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Belief that the goal of discipline is to teach students to be in control of themselves and to choose socially and morally responsible behavior because it is the right thing to do, not because of fear of punishment or hope of reward. Belief that teaching students self-discipline and self-control develops goal-setting, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills and helps them to become good citizens who exhibit prosocial behaviors and demonstrate respect for self, others, and property.

In Practice: When this belief is upheld, educators lay the foundation for a healthy and productive learning environment that is connected to established rules. The first step in doing this is taking the time to talk with students about their hopes and dreams and goals. Buy-in for rules is stronger when students see the rules as something positive and associated with their own learning. 

Implementation Tip: 

Invest students in the rules by connecting their SMART goals to concrete behaviors exemplified by the rules. By doing so, the rules become something that is collectively shared and owned by the classroom community versus something imposed upon students in an effort to elicit compliance. 

Learn More: 




Teaching Self-Discipline

Seeing the Good in Students