Case studies of how other countries approach student behavior suggest lessons to be shared.
It's a challenge for schools in every country: How to provide the right kind of discipline and create a climate that nurtures learning. This challenge may look different in different countries. A school's disciplinary climate not only is the product of educators' beliefs and actions, students' beliefs and actions, and the interaction of these, but also is shaped by the legal and social context of the country.
Yet when we became involved in researching questions of school discipline and the moral authority of teachers, we were surprised at the dearth of research comparing various countries' ideas about discipline and typical responses to challenging behaviors. We recently brought together an international group of 18 social scientists to study the relationship between school discipline and student achievement. Our study examined assessment and survey data from 49 countries that participated in the 2003 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Survey (TIMSS), with in-depth case studies of Canada, Chile, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, and the United States.1
The findings of our study were recently brought together in the report Improving Learning Environments: School Discipline and Student Achievement in Comparative Perspective (Arum & Velez, 2012).