The influence of discipline on African American male students with disabilities in a middle school:
Allen, Karen Nicole
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An action research case study was conducted to determine the perceptions of discipline and the effectiveness of a newly implemented 5-Step Discipline Protocol among African American male students with disabilities. The study took place in a predominately African American urban middle school located in a transient community. To gain a clearer understanding of school discipline, classroom and behavior management through action research, the following questions guided the study: 1. How do teachers perceive the ways in which African American males are disciplined in middle school? 2. How might a culturally responsive school-wide discipline protocol affect teacher discipline practices? 3. How does the action research process affect the overall discipline and school climate? A mixed methods approach was utilized to answer the above questions. Findings from the case study suggest that African American male students and students with disabilities receive harsher punishments, as evidenced in the literature; teacher-student relationships influence the occurrence of discipline; students are less likely to be redirected in a whole group; fewer discipline infractions occur when rules are modeled and reviewed within the classroom environment; culturally responsive plans encourage more opportunities to address discipline while increasing accountability; and, while there was a significant decrease in the number of students receiving discipline consequences, the protocol had relatively low significance on overall school discipline.