THE IMPACT OF POSITIVE DISCIPLINE IN THE LEARNING
“Aleksander Moisiu” University, Faculty of Education (ALBANIA)
Schools nowadays face many challenges of different natures. One of these challenges is also the
relationship created between teachers and students in classrooms during their daily work. Creating
positive relationships is seen as an important element to help students to be acceptable and
successful in the school environment and in society. The purpose of this study is to examine the
positive discipline that the teacher uses with the students in the classroom environment and the
impact that this relationship has on the academic achievement.
To achieve this goal, quantitative methods have been used. The sample included in the study is 400
pupils of fifth and sixth grades. These classes are chosen deliberately to understand the impact that
has positive relationship among students belonging to primary and secondary education, because in
the primary education system in Albania the pupils are in contact with few teachers whereas in the
secondary education the pupils have contact with many teachers.
From the analysis of the data were identified forms of positive and negative relations that the teacher
uses in the classroom environment and it was found that the positive relationship positively affects the
academic achievements of the students. It was also noted that positive discipline was more present in
primary education while the forms of negative discipline are more present in secondary education.
Consequently, it is suggested that teachers should create a positive climate of cooperation in the
classroom by practicing as many elements of positive discipline, because this relationship increases
the level of student learning by influencing their education with values and positive principles for a
Keywords: Relationships, teachers, pupils, positive discipline, learning, teaching.
Positive discipline is a very important factor in the learning process. Its aim is to create a suitable
environment for learning. Children come into this world helpless and unable to fully develop without
teachers and parents. As teachers, their job is to nurture them and to teach them how to live.
According to Nelson without a disciplined atmosphere, teachers cannot teach effectively and learners
cannot learn effectively. The principals and the teachers are responsible for carrying out an individual
school's discipline practices; but to bolster success, the practices must be custom designed by all
participants including parents and students . According to the publication of the Centre for Justice
and Crime Prevention  the positive discipline promotes children’s self-control, teaches responsibility
and helps them make thoughtful choices.
Positive Discipline is not only about avoiding punishment and respecting the basic rights of the child. It
also ensures a pedagogical toolkit aiming at sustaining children’s growth, giving them information,
allowing them to develop their full potential, and preparing them to become happy, balanced and
successful individuals. Mcvitte declare in his study that the encouragement and mutual respect among
students and adults (including teachers, parents, and coaches) are the most important social skills that
are learned in this approach . According to Purkey and Straham told that positive invitational
discipline results when learners and role players in a school intentionally create environments and a
climate that encourage people to think critically but favorably of themselves and how they think,
behave, and act in various life roles, thus continuously improving the culture of teaching and learning
(COLT) . Creating positive relationships is seen as an important tool to help students to be
acceptable and successful in the school environment and in society. The purpose of this study is to
examine the positive discipline that the teacher uses with students in the classroom environment and
the impact that this relationship has on the student's academic achievement. To accomplish this goal,
the following questions are raised: What are the forms of positive discipline that the teacher uses with
the students during the learning process? What are the forms of negative discipline that the teacher
Proceedings of ICERI2018 Conference
12th-14th November 2018, Seville, Spain
uses during the learning process? How does positive discipline affect students' academic
1.1 Literature review
Discipline and the relationship between teachers and pupils are a very important school problem today
and have a direct impact on the student's academic achievement. Undesirable behavior of the student
may occur at any moment during the teaching process or during the break between each lesson. For
most teachers face with some of the behavioral problems of students is daily. In such cases, the task
of the teacher is to manage the situation positively. According to Adler and Dreikurs  indicate that
positive discipline focuses on supportive behaviors such as mutual respect, effective communication,
collegial planning, setting standards, addressing the causes of misbehavior, and constantly assessing
the implementation of discipline. Also the study of Somayeh et al.,  confirm that the role of positive
discipline on promoting the basic and cultural values and decreasing the discipline references,
