Conscious Discipline, with its relationship to emotional intelligence, results in a shift toward more positive classroom climates and provides inherent benefits to students and teachers.

Trained teachers who reported a high use of Conscious Discipline experienced increases in job satisfaction and school climate, and decreases in reliance on rewards. Untrained teachers did not.

Hoffman, L.L., Hutchinson, C.J., Reiss, E. (2009). On Improving School Climate: Reducing Reliance on Rewards and Punishment. International Journal of Whole Schooling, 5(1).

Intro brief: Researchers examined the impact of training pre-K through 6th grade teachers in Conscious Discipline. Change over time was assessed using a survey that measured school climate, school environment, use of reward systems and job satisfaction. Teachers with Conscious Discipline training exhibited a positive increase in the measured factors. Teachers with no use of Conscious Discipline exhibited no change in perception and were more likely to feel there were poor relations in their school.

Type of report: Research report, correlational

Summary:

Study Design

Researchers used pre- and post- training surveys to evaluate the impact of Conscious Discipline training on a group of 200 pre-K through 6th grade teachers. A survey question about the implementation of Conscious Discipline was used to identify teachers’ level of use. Teachers who implemented Conscious Discipline more than 50% of the time were placed into a high use group. Teachers implementing Conscious Discipline less than 50% of the time were placed in a low use group. Teachers in these two groups attended eight full days of Conscious Discipline workshops over the course of seven months. A third control group received no training and conducted “business as usual.”

A survey measuring school climate, school environment, use of reward systems and job satisfaction was administered to the high and low use groups before and after the Conscious Discipline trainings, and to the untrained control group during the same timeframe.

Results

All teachers who received Conscious Discipline training exhibited an increase in their perceptions of positive school climate from pre- to post-survey, while teachers with no training showed no change in their perceptions. Trained teachers who reported a high use of Conscious Discipline exhibited a moderate and statistically significant increase in school climate scores as compared to teachers who did not receive training.

Compared to teachers who completed the trainings, teachers who received no training were more likely to feel there were poor relations between students and teachers in their school. They were also more likely to agree with ideas of rewarding individuals for good behavior and punishing them for bad behavior, ideas that are in contrast with the philosophy of Conscious Discipline.

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