What do you understand by Discipline?

The genesis of the word “Discipline” is supposed from the Latin word “Disciplina” which means management, rule, education, practice, teaching and trained condition. The derivation of English word “Discipline” is supposed from the Latin word “Discipulum” which means pupil. This is expected from the pupils that he should obey his teachers respectfully and according to him, he should develop necessary and required qualities in himself for successful life.

In this way, the meaning of discipline is to create regularity in conduct. Lot of words is used in Hindi for discipline, for example, control, regulation, self-restraint, courtesy etc. The use of the word “Control” would be appropriate at the place where some-one is to be kept forcibly in possession, where according to some fixed rules, the man is asked to do work and, there “regulation” would be used. Where the child obeys his elders with courtesy and respect, there the word “courtesy” would be proper to use.

But, “discipline” is the word which covers all those aspects mentioned above. The use of this word “Discipline” is more sound.

Definition of Discipline:

Discipline is derived from the Latin word “Discipulus” which means to learn. It is the same root from which the word disciple is taken. Literally, discipline is a mode of life in accordance with certain rules and regulations. It is a sort of self-control reflected in public actions. This control is not forced upon the individual. It flows out from within. Hence, discipline is spontaneous and not a mere submission to authority in an obedient manner.

The term ‘discipline’ refers to a state of orderly conduct of an individual which is gained through training in self-control and in habits of obedience to socially approved standards of thought and action. It implies a good understanding of right conduct. The formation of desirable habits and attitudes and an adherence to such standards are just and necessary. It includes the socialization of behaviour, the manner of working and living in co-operation and the subordination of individual interests to group interests.

True discipline therefore provides for both individual and group welfare in a democratic society.

Modern Concept of Discipline:

According to modern educational thinking the meaning of discipline is taken in wide spread form. Today, where the objective of education has been understood to develop qualities of successful citizenship and sociability in child, at the same place, school discipline is meant internal and external discipline which should develop physical, mental, social and ethical values.

Modern concept of discipline is one in which self-discipline and social disciplines are stressed especially or particularly. The great educationist John Dewey has influenced sufficiently. He says that according to maximum modem thoughts, the meaning of discipline is to prepare children for life in democratic society, to provide help to man in achieving knowledge, strength, habits, interest and ideas which are envisaged for the up-gradation of self, his companies and whole of the society.


According to the dictionary, discipline is: 

  • Training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
  • Controlled behavior resulting from disciplinary training.
  • A systematic method to obtain obedience.
  • A state of order based upon submission to rules and authority.
  • To train by instruction and control.