Spotlight falls on the role of parents in disciplining learners

Many studies have found a strong correlation between learners’ discipline levels and academic performance, with the latter improving as discipline levels improve. However, what is the role that parents play in disciplining their children?

Dr Nicholus Mollo, senior lecturer and subarea leader of Legal Perspectives, Governance and Democracy in the School of Professional Studies in Education of the North-West University (NWU), is leading a research project with other researchers to examine the role that parents play – or should play – in disciplining learners, particularly in the South African context. This project falls under the Edu-HRight research unit in the subfield of Discipline.

As much as learning institutions have a duty to enforce rules guiding learner behaviour, parents also play a role in ensuring consistency. The research conducted by Dr Mollo and his fellow researchers focuses on collecting qualitative data from participating schools by conducting workshops and disseminating information through book chapters and articles. Parents’ viewpoints on how they should discipline their children will be analysed and discussed.

“The object is to equip parents with the knowledge on how to increase parental participation and their roles in learners’ discipline. Practically speaking, the study might increase participants' awareness and comprehension of their part in correcting learners,” says Dr Mollo.

He says information on how parents view their role in learner discipline will be useful to the Department of Basic Education and schools. In addition, the results of this study offer suggestions on how the department and the general public can encourage parents to take an active role in their children's education.

Dr Mollo says by recognising and respecting the various factors that shape parental perspectives, teachers and policymakers can work collaboratively with parents to ensure that all learners receive the support and guidance they need to thrive both academically and socially. “This will enhance the capacity of teachers to meet departmental objectives and advance the department's vision of delivering high-quality education,” he adds.

Fellow researchers on this study from Edu-HRight include Prof Johannes van der Walt, Prof Charl Wolhuter, Prof Nico Broer and Dr Kgale Mampane.

For further information, contact Dr


From left are Dr Nicholus Mollo, Prof Johannes van der Walt, Prof Charl Wolhuter, Prof Nico Broer, and Dr Kgale Mampane.

Submitted on Mon, 07/31/2023 - 14:07