AUTHORITY,FREEDOM AND DISCIPLNE IN SCHOOL INTRODUCTION Authority and discpline are very important concepts of life. A related concept to the two which is also important is freedom. These concept are part of our culture. Authority and discipline are required to regulate the way individuals should behave in relation to others. For example, idividuals as against the larger the society, individuals in the family, the school or church etc. Again the two concept are needed to enhance the use of freedom. AUTHORITY
The word authority comes from the Latin “auctoritas” which means presence or bearing. It was used to describe the manner, behaviour or demeanour of a dignitary. In ordinary language, authority is define as something that exercise a force or influence over as (NASH 1966). This implies the power to enforce it. Authority gives the right to people to decide, judge, order and to make pronouncements. Basically there are three types of authorities namely Charismatic Authority, Traditional Autority and Legal or Rational Authority. Also authority is the power or the right to give orders, make descisions and enforce obedience. Lastly authority can be established in:
Families, e.g Parental Authority
Intermediate organisations, e.g Schools, Churches, Armies etc The state or Society, e.g Political authority
The word freedom comes from a Latin word “libertas” which means liberty,freedom or independence. Also freedom is the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without any hinderance or restraint. In broader sense, freedom can also be the ability to execise or make descisions without external influence. Examples of freedom are; Freedom to speak(to express one view)
Freedom to join any association
Freedom to school (right to education)
The word discipline was originally derive from the word ‘disciple’ which meant one who learnt or voluntarily follows a leader. Discipline is the systematic training in obedience to rules, regulations and authority. In other words discipline can be term as the code of behaviour, using punishment to correct them. Basically there are two types of discipline. These are; External discipline
Discipline in this sense means an external restriction or restraint on a learner or a child. It is an outside control of the person through punishment, rewards and competions. Teachers and parents usually such controls to shape the behaviour of children. The aim of external displine is to bring about true discipline, which self-discipline. This involves the process of training.
Self-discipline is the ability to control one’s self, one’s own desire, feelings etc. This discipline comes from within the child. This means that it is internal. True displine is self-discipline in which a learner decides to put himself under a kind of order. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AUTHORITY,FREEDOM AND
DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOL
Authority and freedom cannot be seperated as far as school discipline is concerned. In fact, authority,freedom and discipline are very closely related. They can be conceptualized in triadic model as shown in Figure 1.1 below.
Fig 1.1 Authority,freedom and discipline in a triadic model. Freedom and Authority relate to the right and previlages of the individual as against the sanctions of society. In the school, the Headmaster is the represntative of society and has authority vested in him. He delegates his authority to the teachers and defines what may or may not be done in the school. School discipline relate to the extent to which condition exist that permit the school to achieve its sit down objectives. Disciplined individuals create healthy school climate. R.S Peters also threw more lights on the issues of the role authority plays in school. He started that, a teacher is put in authority to perform certain task for the community and maintain social control at school at the same time. In addition, students freedom are limited by that of his collegues. That is, he or she enjoys in the context of social norms. In this sense freedom in limited by authority which is the norm of the school. Also, to make students to enjoy their freedom, the authority(teachers) brings punishment to bear on deviants to conform.
A disciplined student is free punishment because he or she has absorbed the norms of the school which set him or her from such punishment. Furthermore , in the school, self-disciplined students are less punished by authority(teachers) and are free to purseue their learning more than the indisciplined students. For the students, self-displine is the basis of their freedom and the willingness to learn springs out of a self-disciplined person. Lastly, the extent of pupil’s freedom to make choices or to be restricted partly on how disciplined the student is and also on personality or leadership of the teacher in whom charismatic sources of authority resides. For example, while a strict teacher allows students little freedom, a permissive teacher gives more of it. The use or misuse of freedom depends on how disciplined the students are. WAYS BY WHICH AUTHORITY CAN IMPLEMENT FREEDOM AND DISCIPLINE IN SCHOOL First, for teachers command respect and wield authority effectively, they should maintain their didginty by not struggling with students; they should be firm, consistent and fair to all their students.
Also, moral education and character training should be given. Students should be made to diagnose and understand the rationale of rules and regulations. Students may be invited to help in making rules and regultaions, in selecting their leaders, and in choosing appraising curricular goals and programmes. Moreover, the channels of communication should always be open for exchange of ideas encouragement among students and staff. School council and others school committees such as Parents and Teachers Association(P.T.A) could be used as means of encouraging students to in assuming responsibility. Lastly, freedom should be allow with limits to ensure oderliness and effective running of the school to achieve academic excellence. CONCLUSION
In conclusion, Authority, Freedom and Discipline are related concepts. In the school situation students like to enjoy as much freedom as possible. However, the Headmaster, as a person occupying the position of authority, determines the extent to which freedom can be enjoyed. Authority can be delegated but not freedom and discipline. The staff exercise authority on behalf of the Headmaster. In the school, students who are really free are those who are disciplined. People in authority in the school must set good examples for the learners to emulate. They should also create conditons that will bring about self-discipline through student’s enjoyment of freedom and respect for authority.