Comparison of Discipline – Management and Behavior – Misbehavior, Research Paper Example


The objective of this study is to conduct a comparison and contrast of the words discipline and management and secondly to conduct a comparison of the words behavior and misbehavior.  Toward this end, these words are defined in this study and their similarities examined as well as how these words relate one to the other.

  1. Discipline – Management

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘Discipline’ as “a branch of knowledge”; “a system of rules of conduct or method of practice”; “the trait of being well-behaved”; or “training to improve strength or self-control”. (2012) Management is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “the act of managing something”; “those in charge of running a business”; or “the act or art of managing”. (2012) Therefore it can be understood that discipline is generally something that is both administered by others and that is as well, self-imposed by the individual. As well, management can also be self-imposed or administered by others. Both discipline and management are a type of regulation of rules within a system or practice and as such set out that which is deemed as acceptable and appropriate within any given system or practice mode. The primary difference is that generally discipline is a type of self-governed form of management while management is a organizational type of governing of actions, rules, and behavioral standards that are implied as enforceable within a specific setting such as in the organization or in an educational setting. An interview with Harry K. Wong, author of “Classroom Management” reveals that the most common mistake that teachers make in classroom management is that “teachers don’t do classroom management, they present lessons, and if something goes wrong, they discipline.” (Education World, 2011) According to Wong “Classroom management is not discipline. You manage a store, You don’t discipline a store. You manage a team. You don’t discipline a team. You manage a classroom. You don’t discipline a classroom.” (Education World, 2011) When asked to provide a definition of classroom management, Wong replies by stating: “Classroom management is the practices and procedures that allow teachers to teach and students to learn.” (Education World, 2011) The remedy according to Wong is quite simple “teachers know that students learn best by doing. The only way a teacher can have a classroom in which kids can learn by doing, by discovery, by activity, is to establish routines and procedures. Students cannot be free to create without procedures and routines.” (Education World, 2011)

  1. Behavior – Misbehavior

Behavior is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “manner or acting or controlling yourself”; “the action or research of something under specified circumstances”; or “behavioral attributes, the way a person behaves toward other people. (2012) Misbehavior is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “improper or wicked or immoral behavior” or “improper, rude, or uncivil behavior; ill conduct”. (2012) The likeness between behavior and misbehavior is that each of these words describe a manner of how one conducts themselves whether that be properly or improperly, or appropriately or inappropriately to a given setting, situation, environment, or context. That is where the similarities of these two words end because behavior implies that which is appropriate and acceptable while the word misbehavior implies that which is wholly unacceptable and inappropriate. According to previous studies, the best method for ensuring positive behavior in the classroom and to avoid misbehavior on the part of students is for the classroom instructor to practice proactive behavioral controls. The work of Bob Kizlik (2012) states that management of the classfoorm and management of the conduct of students are skills that teachers learn with experience. Highlighted in Kizlik’s work are four fundamental aspects of classroom behavior management stated as follows:

(1) The first aspect of managing a classroom is knowing what is and is not wanted;

(2) The second aspect is demonstrating and relating to students what is wanted and expected;

(3) The third aspect is providing proper acknowledgement of appropriate classroom behavior on the part of students; and

(4) The fourth aspect is quick and appropriate action when receiving the targeted classroom behavior of students. (Kizlik, 2012, paraphrased)

Room arrangement, while not a guarantee of good behavior on the part of students, at the same time, when poorly planned, creates conditions that result in problems. Behavior is established positively in the classroom by the teacher through setting out specific behavioral objectives for student and by acknowledging when students have met the goals specified for proper classroom behavior. At the same time, when the students fail to meet those objectives, the teacher does not delay in addressing the student’s behavioral objectives failure.

Summary and Conclusion

As one can clearly see, discipline and management are quite different from one another in terms of the classroom as are behavior and misbehavior. The teacher must proactively and actively manage the classroom rather than apply discipline after-the-fact and as well student behavior must be proactively as well as actively addressed by the classroom instructor to ensure that the student understand and adhere to proper classroom behavioral objectives.



Harry K. Wong and the Real Meaning of Classroom Management (2011) Education World. Retrieved from:\

Kizlik, Bob (2012) Classroom Management, Management of Student Conduct, Effective Praise Guidelines, and a Few Things to Know About ESOL Thrown in for Good Measure. ADPRIMA 2012. Retrieved from:

Webster’s Dictionary Online (2012) Retrieved from: