Date of Award

5-1-1987

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Atlanta University (AU)

School

School of Education

Degree Name

Ed.S.

Department

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Johnathan Jackson

Abstract

This study explored the effectiveness of an assertive discipline approach in six Atlanta high schools. The major research question guiding the study was: To what extent does an assertive discipline approach influence the incidence of inschool suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and disciplinary referrals when used by assertive and nonassertive administrators. So that an adequate sample could be selected for the study, a survey was conducted to identify six public high schools in Atlanta using the assertive discipline approach. Forty-five administrators responded to a questionnaire containing 17 questions. Three null hypotheses were posted for testing that related to the selected discipline variables: (1) There will be no significant difference in the incidence of inschool suspensions between those administrators using Lee Canter’s assertive discipline approach and those administrators using a nonassertive discipline approach in the Atlanta high schools, (2) There will be no significant difference in the incidence of out-of-school suspensions between those administrators using Lee Canter’s assertive discipline approach and those administrators using a nonassertive discipline approach in the Atlanta high schools, and (3) There will be no significant difference in the incidence of disciplinary referrals between those administrators using Lee Canter’s assertive discipline approach and those administrators using a nonassertive discipline approach in the Atlanta high schools. The t test was used for testing the hypotheses. The interpretation of results of the t tests of differences between sample means for three null hypotheses showed that the null hypotheses were not rejected. The primary conclusion drawn from the findings was that there was no significant difference in the incidences of inschool suspensions, out-of-school suspensions, and disciplinary referrals, for high school administrators who used Lee Canter’s assertive discipline approach as compared to a nonassertive discipline approach with ninth and tenth grade students in six Atlanta high schools. The findings also indicated that within each of the six high schools in the sample, some administrators preferred an assertive discipline approach while others used a nonassertive discipline approach. Therefore, the influence of one discipline approach within a school was counter-balanced with an alternative discipline approach. Another mediating factor which may have influenced the results of the study was the interactive group process stipulated by the student discipline guidelines. The guidelines stipulated certain reporting, documentation, and notification processes which required the input and influence of others (other administrators, teachers, parerts, students) in the decisions regarding a disciplinary problem. While the administrator had the authority to make the final decision regarding a disciplinary action, he may not have behaved consistently in accordance with a specific discipline approach.

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