Discipline in a Democratic Society

Narrow and Broader View Regarding Discipline

The concept of discipline may be viewed from a narrow and old or, from a modern and broader point of view. From the narrow point of view discipline means subjection to authority, obedience to law and order and bringing the child under control. From a broader and modern point of view, by discipline we mean the training of mind, manners and attitudes, sublimation of instincts, bringing the lower impulses of the child under control, formation of right habits and in fact the development of character in such a war as the students, conform to the ideals of democracy, secularism and socialism.

Discipline from the Point of View of an Individual

According to Teacher Training, discipline viewed from the point of view of an individual is a means of enabling him to bring under control his instinctive urges to reach a position with which he willingly and spontaneously identifies himself

Discipline from the Point of View of Society

Discipline viewed from the point of view of the society is a means of developing a social sense or social conscience in an individual so that he identifies himself with the society and contributes for its betterment.

External and Internal Discipline

According to William A. Yeager, “Historically, it always is associated with the concept discipline, having the notations of strict mental, moral and physical training, requiring for its achievement, submission to authority, with proper punishment meted out for disobedience in any form. Thus it implies something ‘external’ that is conformity to an external stimulus or impulse. More recently, school control has come to imply something internal, a response to an inner stimulus or impulse.” To quote T. P. Nunn, “Discipline consists in the submission of one’s impulses and powers to regulation which imposes form upon chaos and brings efficiency and economy where there would otherwise be ineffectiveness and waste.”

  1. Bala Krishna Joshi writes, “What is discipline? To put it in a nut-shell, it is decent and decorous conduct which contribute& to harmony, joy and success, and exalted sense of responsibility, respect for authority, love of orderliness, eagerness to discharge duties with regularity, promptitude and efficiency, a desire to be agreeable and helpful to others by exercising, if necessary, a whole-some check on individual productive and a capacity to maintain equipoise in the face of the most trying circumstances these constitute discipline.”

Discipline and Freedom by Early Childhood Education

Divergent and conflicting opinions have been expressed by the leading educationists from time to time on the question of ‘freedom in schools’. There is the extreme view put forward by Rousseau and the persons of his way of thinking that child should be left free to act practically whatever he likes and free not to do whatever he does not like. This is a revolt against the old conception of ‘discipline’ and ‘freedom’ which puts stern restrictions on the child and shuns completely all ideas of ‘freedom’ and ‘self-discipline.’ The protagonists of such an idea believe in them, efficacy of the ‘rod, as an instrument’ of discipline. However, the truth lies somewhere between these two extreme views.