Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

R.H. Red Owl


The perceptions that individual teachers have on issues of student discipline and justice are critical factors in the relationships that exist within the classroom. However, policy decisions on student discipline are often left to administrators and school boards without the consideration of teachers’ insights on issues of behavior management. As a result, a disconnection exists between policy and practice, which affects the learning and culture of classrooms for both teachers and students. This study gives a voice to teachers as the frontline experts on student discipline and justice. Q Methodology, a research technique designed for the systematic study of subjectivity, was applied to reveal a set of distinct models of shared viewpoints held by classroom teachers. Data were collected using an anonymous, voluntary, online survey from 71 current, public school teachers in Grades 9-12 across New York State. The study found 3 shared viewpoints: (a) Q Model 1: Student Discipline and Justice as a Humanistic, Individualized Experience Centered on the Teacher-Student Relationship and Separate From Academic Progress, (b) Q Model 2: Student Discipline and Justice as a Rules-Based System, Separate From Academic Progress, That Must be Consistent and Administered Without Regard to Individual Students or Relationships and (c) Q Model 3: Student Discipline and Justice as Connected to Academics and Humanistic, and Needing Change From the Traditional Model. The study concludes that greater attention should be given to the views and role of teachers in student discipline. It recommends that more training be provided to address the internal and external conflicts teachers face in student discipline and justice. The study also concludes that a linguistic distinction should be made between “restorative justice” and “restorative practices” in the school setting.