decreasing the negative outcomes of the students’ experiences, increasing the social skills and
personal skills and internal and external skills and decreasing failure rate among students. Shih et al
affirmed that junior high school teachers in teaching and operating classes who use positive discipline
to guide students in learning and complying with the code of ethic, it can be approved the class
management effectiveness . And McCrary et al.,  indicated that the positive discipline is effective
in increasing discipline references and failure rate. Also positive behavior encouragement system can
lead to increase negative results of the students’ experiences and also increase their educational
entertainment and successfulness. Peerz and Roux told in their study that it is possible to promote the
positive disciplines in the schools through creating the main values, liberator values, human rights
values, and cultural values . Also Esquivel supported the conclusion that when children have a
positive learning environment where they feel comfortable they become motivated and begin to grow
academically, socially as well as emotionally . On the other hand Dlamini confirm that positive
invitational discipline exists when learners at schools feel comfortable, wanted, valued, accepted, and
safe and secure in an environment where they interact with caring teachers they trust . While
Masango proved that the lack of discipline in schools has essentially destroyed the socially interactive,
interrelated, and integrated accountability that heretofore upheld a common code of appropriate
behavior . Mlalazi et al.,  examined how secondary schools implemented a guidance and
counselling strategy to maintain positive discipline and concludes that there were pockets of good
practices in the implementation of guidance and counselling strategy to maintain positive discipline in
secondary schools, which embraced use of counselling methods that respond to the needs of
individual learners, learners were offered counselling services even though the facilities were not
favorable for counselling, learners referred to professional counsellors for expert counselling, and
involvement of learners in clubs and as peer counsellors.
Quantitative methods were used to accomplish the purpose of the study. The study sample includes
400 students from fifth grades (11 years old) of elementary education and sixth grades (12 years old)
of secondary education. These students were randomly selected from 2 different schools in the city of
Tirana (n = 230) and 2 different schools in the city of Durres (n = 170) out of which 250 are girls and
150 are boys.
The questionnaire of students contains closed questions that have the Likert scale to measure the
frequency of the positive or negative discipline phenomenon, dichotomous questions and open
questions. The data collected by the surveys were processed with the SPSS program. Data analysis is
based on data processing by following each of the research questions.
3.1 Forms of the positive discipline that the teacher uses with the students
during the learning process.
The first research question regarding the identification of positive discipline forms that use teacher
during the learning process, measured with closed questions and an open question. Respondents
were asked if the teachers support the pupils to receive the knowledge from which 73% of them stated
that teachers always support them meanwhile 27% claimed sometimes. If we compare the answers of
the 5th grade students to the 6th grade students, it was found that the support is of the lowest level in
the sixth grades.
Regarding the question of whether teachers motivated during the teaching process, 60% of fifth grade
students stated always, 25% sometimes, 10% rarely and 5% never. Meanwhile, 6th grade students
responded: 45% always, 10% sometimes, 15% rarely and 30% never. So if we refer to these data, we
say that primary school teachers motivate more than secondary teacher.
The students were also asked if the teacher behaved well with them and 57% of them stated that
teachers always behave very well, while 33% stated that teachers behave very well with some of the
students and with some others they are not behaved well, as well as 10% stated that teachers
behaved inappropriately with them. Respondents were asked whether teachers set clear and
consistent discipline rules, 79% of students said that teachers always establish clear and consistent
rules, 11% stated often, 5% sometimes and 5% never. The students were also asked if the teacher
encourages them and most of them found that the teachers were supportive. Only 10.3% stated that
the teacher did not encourage them.
To understand whether there is any relationship between positive discipline and academic
achievement was established a correlation between questions “Does the teacher behave positively
with the pupils?” and the question “What is your academic achievement?” According to the gamma
test that was made for this correlation, a strong positive and statistically significant correlation was
observed (r=0.31; p=0.00). This means that with the increase of positive discipline in the classroom,
the academic level of students’ increases.
Table 1. Relationship between positive discipline and academic achievement.
