Popular preventative discipline programs often provide guidelines for ideal disciplinary interactions, emphasizing teachers’ use of a neutral, soft, warm, and/or loving tone of voice during student discipline. Yet the scholarly literature has suggested that there are alternative pedagogical ways of using emotional expression, including tone, to enhance student learning. For example, a long line of scholarship on African American educators (Delpit, 1996; Foster, 1991, 1997; Gordson, 1998; Irvine & Fraser, 1998; Monroe & Obidah, 2004; Patterson, Mickelson, Hester, & Wyrick, 2011; Ware, 2006) has found that some African American teachers use a direct, assertive, and strict disciplinary tone in the context of trusting student-teacher relationships to communicate high expectations and concern. Through experiments, interviews, and observations, this current mixed methods study explored how elementary students perceived and responded to the strict tone aspect of a “tough love” discipline style. Based on the study’s findings, I argue that teacher education programs that deem only one style of communication as acceptable during discipline may in fact be needlessly excluding diverse teaching styles and disregarding the cultural assets of the teachers who use them.
"Discipline with Emotion: Exploring the Influence of Teacher Tone on Elementary Students’ Perceptions of and Responses to Teacher
Mid-Western Educational Researcher: Vol. 30:
3, Article 4.
Available at: https://scholarworks.bgsu.edu/mwer/vol30/iss3/4