Discipline in the parental home and at school: Instead of the “blame game”, a caring community





disciplinary problems, parental home, school, school community, social contract, unacceptable learner behaviour


This is an educational-philosophical, more particularly, a societaltheoretical reflection on the “blame game” that is occasionally played between the parental home and the school with respect to the behaviour displayed by children in these societal relationships. After consulting the literature regarding this issue, and the findings of recent empirical studies in South Africa for purposes of describing the “blame game”, the interpretivist-constructivist method was employed for exploring an alternative approach to the discipline problem in homes and schools, namely the creation of a social compact, and of a caring school community based thereon. The discipline practised in the parental home differs
from that at school because home and school are essentially different societal relationships, each with unique foundation and destination functions; hence with respective sphere sovereignty. Their interests and activities are, at the same time, also interlaced in that they share the same child as a member. It is due to this interlacement (enkapsis) that unacceptable behaviour at home might impact detrimentally on discipline in the school, and vice versa. To counteract this reciprocal display of unruly behaviour, it is suggested that the parents and the school attended by their children could consider entering into a social compact or covenant so that they are as one in guiding the young people towards disciplined behaviour, that is, socially acceptable behaviour. The actions of such a new community should be guided by several moral codes, the most important of which are the ethic of community, and of loving, caring and compassion.


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How to Cite

Van der Walt, J. L., Broer, N. A., Mollo, N., Mampane, K., & Wolhuter, C. C. (2023). Discipline in the parental home and at school: Instead of the “blame game”, a caring community. Perspectives in Education, 41(4). https://doi.org/10.38140/pie.v41i4.7318



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