Project Materials






Discipline is the foundation for good school behavior. To successfully achieve a school’s objectives, all members of the educational organization must strictly adhere to the various behavior patterns. The purpose of the study was to look into the impact of teachers’ disciplinary styles on students’ adherence to instruction. Three research questions and two null hypotheses guided the study.

Ex-post-facto design was used in the study. Purposive and simple random sampling techniques were used to select 10 schools and draw a sample of 400 primary six students, respectively. A questionnaire on disruptive behavior and motivation to learn was used to collect data. The Cronbach Alpha method was used to determine the instrument’s internal consistency coefficient.

To answer the research questions, mean and standard deviation were used, and step-wise multiple regression analysis was used to test the null hypothesis at the 0.05 level of significance. The study’s findings revealed that: disciplinary styles have a significant influence on students’ adherence to instructions, with democratic and laissez faire styles dominating; and disciplinary styles have a significant influence on students’ motivation to learn, with autocratic styles dominating.




Introduction to Chapter One

The study’s context.

The problems are stated.

The study’s goal.

The study’s importance.

Question and hypothesis for research

The theoretical structure.

The study’s assumption.

The study’s scope.

Term operational definition

The second chapter.

Review of the literature

The conceptual framework

The theoretical framework.

Examine empirical studies.

Literature in a nutshell.

The third chapter

Method and procedure for conducting research

The study’s structure.

Subject of study

The study’s population.

Sample and sampling method

Data collection instrumentation

The instrument’s validation.

The instrument’s dependability.

Data collection method

Data analysis method.

Fourth chapter.


A summary of the chapters.

The demographics of the respondents

Response to research

Hypothesis testing

A summary of the findings

5th chapter

Discussion, conclusion, and suggestion

A summary of the chapter.

The discovery is discussed.

The study’s summary.


Suggestions for future research

The study’s limitations





The study’s context.

Discipline in child development refers to methods of modeling character and teaching self-control and acceptable behavior at home and at school. Discipline is about changing children’s behavior, not punishing them (Yang, 2009). Discipline enables children to develop self-control, which influences a child’s moral and psychological development. There are three types of discipline strategies: preventive, supportive, and corrective.

The preventive aspect of discipline entails the establishment of expectations, guidelines, and rules for behavior change during a student’s first days of school. The ultimate goal of preventive disciplining is to provide proactive interventions to potential disruptive behaviors by clearly explaining what good behaviors are to students.

The supportive aspect of discipline provides a student with suggestions and options for correcting behavior before imposing a consequence, such as verbal warnings, suggestions for correcting behavior, reminders, redirection, and nonverbal communication. When the student has failed to redirect his or her behavior despite repeated attempts, the corrective aspect of discipline may be an option. It refers to the set of consequences imposed on students as a result of an infraction (Wolfgang, 1999).

Desirable or adaptive behaviors must be demonstrated in order to achieve academic success. Where there is persistent disruptive behavior among students in the school system, a cog is formed in the achievement of educational goals. A disruptive behavior is one that interferes with the achievement of instructional goals. Des in Montgomery (1989) defined disruptive behavior as behavior that interferes with the learning and opportunities of other students and places undue stress on the teacher.

According to the National Teachers’ Institute (2000), disruptive behaviors are those of children that violate school or class routines, practices, and rules. The institute went on to say that the behaviors disrupt the lesson and cause discipline issues in the classroom. The institute categorizes disruptive behaviors into two broad categories: minor disruptive behaviors and major disruptive behaviors.

Inattention, lack of interest in classwork, tardiness to school, and suggestibility fall into the minor category. Physical aggression (pushing others, arguing, and interrupting), moving or wandering around in class, challenging authority, talking aloud in class, disobeying teachers, and making noise are among the most serious.

According to Onyechi and Okere (2007), some disruptive behaviors include: calling teachers provocative nicknames, walking out on the teacher, making noise, sleeping in class, pinching, aggression, vandalism, pilfering, lies, truancy, lateness, irresponsibility, cheating, immorality, alcoholism, drug use, cultism, and examination malpractices.

