Viewing Classroom Discipline as Negotiable Social Interaction: A Communities of Practice Perspective

Jan. 01, 2010

“This article was published in Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol 26 number 1, Author: Debra Mayes Pane, " Viewing Classroom Discipline as Negotiable Social Interaction: A Communities of Practice Perspective", Pages 87-97, Copyright Elsevier (January 2010)”.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

Classroom discipline is a major concern of American teachers and why many leave teaching. A conventional view of learning is so deeply interrelated with schooling in the American culture it also drives the view of discipline, especially in urban contexts where students are disproportionately failed and excluded by the mainstream educational system.

The purpose of this literature review is to propose a critical social practice view of learning as defined by legitimate peripheral participation (LPP), providing a communities of practice framework to guide future research that sets out to transform conventional views of learning, particularly within the context of classroom discipline.


Empirical studies of classroom discipline that set out to transform classroom conflicts and conditions that conventionally lead to exclusionary discipline practices would address the gaps in literature but are rare.

Viewing each classroom as a community of practice in which the teacher and his or her African American students (in this case) participate with each other and historically and generatively construct new cultural and societal forms of activity may transform the need for exclusionary discipline practices.

A communities of practice perspective problematises the gaps in research indicated throughout this literature review including:

(a) questions of classroom discipline and underlying beliefs about disciplinary social interactions and practices in multicultural schools,

(b) ways to understand and experience agency of classroom social practices that transform teachers' and students' social and academic identities,

(c) transformation of hegemonic ideologies about teaching and learning, and
(d) societal concerns about exclusionary classroom management and discipline outcomes.

Updated: Jan. 12, 2010