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Why is there an eraser on the end of a pencil?

What is so bad about Authoritarian methods of behaviour management? It worked for me.

Authoritarian discipline is based on the idea that the person in authority has the final say and that individuals should obey without question. This type of discipline often involves punishment, such as detention, suspension, or expulsion, to correct behaviour.

There are several problems with authoritarian discipline:

  1. It can harm the individual: Punishments such as detention or expulsion can negatively affect a person’s mental health, self-esteem, and future opportunities.
  2. It does not address the root cause of the problem: Authoritarian discipline often focuses on punishment rather than addressing the underlying issues that led to the behaviour.
  3. It can create a negative and fearful environment: When people are constantly under the threat of punishment, they may become fearful and resentful, leading to a negative and toxic environment.
  4. It does not promote personal responsibility: Authoritarian discipline often emphasises obedience and conformity rather than encouraging personal responsibility and self-reflection.
  5. It can perpetuate cycles of harm: Authoritarian discipline may not address the harm caused by an action, and may not promote repair, understanding, and reconciliation, thus perpetuating cycles of harm.

Overall, authoritarian discipline can be seen as a short-term solution with negative long-term consequences.

Ok, so what is the alternative?

Restorative Practice is the alternative.

Restorative practices are a holistic approach to building and maintaining healthy relationships within a school community. It emphasises repairing harm and restoring relationships through dialogue, accountability, and community-building.

This approach aims to address the needs of all parties involved in harm and promotes understanding, repair, and reconciliation. It can be used as an alternative to traditional disciplinary methods and help reduce conflict and promote a positive and safe environment.

Implementing holistic restorative practices creates a community where trusting relationships, no blame, sincere conflict resolution and cooperation are the norm.

Check out other articles Sheila has written here.