A student may misbehave from time to time, but if the misbehavior is isolated, the student cannot be considered a disruptive student. Montgomery (1989) observed that it is when students’ misbehavior causes problems for teachers and themselves, and when it becomes frequent and pervades many areas of activity.

Montgomery classified the following behaviors as disruptive: attention seeking, constant talking and muttering, making annoying noises, lack of attention, poor concentration, distractibility, shouting out, wandering around, stealing other students’ property, annoying and distracting other students and teachers, provoking each other by name calling, unpleasant comments, and a lack of interest and motivation to work.

Disruptive behaviors are defined in this study as those displayed by students that can interfere with the teaching and learning process. Noise making in class, tardiness to school, hatred for teachers, distracting others, interrupting the teacher, drinking alcohol, being domineering, pushing, and fighting others are examples of such behaviors.

Use of a hand set in class, lack of interest, stealing, not having a locker and seat, engaging in a subject other than the one being discussed, attention seeking, staying outside the classroom as lessons progress, sleeping in class, and assessment malpractices are also included.

These are obviously cases of pupil indiscipline, and when they are displayed by pupils or Pupils, especially in the classroom, they interfere with the instructional process. A teacher’s keen observation is required to determine when a student has begun to exhibit one or more of these behaviors.

When disruptive behaviors among students persist, they may manifest as school dropouts, conflicts between students and authorities, examination malpractices, or poor academic performance. Onyechi and Okere (2007) discovered disruptive behaviors in primary school students such as calling teachers provocative nicknames, walking out on teachers, making noise in class, aggression, truancy, lateness, and others. Nwosu (1997) and Okolo (2003) both found a high prevalence of disruptive behaviors in Nigerian primary schools.

According to Eze and Umaru (2007), teachers in Nigerian schools believe they spend an inordinate amount of time dealing with behavioral issues compared to time spent on instruction and academic activities. Montgomery (1992) stated unequivocally that disruption and other associated behavioral issues appear to be on the rise, particularly in some schools.

According to him, this rise appears to be related to a curriculum that emphasizes academic competition, places little value on non-academic pursuits or individual needs and aspirations, streams its students in this setting, imposes a heavy and inflexible code of school rules, and fails to involve students and staff in corporate development.

According to Bolarin (1996), the effects of such disruptive behaviors are particularly felt in adolescent academic achievement, manifesting as constant poor grades in class and class repetition. Both boys and girls are affected by the situation.

Eliminating disruptive behaviors improves students’ ability to focus on their academic work. Montgomery (1989) observed that when students are identified as disruptive by teachers or the school, they are typically regarded as the owners of the problems, and discipline and correction are directed toward such students. This instrument is not only aimed at students who exhibit disruptive behavior, but also at maintaining an orderly, purposeful, and stable system in general.

Discipline among students is essential for facilitating the achievement of educational goals. School discipline is a set of rules, punishments, and behavioral strategies used to regulate children and maintain order in schools (Arum, 2003). Jordan defines discipline in Nkomo (2010) as “teaching a child what behaviors are acceptable and what behaviors are not acceptable.”

For the purposes of this study, school discipline refers to the externally imposed and self-generated behaviors that promote orderliness in behavior and aid in the achievement of educational goals. Hall in Myers (2007) stated unequivocally that unrestricted freedom for students should never be tolerated. He believed that students should always be aware that the school has established reasonable measures of control to protect both individual and group freedom.

The school is always concerned with appropriate adolescent behavior that protects both the group’s and the individual’s rights (William, 1984). A large percentage of failure is caused by a teacher’s inability to maintain good class discipline. According to the Children’s Aid Society in Nkomo (2010), discipline is the process of education, guidance, and learning to help children develop self-control;

it is characterized by mutual respect and trust; and it aims at the development of internal controls that help the child relate to others in a positive and responsible manner. The primary responsibility for maintaining school discipline rests with the teacher, and the principal’s role is to support the teacher and assist him in keeping the school in order.

Following on from the need for discipline in primary schools, one should be concerned about the type of discipline that exists in a school and the outcomes that result from the approach taken, in terms of whether it increases or decreases pupils’ motivation to learn, as well as whether it helps to reduce or increase pupils’ disruptive behaviors. Given that motivation and emotion are related concepts, the significance grows exponentially.

