ERIC Number: ED310535
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-May
Reference Count: N/A
Corporal Punishment in Schools. NSSC Resource Paper.
Harper, Suzanne, Ed.; Epstein, Julianne, Ed.
Arguments for and against corporal punishment are set against a backdrop of overriding public concern about school discipline. In every year since 1969, the Phi Delta Kappan/Gallup Poll has ranked lack of discipline as one of the top two problems in public schools. This report furnishes a historical perspective for corporal punishment, explains its controversial association with child abuse, presents arguments for and against the practice, and outlines student discipline alternatives. Corporal punishment has played a major role in maintaining classroom order and discipline--due to the myth of the incorrigible kid incapable of responding to other methods. Although several studies indicate a link between corporal punishment and low academic achievement, some educators claim the practice is needed to maintain an orderly learning environment. Examination of family role and connections with crime discloses largely negative findings and adverse psychological effects from corporal punishment. Moreover, certain student populations (males, blacks, and poor children) are paddled more often than others. The legal risks involving "reasonable" corporal punishment are substantial. Positive alternatives to corporal punishment are not easily come by and require sensitivity, skill, and self-control. The "Alternatives to Corporal Punishment Report" classifies student misbehavior into three categories and recommended punishments. Other approaches are offered by praise and reward systems, alternative behavior centers, the Tribes program (dividing classes into "tribes" of five to seven students each to facilitate their involvement in one anothers' lives), and reality therapy. References and resource organizations are listed and newspaper articles provided. (MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National School Safety Center, Malibu, CA.