Exclusionary Discipline in Early Childhood

Courtney O’grady, Michaelene M. Ostrosky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to examine how the perceptions and experiences of teachers relate to the suspension and expulsion of preschoolers in Catholic schools. Results indicated that teachers have a range of experiences with suspension, from children being removed from the classroom temporarily to out-of-school suspensions lasting up to a week. Most participants also had experienced expelling a student because of behavior. Patterns that emerged from the data included a frequency of extreme behavior from some children, the application of various strategies in response to challenging behavior, the use of exclusionary discipline when other strategies did not work, and a resistance to change practices without additional supports. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-82
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Catholic Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • Early childhood
  • discipline
  • social emotional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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