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Re-Theorizing Discipline in Education

Millei, Zsuzsa / Griffiths, Tom G. / Parkes, Robert John (eds.)

Re-Theorizing Discipline in Education

Problems, Politics, and Possibilities

Series: Complicated Conversation - Volume 34

Year of Publication: 2010

New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main., Oxford, Wien, 2010. XIV, 192 pp.
ISBN 978-1-4331-0966-9 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.310 kg, 0.683 lbs

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Book synopsis

For over a century, teachers, parents, and school leaders have lamented a loss of ‘discipline’ in classrooms. Caught between guidance approaches on the one hand and a call for zero tolerance on the other, current debates rarely venture beyond the terrain of implementation strategies. This book aims to reinvigorate thinking on ‘discipline’ in education by challenging the notions, foundations, and paradigms that underpin its use in policy and practice. It confronts the understanding of ‘discipline’ as purely repressive, and raises the possibility of enabling forms and conceptualizations of ‘discipline’ that challenge tokenistic avenues for students’ liberation and enhance students’ capacity for agency. This book is an essential resource for university lecturers, pre-service and in-service teachers, policymakers, and educational administrators who want to re-think ‘discipline’ in education in ways that move beyond a concern with managing disorder, to generate alternative understandings that can make a difference in students’ lives.


Contents: Shirley R. Steinberg: Preface – Zsuzsa Millei/Tom G. Griffiths/Robert John Parkes: Opening the Field: Deliberating over ‘Discipline’ – Zsuzsa Millei: Is It (Still) Useful to Think About Classroom Discipline as Control? An Examination of the ‘Problem of Discipline’ – Zsuzsa Millei/Rebecca Raby: Embodied Logic: Understanding Discipline through Constituting the Subjects of Discipline – Rebecca Raby: The Intricacies of Power Relations in Discourses of Secondary School Disciplinary Strategies – Megan Watkins: Discipline, Diversity and Agency: Pedagogic Practice and Dispositions to Learning – Robert John Parkes: Discipline and the Dojo – Erica Southgate: Punishing Powerplays: Emotion, Discipline and Memories of School Life – Ken Cliff: Disciplinary Power and the Production of the Contemporary ‘Healthy Citizen’ in the Era of the ‘Obesity Epidemic’ – Affrica Taylor: Disciplining Desire: Young Children, Schools and the Media – Rob Imre/Zsuzsa Millei: Citizenship? What Citizenship? Using Political Science Terminology in New Discipline Approaches – Tom G. Griffiths/Rob Imre: Classroom Discipline: A Local Kantian? – Rob Imre/Zsuzsa Millei/Tom G. Griffiths: Utopia/Dystopia: Where Do We Go With ‘Discipline’? – Zsuzsa Millei/Tom G. Griffiths/Robert John Parkes: Continuing the Conversation About Discipline as a Problem? A Conclusion.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Editors: Zsuzsa Millei is a lecturer at the University of Newcastle. Her research is located in an interdisciplinary field and examines the ways in which ideologies and contemporary governance constitute the subjects of education. Her published work explores classroom discipline; government policies and initiatives; the use of political concepts in education; and curriculum and pedagogical discourses under different political ideological regimes.
Tom G. Griffiths is a senior lecturer in comparative and international education at the University of Newcastle. His research has two major trajectories: the development of world-systems analysis as a theoretical framework for comparative research; and the study of ‘socialist education’ in Cuba and, more recently, Venezuela, informed by this framework. He has published this work in national and international journals.
Robert John Parkes is a senior lecturer in curriculum theory, history education, and media literacy at the University of Newcastle. His scholarship, drawing on poststructural, postcolonial and hermeneutic theories, is built along two axes of concern focusing on ‘knowledge, curriculum and the representation problem,’ and ‘disciplinarity, pedagogy and self-formation.’


«At last a book that puts discipline in its place. Instead of prescribing new ways to correct unruly young people and their teachers, this volume provides a sophisticated and compelling demonstration of discipline’s complexity, problems, and productive promise. A must-read volume for any educator open to the possibility that discipline can be understood and practised differently.» (Jenny Gore, Professor, Dean and Head of School, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Australia)
«Thinking differently about classroom management and school discipline is the promise but also the achievement of this extremely interesting and timely book. Drawing from Foucault and others and ranging across contexts from martial arts to international relations as well as schooling, it both illuminates and provokes. Highly recommended.» (Bill Green, Strategic Research Professor, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education, Charles Sturt University, Australia)


Complicated Conversation: A Book Series of Curriculum Studies. Vol. 34
General Editor: William F. Pinar