What is your academic achievement?
With regard to the open question of the forms of positive discipline that the teacher uses in the
classroom environment, the students stated that teachers use magical words, motivate students in
their responses, advise on how to behave better, attract students attention to have them taught, make
jokes, behave in a friendly way, encourage and reinforce positive behaviors, use award bonuses, and
motivate to support positive behaviors. Teachers therefore behave in different ways and forms to
promote and educate positive aspects in the education of children. Teachers therefore behave in
different ways and forms to promote and educate positive aspects in the education of children, as for
academic achievements as well as on the social, emotional and psychological side.
3.2 Forms of negative discipline that the teacher uses with the students
during the learning process.
Another important element in the progress of the teaching process is the unpleasant behavior and
actions the teacher makes. To highlight the negative actions of teachers created several closed
questions and one open question. Students were asked if teachers prejudice students based on
academic achievement and 64% of students claimed that they are often prejudiced by teacher based
on their academic achievement, 17% claimed often and 10% rarely, 5% sometimes and 4% never. If a
comparison is made between the answers given by the student of the 6th grade with the 5th grade
students, it is noticed that the prejudice is higher in secondary education.
Respondents were asked if teachers make baseless allegations and most of them (n=69%) declare
that teachers did not base in their allegations, while 31% found that teachers make baseless
allegations, from whom they claimed 19% rarely, 4% sometimes, 5% often, 3% very often. From the
analysis it was noted that the baseless accusations made by the teachers are at a higher level in
secondary education. This is probably due to the fact that teachers do not know the child very well
because of the few hours they spend with them in comparison to primary school teachers.
The students were asked if the teacher uses the grade to penalize the students and 45% of the pupils
say that the teachers regularly use the grade to penalize inconceivable behaviors, 30% said that
teachers sometimes use the grade to penalize behavior and 25% stated that teachers did not use the
grade as a form of behavioral penalization. When asked if the teacher uses physical force versus
students it was evidenced that 75% of primary school students claimed that the teacher did not use
physical strength while 25% claimed that teachers use physical force. Meanwhile, secondary
education nurses claimed (n = 80%) that teachers did not use physical force while 20% of students
claimed that the teacher uses physical force in the classroom. So from the analysis of data we see
that physical violence is more present in primary education.
The students were also asked whether the teachers publicly compare one child to another and most of
them (n = 380) claimed that teachers always compare students to each other while 20 students 20
students claimed that no such comparisons were made in class by the teacher.
To better identify the negative forms of discipline that the teacher uses in the classroom environment,
students were asked by an open question where they found that teachers sometimes use offensive
words, giving them many duties to penalize them, depriving them of the kindergartens they love and
keep in class, in some cases speak loudly, put pressure on them to lead, evaluate in a subjective
manner and make differentiations in class between students. The analysis shows that emotional and
physical punishment exists in classroom environments.
The study found that positive discipline is a very important element in the teaching process. Increasing
the positive discipline in the classroom increases and the academic level of the students.
Teachers use their various forms of positive discipline during daily work. They motivate students in
their responses, attract students' attention to learning, make jokes, behave in a friendly way,
encourage positive behaviors, use mark bonuses and motivate to support positive behaviors on
academic achievement and on the social, emotional and psychological side.
The study also showed that we have teachers who use emotional and physical punishments in
classroom environments. This teacher behavior leads to the emergence of conflicts between teachers
Positive discipline is more present in primary education, while the forms of negative discipline are
present in secondary education.
The positive relationship created between teachers and students directly affects the creation of a
positive climate of cooperation. This class is very effective for successful implementation of the
learning process. Positive discipline should be an inseparable part of their daily work. If the teacher
always reflects on positivity, students gain value and maintain positive attitudes to the environment in
which they live.
Also establishing positive relationships reduces and avoids inappropriate student behavior, and the
professional teacher should strive to find compromise solutions to satisfy all involved parties in
situations, behaviors, or inappropriate conflicts.
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