Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Wallace Southerland, III


Intervention Strategies to Decrease Discipline Issues

in an Urban pre-K-8 Public School


Wendy A. Mason

MEd, Walden University, 2005

BA, Kean University, 1979

Doctoral Study Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Education

Walden University

October 2015

The educational problem addressed in this study was the lack of empirically grounded evidence of the intervention strategies an urban school in the northeast region of the United States used to decrease school discipline problems. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify, explore, and understand the strategies used by school personnel to decrease discipline problems. The conceptual framework was anchored in social learning and communities of practice theories. The research questions focused on identifying the types of student discipline problems, the strategies developed and deployed to decrease the discipline problems, and the outcomes of the strategies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 participants: 1 administrator, 10 teachers, and 1 counselor. Archival documents such as incident reports, discipline referral forms, the school's year-end report, and district suspensions reports were also examined for discipline patterns. Data analysis strategies included transcribing interview data, identifying patterns, and data triangulation. Results indicated that disrespect, noncompliant behavior, willful disobedience, fighting, and bullying were major discipline problems at the school. A multiplicity of strategies such as in-school and out-of-school suspension and character education effectively decreased discipline issues. Recommendations include a regular review of prevention strategies to determine which strategies are effective at reducing discipline. Positive social change implications include implementing invention strategies that create safe learning environments for students and staff in which all students can achieve academic success that leads to timely graduation and productive and responsible citizenship in the communities in which students live.