« Back to Research Library

School Discipline

The most recent publications appear first.

Toward an Antiracist Restorative Justice Approach for Black Children

2022, Student Experience Research Network

This policy brief, developed by Chezare A. Warren through the SERN Midcareer Fellows Program, describes the urgent need for and benefits of antiracist restorative justice approaches to school discipline.

Measuring empathic-mindset effects based on educators and learning environments

2021, Student Experience Research Network

This research snapshot provides an overview of a project led by Jason Okonofua, funded through the SERN K-12 Teachers and Classrooms Research Portfolio. The study employs a randomized placebo-controlled field experiment to test whether an intervention focused on teachers' empathic-mindset – valuing students’ perspectives and prioritizing the maintenance of positive teacher-student relationships – reduces and mitigates racial disparities in suspension rates.

Structures for Belonging: A Synthesis of Research on Belonging-Supportive Learning Environments

2020, Student Experience Research Network

This synthesis discusses both K-12 and postsecondary educational contexts, and includes research from diverse academic disciplines including social psychology, cultural psychology, sociology, adolescent development, neuroscience, economics, and education. It discusses structural factors related to belonging in four overlapping categories: access to learning environments; relationships with educators, peers, and families; instructional resources and pedagogy; and system-level policies and practices. Throughout, it identifies implications for system- and institution-level decision-makers in the education sector, who play a role in shaping students’ experiences of belonging just as much as classroom educators and peers do.

Targeted identity-safety interventions cause lasting reductions in discipline citations among negatively stereotyped boys

2019, Student Experience Research Network

This research brief provides an overview of a paper by Parker Goyer, Geoffrey Cohen, Jason Okonofua, Gregory Walton, and colleagues, exploring recursive cycles between students and teachers that are fueled by harmful stereotypes that allege that black and Latino boys are "troublemakers," and that lead to disproportionate rates of exclusionary discipline for these groups. The brief outlines two studies in which the researchers used interventions to affirm students' identities and provided students an alternate narrative with which to understand interactions with teachers. The brief describes the study design, key findings, and implications.

The science of “wise interventions”: Applying a social psychological perspective to address problems and help people flourish

2018, Student Experience Research Network

This research summary brief provides an overview of a paper by Greg Walton and Tim Wilson, exploring how wise interventions can improve outcomes and implications for policy and practice across a broad range of domains. The brief shares a background on what wise interventions are, how they work, and the ways they can be used to improve outcomes.

Walking in their students’ shoes: Encouraging an empathic mindset about student behaviors transforms teachers’ discipline practices

2016, Student Experience Research Network

Being suspended from school has been shown to have numerous detrimental long-term effects, including adult unemployment and increased likelihood of incarceration. While there are many factors that influence student behavior, the quality of students’ relationships with their teachers is one of the strongest predictors of classroom behavior. Researchers Jason Okonofua, Dave Paunesku, and Gregory Walton explored whether a short program designed to influence teachers’ mindsets about student behavior and discipline could lead to changes in the way teachers interacted with students and whether these changes in teachers’ behavior could, in turn, positively affect students’ classroom experience and behavior.