Paper Sample on Exploring the Basics of a Study: Introduction, Background, Problem Statement, Research Questions

Paper Type:  Dissertation chapter
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  1066 Words
Date:  2023-09-17


Exclusionary discipline refers to the use of disciplinary processes and policies that removes students from their normal learning setting (Skiba et al., 2018). In-school suspension, out-of-school suspension, expulsion, and zero tolerance policies are often raised when discussing exclusionary discipline. According to Freeman et al. (2018), the statistics on school expulsion and disciplinary removal show that it has increasingly become acceptable in the American school system. Since 1973, the suspension rates have doubled (Losen& Martinez, 2013) with approximately 3.5 million students in public schools suspended in 2011-2012 alone (US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 2014).

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Legitimate concerns have been raised about the effectiveness of exclusionary discipline that may lead to an increase in negative outcomes, such as low academic achievement and increased school dropout rates(Peguero et al., 2018). Larson et al. (2018) found that increased application of exclusionary discipline approaches leads to increased risk of dropping out of school. The missed school days resulting from suspensions have also been associated with increased risk of developing negative behaviors (Valdebenito et al., 2019). Marchbanks III et al. (2015) stated that exclusionary discipline has the “deleterious outcomes on students being held back or dropping out of the school system” (p.69). The study illustrated that students who were frequently suspended failed to advance to the next grade at the same rate as their peers with some eventually dropping out. These findings demonstrate that there is a legitimate case for examining the application of exclusionary discipline approaches and the knowledge of alternative discipline approaches.

Despite the data and the research findings on the impact of exclusionary discipline, the approach is still accepted in the American school system. According to Freeman et al. (2017), exclusionary discipline remains strongly advocated for as they are viewed as tools that are useful in ensuring that discipline is maintained in classrooms as well as learning institutions. The perception that zero-tolerance policies deter potential offenders has been used by the advocates of exclusionary discipline to justify its use in the learning environment (Freeman et al., 2017).

Chapter 1: Introduction to the Study

This section briefly overviews the research focus or problem, why this study is worth conducting, and how this study will be completed.

The recommended length for this section is two to three paragraphs.

Dissertation topic is introduced along with why the study is needed:

  • Provides a summary of results from the prior empirical research on the topic.
  • Using results, societal needs, recommendations for further study, or needs identified in three to five research studies (primarily from the last three years), the learner identifies the stated need, called a gap.
  • Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
  • NOTE: This Introduction section elaborates on the Topic from the 10 Strategic Points. This Introduction section provides the foundation for the Introduction section in Chapter 1 of the Proposal.

Reviewer Comments:

Background of the ProblemAccording to Bradshaw, Waasdorp, and Leaf (2015), suspensions and other traditional forms of exclusionary discipline have been overused by teachers given the ease of implementing the approach and the limited understanding of alternative approaches or outcomes of exclusionary discipline. Teachers’ understanding of the relationship between exclusionary discipline and learner outcomes is another consideration that should be integrated when evaluating the preference for this approach over other alternatives. A study by State et al. (2019) found that teachers were not familiar with the relationship between exclusionary discipline and factors such as academic performance, academic achievement, defiant behaviors, and school dropout rates.

According to Mallett (2016), the last four decades have witnessed an increase in the interest in exclusionary discipline. The federal drug policy of the 1980s and the growing concern over the increased violence in schools led to the increased use of zero-tolerance policies in schools (Hitchcock et al., 2017). The federal policies such as the Gun-Free Schools Act that was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994 further led to increasing the emphasis on expulsion and other zero-tolerance policies (Mallett, 2016). Beyond the federal and state policies that have encouraged exclusionary discipline, school policymakers and teachers have directly influenced the use of this disciplining approach as they have direct contact with the learners (Fissel, Wilcox &Tillyer, 2018).

National discipline data shows the students that are disproportionately affected by exclusionary discipline have poorer academic performance (Steinberg &Lacoe, 2017). Steinberg and Lacoe (2017) recommended the use of alternative discipline approaches as part of reform (e.g. mentoring, counseling, and dropout prevention and guidance services for at-risk students). Such data shows there is a need to investigate whether discipline approaches other than suspensions can be effectively used in schools (Wolf &Kupchik, 2017). Peguero et al. (2018) recommended that relationship-based approaches can be effective in overcoming the negative outcomes associated with exclusionary discipline. Improved teacher-student relationship is an alternative discipline approach that has been identified as an effective tool for positive behavior change among learners (Curran & Wexler, 2017).

Background of the Problem

This section uses the literature to provide the reader with a definition and statement of the research gap and problem the study will address. This section further presents a brief historical perception of when the problem started and how it has evolved over time.

The recommended length for this section is two-three paragraphs.

Includes a brief discussion demonstrating how literature has established the gap and a clear statement informing the reader of the gap.

  • Discusses how the “need” or “defined gap” has evolved historically into the current problem or opportunity to be addressed by the proposed study (citing seminal and/or current research).
  • ALIGNMENT: The problem statement for the dissertation will be developed from and justified by the “need” or “defined gap” that is described in this section and supported by the empirical research literature published within the past 3-5 years.
  • Section is written in a way that is well structured, has a logical flow, uses correct paragraph structure, uses correct sentence structure, uses correct punctuation, and uses correct APA format.
  • NOTE: This Background of the Problem section uses information from the Literature Review in the 10 Strategic Points. This Background of the Problem section becomes the Background of the Study in Note, this section develops the foundation for Chapter 1 in the Proposal. It is then expanded to develop the comprehensive Background to the Problem section and Identification of the GAP sections in Chapter 2 (Literature Review) in the Proposal.

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Paper Sample on Exploring the Basics of a Study: Introduction, Background, Problem Statement, Research Questions. (2023, Sep 17). Retrieved from

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