Discipline connotes different meanings to different people. In fact the word discipline is one of the misused or misappropriated words in use. Majority of people would associate the word discipline with punishment. The fact that, “Today’s discipline is rooted in appeasement or ultimatums, and not in order and training; “Shows a dire need for a rescue operation to redeem its tarnished image “especially in the field of education.”(Christian Educators Journal at http://www.cejonline.com).
A disciplined person is a man/woman of character; anyone who desires to be successful, must be disciplined because no discipline, no excellence. It is also believed that the nature has endowed students to be disciplined in love and they prosper in “disciplined environments.” Most students and parents today believe discipline is punishment, and sadly, so do most educators.”(Christian Educators Journal athttp://www.cejonline.com/issue=Dec).
Furthermore; “Discipline is a God-given responsibility of parents and carers and is an essential part of developing the whole child. Parents and guidance must work with educators to achieve the desired effects. Discipline must aim at handling behaviour that is injurious to ‘self, others and the ‘development of Christian community. (http://www.pacifichills.net/ph/attachments/article/8/Discipline%20Policy.pdf)
Discipline may be ‘self-imposed’ or a ‘system imposed.’ According to Kohut and Range (:11), “Discipline is teaching and learning; it is not punishment” and they posit that schools are supposed to impose discipline through a system with the aim of instilling self-discipline in individuals.
Academic discipline include: Respect for knowledge and intellectual inquiry, Punctuality, absenteeism, cheating, correct referencing and zero tolerance to plagiarism, commitment to excellence, hard work and justifying merit earned. All the above are among what characterized Dr O.B. Oladejo’s attitude and emphasis in the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary.
In the next few paragraphs, the writer will pick on some of these disciplines and relate them to religious education. First, Respect for knowledge and intellectual inquiry- In institutions of higher learning, students and faculty members are expected to respect knowledge and be committed to intellectual inquiry. The seminary activities should be such that encourages the mind-set of humility, and liberal approach to scholarship. It is also expected that both students and faculty members develop critical thinking, have efficient communication system and be able to merge theory and practice.
In relevance to Religious education, this is viewed in terms of faith and reason as perceived by both theologians and philosophers. There are two sides to faith and reason. While some held the view that they are well related and complementary, others see no congruent in their relationship. It is the view of some that faith and reason can never be in conflict. It is believed that “reason properly employed and faith properly understood will never produce contradictory or competing claims—whereas others have maintained that faith and reason can (or even must) be in genuine contention over certain propositions or methodologies” (Internet encyclopaedia of philosophy at http://www.iep.utm.edu/b.
However, “the founders of modern science frequently expressed admiration for the harmonious correlations of nature, which they saw as God’s handiwork” (athttp://www.cejonline.com). For example, Newton acknowledges God as the designer of his invented clock, and upheld the presence of special skills for eye to be fixed. Newton said that the eye could not have been contrived without skill in optics, and Boyle extolled the evidences of benevolent design throughout the natural order.
Punctuality is another principle of discipline, how does this relate to religious education? Punctuality they say is the soul of business. It means promptness, reliability and regularity. Its opposite is lateness. While talking on Time, Punctuality, and Discipline in Early Modern Calvinism, Max Engammare of Calvin background viewed punctuality as “a new relationship with God” (http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subject/religion). The invention of punctuality was attributed to the inhabitants of Calvin’s Geneva who believed that God watches the faithful and they will give account of how they spend each minute on the judgement day.
The University of Amsterdam (UvA) defines fraud and plagiarism as: “copying someone else’s answers during examinations (cheating), cutting and pasting text from another source and presenting it as if it were your own” (http://student.uva.nl/mrg/az/content3/plagiarism-and-fraud).
Same is true for using another person’s text without properly acknowledging the source. Similar to UvA, Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS) as portrayed by O.B Oladejo beliefs that students will ever use other’s thoughts, opinion and idea, but proper documentation and acknowledgement of the sources is very important.
However and in line with similar other Universities, such as Kenyon College, students assignments, tests, examinations or quizzes must reflect academic integrity. Students must present their work as their own personal contributions by proper citation of sources of the ideas and thoughts they put together to present their findings (http://www.kenyon.edu/directories/pfices-services/registrar/course-catalog-2/).
Anyone who flouts this order has violated academic integrity; this according to Kenyon College is: Cheating, fabricating, plagiarism, facilitating academic dishonesty, unauthorized collaboration, and multiple submission of same work to two professors. All lead to discipline of varying categories from scoring zero to possible suspension or dismissal from college as case may be.
Discipline is not all about punishment, it is God endowed on parents, carers for proper development of the whole child. It could be self- imposed or system- imposed. It is teaching and learning which school must imposed on students to instill in them self-discipline. There are principles of discipline which are related to religious or Christian world view commonly imposed by academic community to maintain academic honesty and integrity. Some of these are highlighted above.