attitude. Hence, Gable and Haidt (2005) argued that all aspects of school which comprise the rules and regulations made for the purpose of fostering successful management and interpersonal relationship is within the scope of discipline.

Relationships are important for teachers‟ ability to help individuals develop a sense of self. The relational self is the part of an individual‟s self-concept that consists

of the feelings and beliefs that one has regarding oneself that develops based on interactions with others (Andersen and Chen, 2002). In other words, one‟s emotions and behaviours are shaped by prior relationships. Thus, relational self theory posits that prior and existing relationships influence one‟s emotions and behaviours in interactions with new individuals, particularly those individuals that remind him or her of others in his or her life. Studies have shown that exposure to someone who resembles a significant other activates specific self-beliefs, changing how one thinks about oneself in the moment more so than exposure to someone who does not resemble a significant other (Hinkley and Andersen, 1996).

An interpersonal relationship according to Fincham and Beach (2010) is a strong, deep, or close association or acquaintance between two or more people that may range in duration from brief to enduring. This association may be based on inference, love, solidarity, regular business interactions, or some other type of social commitment. Interpersonal relationships are formed in the context of social, cultural and other influences. The context can vary from family or kinship relations, friendship, marriage, relations with associates, work, clubs, neighborhoods, and places of worship. They may be regulated by law, custom, or mutual agreement, and are the basis of social groups and society as a whole. People in an interpersonal relationship may interact overtly, covertly, face-to-face or even anonymously.

Facts remains that discipline have proven to have profound impacts on quality of interpersonal relationship in schools (Landsford, Antonucci, Akiyama, and Takahashi, 2005). They also found that well-being is directly tied to interpersonal relationship. Therefore, a much disciplined principal mostly influences his subordinates in the whole school setting. Consequently, the teacher‟s attitude which

forms the link between the principal and the students‟ performance is in no doubt greatly influenced by the right attitude and proper discipline.

1.2         Statement of the problem

At the time of independence in 1960, and some years after that time, teachers exhibited good discipline and were encouraged to use the cane as a method of keeping control in the classrooms. The teachers were also empowered to be in charge in the classroom, but in a hostile or authoritarian manner. In this way teachers were made to believe that power and authority were the bases for control and discipline. The classroom environment was formal and tended to be tense, and the learners were not given any say in disciplinary matters.

It is now a common thing for parents to storm the school and challenge a teacher for discipline a student. In some cases, the teachers loose their jobs for trying to make students conform to rules and regulations of the school. Is it to talk of immoral relationships between staff and students or extortion of money from students during examination? These are the kind of things we see in our secondary schools. Could all these be the result of poor inculcation of discipline on the side of the principals? Why are our secondary schools no longer serving the purpose for their establishment? Many teachers rarely write lesson plan nor lesson notes while some don‟t even know how to write it. (Stage and Quiroz, 1997).

Moreover, this era has witness boredom, resentment, and dissatisfaction which occur, between principal and teachers; teacher and his students; students and the school management as a result of lack of proper discipline. Hence, they communicate less and avoid self-disclosure. Loss of trust and betrayals also take place as the downward spiral continues, eventually ending the relationship that co-existed among

teachers and between teachers and principals. Likewise, there were allegations of moral laxity and indiscipline in many educational institutions which were assumed to be the causes of disciplinary problems in secondary schools and which has affected their working together to identify, define and solve common problems in the school. It is equally argued that all aspects of school which comprise the rules and regulations made for the purpose of fostering successful management and interpersonal relationship is within the scope of discipline. This study, therefore, is intended to investigate the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships in secondary schools in Kaduna State.

1.3         Objectives of the study

The objectives of this study are stated as follows:

1.      Examine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the principal and the teacher in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

2.      Examine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the teachers and the students in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

3.      Determine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships among the teachers in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

4.      Assess the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the students and the school management in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

5.      Examine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the school and members of the community in Kaduna State.

6.      Examine the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the principalss and Non-Teaching Staff in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

1.4         Research Questions

The study attempts to answer the following questions:

1.      Does discipline have impact on interpersonal relationships between the principal and the teachers in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?

2.      Does discipline have impact on interpersonal relationships between the teacher and his students in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?

3.      What is the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships among the teachers in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?

4.      Does discipline have impact on interpersonal relationships between the student and the school management in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?

5.      What are the impacts of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the school and members of the community in Kaduna State?

6.      Does discipline have impact on interpersonal relationships between the principal and the Non-Teaching Staff in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State?

1.5         Research Hypotheses

In order to answer the research questions, the following hypotheses were postulated:

Ho1:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the principal and the teachers in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

Ho2:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the teacher and his students in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

Ho3:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships among the teachers in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

Ho4:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the student and the school management in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

Ho5:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the school and members of the community in Kaduna State.

Ho6:    There is no significant difference in the opinions of respondents on the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships between the principal and the Non-Teaching Staff in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

1.6         Basic Assumptions

The study will be conducted on the assumption that:

1.      A very disciplined principal mostly influences the interpersonal relationships between him and his subordinates.

2.      Inculcation of discipline in the secondary schools does not have impact on interpersonal relationships between the teacher and his students in the senior secondary schools in Kaduna State.

3.      Lack of discipline brings about poor communication and affects interpersonal relationships among teachers.

4.      Maintenance of discipline in the school aids effective interpersonal relationships between the student and the school management.

5.      Discipline in school has a negative impact on interpersonal relationships between the school and members of the community.

6.      Proper discipline in school leads to the development of interpersonal relationship of trust between the principal and the Non-Teaching Staff.

1.7         Significance of the Study

Study of this kind is significant because it does not only assess the impact of discipline on interpersonal relationships in secondary schools but also look at the impact of interpersonal relationships between the school and members of the community. It is believed that the effectiveness of any educational system depends on the proper inculcation of discipline in schools. However, the result of the findings of this research work shall assist every stakeholders (principals, school administrators, teachers, students, ministry of education, and members of the community) in playing a sensitive role aimed at improving the interpersonal relationships that existed in the school by preventing violence and promoting order and discipline in schools.

It‟s hoped that findings from this study will equipped the principal with a reliable and factual information which serves as an input for maintaining proper discipline on issues relating to allocation of funds, interpersonal relationships, timely released period and the legal framework guiding his activities. Also, this study will afford the principals the required knowledge, skill, sensitivity, and self-confidence for proper inculcation of discipline in the school.

Findings from this study shall assist the school administrators to adjust positively; discovering the enormous task confronting them as parents, teachers, leaders, supervisors, etc. It helps to see the need for a close interpersonal relationship as it affects the desired goals of the organizations.

If teachers as major stakeholders in the school system do not maintain discipline in the classroom, the teaching and learning process cannot be accomplished. Hence, teachers need a well planned, individual approach to discipline; they must understand their own values and educational philosophy and make an approach to discipline that is in harmony with their beliefs. Therefore, findings from this study will help teachers in eradicating undesirable or maladaptive behaviour in the classroom and likewise assist teachers in making correct classroom discipline decisions by building strong interpersonal relationships.

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