I believe most of us have a very unkind concept of discipline, we hear that word and think of solders, punishment, feeling afraid. And this should not be like that, after reading I can tell that making students fell confortable, secure and understood, a teacher does not imposes discipline, a teacher creates self-discipline on the kids.
I work at a school, not with kids but in the office and some weeks ago I witnessed a teacher arguing with a 5th grade student, this is what happened:
The teacher told the student to stop playing, the boy asked why, teacher said it was inappropriate, the student asked why again, the teacher said because she said so, the boy replied saying that was not a reason, the teacher said that there was no reason then, and the boy said that if there was not reason, then he would continue playing and he did!! The teacher did and said nothing and let him continue playing. While all this happened the other students were just playing attention to the ones back talking.
I believe that with this entire situation, the teacher just showed off. This situation could have been different if the teacher has closed her mouth the first time the boy replied, she asked him to do something he should not have been doing at that time, and he knew why, he was just threatening the teacher and he was successful.
To the question: Who has or exercises discipline? I think one self, having a group controlled because they are afraid is not discipline. But having a group that know how to work, that know they count on the teacher, that feel free to ask when they have doubts, and that react the way the teacher expects because they feel like doing it, that is a disciplined group.
As far as why would there be breaches of discipline? My answer is, because it is about psychology, and psychology has many branches that could help in all points of view, as a teacher, as a student, as a parent.
And as Dr. Fred Jones said: “It takes one fool to backtalk. It takes two fools to make a conversation out of it.”