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Re-Theorizing Discipline in Education

Problems, Politics, and Possibilities

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Zsuzsanna Millei, Tom G. Griffiths and Robert John Parkes

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.

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Acknowledgments xiii

Extract

xiPreface Acknowledgments This book began as an idea for a single-authored volume. The idea outgrew itself, however, with depth and richness emerging from the collaborative endeavour that this edited volume represents. During an initial meeting of possible contributors we debated and shaped the argument of this book. Co-writing and reviewing each other’s chapters stretched our respective thinking, provoking discussions that furthered the distance we took from well-entrenched understandings of discipline. Zsuzsa Millei has worked on this book under a Fellowship provided by the Faculty of Education and Arts, hosted by The Australian Institute for Social Inclusion and Wellbeing (TAISIW). Kate Bennett was also funded under this fellowship to do a literature review for the volume, thanks Kate. Anna Kaemmerling’s meticulous work as a copy editor was also funded through TAISIW. Zsuzsa acknowledges that some data used in chapters were collected by Andrea Kosz, research assistant under Zsuzsa’s New Staff Grant project, jointly funded by the Faculty of Education and Arts and The University of Newcastle. The indexing of the book was funded by the Newcastle Institute of Research in Education (NIRE). The School of Education at The University of Newcastle also supported this project in multiple ways, including reviews of some draft chapters by members of a Friday ‘writing (for publication) group’, and the provision of resources for the initial meeting and proofreading, thanks Bronwyn Gallagher and Mick Driscoll for the great work. Special thanks also go to Eva Petersen and Jim Jose who provided constructive feedback and insights on...

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