School corporal punishment refers to causing deliberate pain or discomfort in response to undesired behaviour by students in schools. It often involves striking the student either across the buttocks or on the hands, with an implement such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or wooden yardstick. Less commonly, it could also include spanking or smacking the student with the open hand.
Advocates of school corporal punishment argue that it provides an immediate response to indiscipline and that the student is quickly back in the classroom learning, as opposed to suspension from school. Opponents, including a number of medical and psychological societies, along with human-rights groups, argue that physical punishment is ineffective in the long term, interferes with learning, leads to antisocial behaviour as well as various forms of mental distress, and is a form of violence that breaches the rights of children.
Ascham (2005) said that punishment should not be used to bring about learning but it should be replaced with praise and encouragement. His main aim criticism is based on the uselessness of corporal punishment as an aid to efficient learning. He further said that the only thing one does successfully is to make the child hate what one is trying to teach. Ascham supported the above statement by saying that a relationship between a teacher and a student is one very important aspect if the student is to seek help when in difficult. On top of that he continued to say let your
scholar be never afraid, to ask you any doubt, but use discretely the best allurements you can to encourage him to fame and the best allurement to learning is love which is better than fear while gentleness is better than beating (Ascham, 2005).
Corporal Punishment as a Form Abuse
In a series of studies, Straus and his colleagues have linked physical punishment to substance abuse and criminal activities, low economic achievement, and depression and thought of suicide
(Straus in press). Despite these negative outcomes, powerful cultural norms make attitudes towards corporal punishment slow to change. Individuals have developed a host of reasons, or myths, unsupported by the evidence, to justify the hitting of children (Straus).
According to Anonymous (2010) in the Times of Swaziland, due to being exposed to corporal punishment, some students tend to leave school premises early before school closes. Some refuse
to go home after school and when quizzed as to why they are not going home they just open a can of worms when they reveal that they are being beaten everyday as they come to school with new and fresh bruises and scars. The Times continued to say that it is a pity that the students are exposed to corporal punishment when they are supposed to be exposed to love, protection, respect, and care as some of these punishments are uncalled for following one grandmother who was exposing her granddaughter to corporal punishment every day for no apparent reason, (Times of Swaziland, 2010c).
Effects of Corporal Punishment
According to Robison (2009), corporal punishment has some bad effects on the students. These include depression, sadness, scoring low in IQ tests, the child begins to have functional negative effects towards other children who score high in IQ tests, and children who are exposed to corporal punishment also exhibit anti-social behaviours. Some desire to revenge when others think of suicide.
Classroom management is a term used by teachers to describe the process of ensuring that classroom lessons run smoothly despite disruptive behaviour by students. It also implies the prevention of disruptive behaviour. It is possibly the most difficult aspect of teaching for many teachers; indeed experiencing problems in this area causes some to leave teaching altogether.
Classroom management is crucial in classrooms because it supports the proper execution of curriculum development, developing best teaching practices, and putting them into action.
Classroom management can be explained as the actions and directions that teachers use to create a successful learning environment; indeed, having a positive impact on students achieving given learning requirements and goals (Soheili, Alizadeh, Murphy, Bajestani, Ferguson and Dreikurs).
In an effort to ensure all students receive the best education it would seem beneficial for educator programs to spend more time and effort in ensuring educators and instructors are well versed in classroom management. Teachers do not focus on learning classroom management, because higher education programs do not put an emphasis on the teacher attaining classroom management; indeed, the focus is on creating a conducive learning atmosphere for the student (Eisenman, Edwards, and Cushman ). These tools enable teachers to have the resources available to properly and successfully educate upcoming generations, and ensure future successes as a nation.
According to Moskowitz & Hayman (1976), once a teacher loses control of their classroom, it becomes increasingly more difficult for them to regain that control. Research from Berliner (1988) and Brophy & Good (1986) shows that the time a teacher has to take to correct misbehavior caused by poor classroom management skills results in a lower rate of academic engagement in the classroom. From the student’s perspective, effective classroom management involves clear communication of behavioural and academic expectations as well as a cooperative learning environment. Douglas Brooks (1985) reports seminal research on the first day of school activity selection and sequence of novice middle school teachers compared with experienced, successful classroom managers. Brooks reports that effective classroom managers organized their activities on the first day of school consistent with the emerging needs of the students.
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