Emotion and motivation are frequently intertwined, according to Zurbriggen and Sturwan (2002), because motivation can cause emotion and emotion can cause motivation. Behavior reflects both motivation and emotion. Unpleasant emotions such as fear and anger are typically strong, and they have a large influence on behavior. If a student is severely punished, for example, the child may experience negative emotions such as fear, which will affect his or her behavior and, most likely, motivation to learn.

It is obvious that emotions, whether pleasant or unpleasant, can cause certain types of behavior in students. Disruptive behavior occurs when students develop and adopt behaviors that are capable of impeding their learning, most likely as a result of certain negative emotions or other factors. There appear to be various approaches to instituting discipline in a school.

Shankar (2006) classified the approaches as authoritarian, democratic, and laissez-faire. The authority of a school usually takes the approach that they believe is best for achieving discipline in the school. The researcher refers to the disciplinary style as the approach that the school authority deems appropriate and uses to maintain discipline in the school.

The critical issue here is how students perceive the disciplinary style in terms of whether they perceive it to be autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire. The need arises due to the nature or character of students in the field of study who are prone to indiscipline. Discipline issues arise when parents do not devote time to instilling the spirit of discipline in their children.

Where parents spend the majority of the day carrying on their businesses or other activities, as observed in the area under study, there is insufficient time to spend with the children, which would improve discipline imparting. The apparent financial autonomy that many students have does not help the situation. A large number of students earn a meager living through various means, such as barrow pushing.

As a result, such students develop a sense of independence. The sense of independence stems from parents’ failure to instill discipline in their children at home, combined with the apparent financial independence such children or adolescents have. When students believe they are self-sufficient, imposing discipline on them always causes issues with their behavior and motivation to learn.

According to observations and interviews conducted by the researcher in some primary schools, the use of punishment, particularly corporal punishment, to instill discipline has persisted. The use of a cane is a very common occurrence, often with the intention of getting students to change undesirable behaviors.

For pupils who feel they are independent from home, the question is whether the approach has achieved the desired results in them or whether it has resulted in disruptive behaviors and a lack of motivation to learn.

It is important to note that a school’s disciplinary style is a result of the various approaches used to maintain discipline. The subtle issue at hand is the impact that pupils’ perceptions of each of these approaches in place (disciplinary style) can have on their adherence to instructions and motivation to learn.

Statement of the problem

The number of disruptive behaviors displayed by primary school students has continued to rise, with negative consequences. This phenomenon is accompanied by students’ lack of commitment to academic work or displays of a lack of motivation to learn.

The goals of education cannot be met if students consistently engage in disruptive behavior and do not show commitment to their academic activities. The high rate of examination malpractices and poor performance of students could be attributed to students’ lack of motivation to learn.

In addition, many parents do not have time to discipline their children. To make matters worse, such children must earn small sums of money in order to have a sense of independence. As a result of such feelings, students exhibit erratic behavior at school. Discipline must be maintained in the school, as indiscipline will never allow for the achievement of educational goals.

However, the discipline style must be such that it encourages pupils to exhibit desirable behaviors and motivation to learn. In line with pupils’ proclivity for indiscipline and a sense of independence, the key issue is pupils’ perceptions of the school’s discipline style, specifically whether the style is perceived as autocratic, democratic, or laissez-faire.

There has been little research on the impact of a primary school’s discipline style on students’ disruptive behaviors and motivation to learn, particularly in Rivers State’s Rivers East senatorial district. As a result, the study’s problem is posed as a question. “What effect does the students’ perception of the disciplinary style in their school have on their performance and adherence to instructions, as well as their motivation to learn”?

The study’s goal.

The overall goal of this research is to determine the impact of a primary school’s disciplinary style on students’ adherence to instructions and motivation to learn. The researcher is particularly interested in:

to learn about the disciplining styles used by primary school teachers
determining the impact of discipline styles on student adherence to instructions
Identifying the impact of discipline styles on students’ motivation to learn.
The study’s importance.

The study’s findings will benefit students, parents, society as a whole, and the educational system. This is based on the findings’ various contributions.

