Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Dr. Sara Hanhan


One enduring mission of the educational system has been to promote classroom environments where children learn about responsible citizenship, disruption is minimized, and learning is maximized. This mission has supported the development of discipline policy, procedures, and practices as one component of an overall educational philosophy for school districts.

This study compared written educational philosophies, discipline policies, and procedures with actual practices reported by school personnel. The intent was to determine whether the statements corresponded with one another to promote practices for discipline that reflected a sound educational philosophy. It was questioned whether evidence of discrepancies between the statements correlated with practices that inhibited learning of appropriate behavior.

A qualitative study of three school districts in North Dakota was used to explore the above questions. Data were collected from interviews with school board members, administrators, and teachers from each school district. Written philosophy, policy, and procedural statements were reviewed and compared with practices reported.

The results of this study suggested that school personnel wanted children to become productive citizens. Findings indicated that: (a) all three school districts had written statements identify philosophy, (b) discipline was not specifically addressed in educational philosophy statements, (c) philosophy statements corresponded across school districts, (d) written discipline policy and procedures varied greatly, and (e) practices were inconsistent within schools and between schools.

Findings of this study identified that no congruency existed among or within any of the three school districts studied with regard to written statements and practices. Therefore, still unanswered is how corresponding written statements and practices lead to a sound educational philosophy. Personnel from all school districts reflected a belief that written statements and practices should correspond. They also indicated a perception that this was true, even though it was not. This leads to additional areas for potential consideration by educators, including: (a) exploration of barriers to the development of corresponding written statements; and, (b) examination of why actual practices do not reflect a sound educational philosophy when a match is perceived by school personnel. Seven implications for further research were also drawn.

Included in

Education Commons