ERIC Number: ED315908
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1986-Nov
Reference Count: N/A
A Culture-Change Approach to School Discipline: Reaction Paper to "School Organization and Student Behavior".
Purkey, Stewart C.
Organizational changes, within the existing structure of public schooling, have the potential to decrease the oppositional behavior of students and to foster humane, positive learning and working enviroments. It has been documented that managers can create organizational structures that promote positive behaviors and facilitate people's willingness and ability to assume responsibility for what they do within the organization. Applied to schools, this approach assumes it is far easier to change organizational structure and culture than it is to "fix" the people within schools. Additionally, a structural-cultural approach attacks the sources--for most students--of oppositional behavior and thereby increases school authorities' ability to respond appropriately to the relatively few students whose serious misbehavior demands exceptional disciplinary treatment. Thinking about school discipline as a problem of organizational structure and culture is a more useful and pragmatic approach than searching for a one-best technology or single strategy that probably does not exist. Moreover, improving discipline by altering the dominant forms of curriculum and instruction within schools--a strategy that addresses significant sources of student opposition to schooling--is likely to be a more enduring strategy than the historically bankrupt effort to end misbehavior by relying on instructional control via closer monitoring and stricter punishment. (56 references) (KM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Working Meeting on Student Discipline Strategies Analysis of the Office of Research, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education (Washington, DC, November 6-7, 1986).