Middle School Assistant Principals’ Perceptions of the Effectiveness of Approaches to School Discipline, by Christina Sapienza

Jul 1st, 2013 | Category: Dissertation Abstracts @ Concordia
By Christina Sapienza, Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educators today find themselves addressing a myriad of federal and state mandates. Inappropriate student behaviors are among the top areas of concern for the general public and educators. Zero tolerance policies are largely debated as methods of discipline. Research indicates that they can be ineffective. Positive behavioral programs are found to motivate students to behave better, teach them appropriate behavior, and find positive methods to acknowledge them. The purpose of this study was to determine the types of discipline methodologies employed in middle schools, their effectiveness, and if the assistant principals understand federal and state mandates as they apply to discipline. Assistant Principal interviews and relevant behavioral data found that assistant principals used consequences that are reactive and punitive. Punitive consequences had limited success with improving student behaviors. The study found assistant principals had limited knowledge of federal laws pertaining to zero tolerance policies and structure of positive behavioral programs.

Key Words: Middle School Discipline, Zero Tolerance Policies, Positive Behavioral Interventions

Author Information

Christina Sapienza, Ed.D. Educational Leadership, Christinasap08@aim.com.

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