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Re-thinking Discipline

Updated: Oct 16, 2023


What is different about a Narrative Approach to Discipline...?
A radical shift in perspective...

On Monday 24 October, Linda was invited to present her thoughts on School Discipline to the FEDSAS group for Governing Bodies, SMTs and teachers in government schools. She was introduced to the group by Shereen Stadler, deputy head and head of discipline at Pinelands North Primary School. The school has integrated Narrative Practices into their whole school culture over the past 10 years. During this time, Shereen and her staff have taken up radical shifts in their disciplinary procedures. Her presentation showed the skilful integration of Narrative ideas at every level of context.


The Gist of my presentation below -

Why are we re-thinking discipline...?
Traditional approaches to discipline often leave children or young people feeling unheard, unseen, misunderstood, resentful and silenced....these traditional approaches also leave teachers and parents overwhelmed, frustrated, helpless...impotent... Traditional approaches to discipline, while well-meant, can often cause divide and disconnect...
It is not unusual for us to witness the effects of this powerful blame-game in our schools ISOLATION...SHAME...DISCONNECTION... ANGER...MISTRUST...GREATER EFFORTS TO CONTROL...PUNISHMENT...HUMILIATION... POWERING DOWN...FEAR...SUSPICION...BLAMING... SCAPEGOATING... EXAMPLE-MAKING...SCHOOL REFUSAL...SUSPENSION...EXPULSION
What if we used opportunities of disciplining not simply to control “dangerous children”...rather held the understanding that children are young people exploring and experimenting with Power...? How then, as Custodians of Children’s Stories, might we come alongside our children ...to connect...to invite a new position, ...motivating, challenging,... believing in...inspiring and BRING CLOSER ...creating new and empowering stories with them about the directions they are taking in their lives...and then supporting these stories, helping them to grow...?
Warmly, Linda


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