The findings, in theory, will help to validate and strengthen Maslow’s theory of motivation in his hierarchy of needs. Students’ perceptions of the tone of discipline as friendly would create a sense of safety in them, which could motivate them to work harder to learn. The same is true for the theory of behavior modification as it is for the correction of disruptive behavior problems. The impact of teachers’ orientation to Douglas McGregor’s theory X or theory Y on their discipline approach is also highlighted.

The findings will help schools determine what type of disciplinary approach to implement for the smooth operation of the school. When school officials understand and implement good disciplinary measures, it is hoped that meaningful results in terms of better student behavior will be achieved. A well-behaved and disciplined student is, of course, a benefit to both parents and society.

Students will benefit from the findings. Students will feel happy and safe in school if the proper discipline style is implemented. As a result, most students will perceive the school as a welcoming and purposeful environment, and they will be eager to demonstrate interest and commitment to the educational activities that take place in the school, including, of course, teaching and learning. Students’ behavior will improve, and they will be more willing to show commitment to their school or academic work.

The findings will also assist schools in eliminating disciplinary approaches that may result in disruptive behavior in students and a complete lack of interest in the school’s educational activities. As a result, teachers will be less stressed during the instructional process, and the likelihood of achieving the instructional goal will be very high. Conflicts between school authorities, which frequently result from students’ disruptive behavior, will also be reduced to a minimum.

In addition, the findings will help educational planners make decisions about disciplinary practices in primary schools that will improve good students’ conduct and academic performance. Additional researchers will find the work useful in studying the possible critical relationship between disruptive behavior among students and poor academic performance in schools.

Question and hypothesis for research

The study will attempt to answer the research questions listed below.

What are the disciplining styles used by teachers in River State’s primary schools?
What effect do primary school disciplinary styles, such as autocratic, democratic, and laissez faire, have on students’ adherence to instructions?
What effect do primary school disciplinary styles have on students’ motivation to learn?

Four null hypotheses were developed to serve as a guide for this study. These were tested at the P 0.05 significance level.

HO1: The impact of school disciplinary styles on students’ adherence to instructions will be minimal.

HO2: The influence of school disciplinary styles, specifically autocratic, democratic, and laissez faire styles, on students’ adherence to instructions will be similar.

The theoretical structure.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (1908-1970):
Abraham Maslow identified five powerful human needs. These requirements are prioritized in descending order of importance. Physiological needs, safety needs, love and affection needs, self-esteem and self-actualization needs, according to him. These are divided into two categories: deficiency needs and higher level or being needs. The most important needs in this study are safety needs, love and affection needs, and self-esteem needs.

Douglas McGregor’s (1906 – 1964) theories X and Y: McGregor believes that a manager’s leadership style is closely related to his or her fundamental beliefs about human beings. Cunningham and Cordiro in Nwankwo (2007) highlighted two contradictory views of human behavior – McGregor’s theories X and Y.

The study’s assumption.

The following assumptions are made in the study:

The students are engaging in disruptive behavior.
Discipline styles used by the teachers include autocratic, democratic, and laissez faire.
The study’s scope.

The research is aimed at determining disciplinary styles in schools. In other words, whether students perceive it to be democratic, autocratic, or laissez faire.

The study then looked into the impact of disciplinary styles on students’ adherence to instructions and motivation to learn. The study only looked at public primary schools in Rivers State’s Rivers East senatorial district. Primary six students who were deemed to have gained substantial experience in school activities were used in the study.

Term operational definition


Discipline is defined as any action or inaction that is governed by a specific system of governance. Discipline is commonly used to regulate human and animal behavior in relation to the society or environment to which they belong.

Styles of Discipline

A disciplinary style is the method used in a school to maintain student discipline.

Disruptive actions

Students’ behavior in school, particularly in the classroom, is one of the determinants of academic success. Inappropriate behavior can undermine the purpose of education, especially if it is sustained.

Learning motivation

Motivation to learn is an important factor in the success of any student. The term “motivation to learn” was defined by Hermine in Brophy (1986) as “the meaningfulness, value, and benefits of academic tasks to the learner – regardless of whether or not they are intrinsically interesting.”



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