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Interdependent relationship theory: A model for reducing discipline issues with Latino/Hispanic students.

Morgan, Lorraine S.
June 4, 2015

Source: (2011) Dissertation. Degree for Doctor of Education Administrator Leadership. Walden University.

Studies continue to reveal major concerns with discipline issues, such as referrals,
detentions, and suspensions, involving Latino/Hispanic students. This problem
particularly affects immigrant students in urban neighborhoods that may be characterized
by high poverty and crime rates. The purpose of this study was to explore the intersection
of servant leadership and restorative justice practices in schools, in order to create a new
theory as a way to address discipline problems associated with Latino/Hispanic students
at one middle school. The conceptual framework for this study was based on Greenleaf‘s
servant leadership, and Cavanagh‘s restorative justice practices models, both of which
exemplify the importance of caring relationships. The study was guided by the research
question of how might the common principles of servant leadership and restorative
justice practices be used in schools to create a new theory for how teacher leaders
respond to Latino/Hispanic wrongdoing and conflict. Using grounded theory, data were
collected from 20 teachers from grades K-4, who participated in interviews using openended
questions; data also included classroom observations, and examination of
discipline documents. Constant comparative analysis was used to note the emergence of
themes and patterns that formed the basis of the findings. The findings indicated that
teachers who modeled tenets of servant leadership and restorative justice practices had
fewer discipline issues with Latino/Hispanic students. These findings led to the
development of the interdependent relationship theory, based on a model of classroom
discipline that creates positive, caring relationships. Implications for social change
include improved retention and high school graduation for Latino/Hispanic students. (author’s abstract)


AbstractCourtsIssues of Minority GroupsPrisonsRestorative PracticesRJ and the WorkplaceRJ in SchoolsRJ OfficeStatutes and LegislationTeacherTeachers and StudentsVictim Support
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