There is some heated debate right now on about whether or not teachers and educators should still be paddling students as a form of discipline. Some feel this practice is an outrage, while others deem it neccesary. Who is right? Does it work? Should it be banned completely? I'd love to hear some more insight on the topic.

Tags: corporal, paddling, policy, punishment, safety, teachers

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I must say that coercion at school is not actually working for me either. When the curriculum, class management, paper trail straightjacket falls, my compliance and co-operation is actually reduced.
True for student, true for teacher.

I need to be engaged, rewarded, and feel that my work is useful, fruitful, relevant, respected. When it's drudge work, when it's a mission of somebody else's that doesn't communicate relevance to me, I'm disconnected.

I keep thinking about creating a 'teacher at risk' category.
I'd say that your "Responsibility Model" would work great is students were young adults. However, in the elementary grades, a child's primary motive for behaving is so that they won't get in trouble. They aren't necessarily motivated intrinsically at this stage of development. As for my own children, here are my priorities in what they will learn, as far as behavior goes:

1. They need to learn to come under authority. Our prisons are full of people who were taught that they are the ultimate authority. My children need to understand from an early age that they are, and will always be under the authority of someone else. (parents, teachers, government, moral law)

2. They need to learn that there are consequences for not coming under authority. These are primarily natural consequences (break traffic laws, crash your car), but also punitive consequences (steal a car, got to jail) This is where corporal punishment comes into play. Footnote: While in theory, corporal pun may be valid, I would not trust a school administrator to make a decision as to when to use it.

3. They need to learn that life is best and they are happiest when they comply with appropriate authority. Don't believe me? Ask Mr. Madoff.

So I agree that we need to teach students to be responsible and make good decisions, but taking consequences out of the equation gives then a false sense of reality. They are not, ultimately, the final authority.

They need to learn to come under authority.

We are really coming from very different place......

be well... mike
I think in too many cases parents expect schools to do what parents should be doing, either because they can't or won't. Then they want to blame the schools for failure, when it was actually failure at home that caused the failure at school.
The major problem is that there are 35 kids in the classroom. There should be no more than 20 under any circumstances. If anything, overcrowded classrooms are often the catalyst that brings on disruptive behavior.

Paul and Anne.... absolutely correct and yet it may be what it is for a while!

So...given the current realities...... we can learn to do classroom leadership and management better.....

A couple of thoughts......

As we ponder discipline we may want to also ask ourselves some other questions....

We need COOPERATION as well if not more then CONTROL....

When thinking about discipline...... lets ask some different questions........


Paul.... as you know there are many troubled kids that come to school with out what i will call

"family priviledge"......... with those kids..NO ONE ELSE IS COMING........

Let us be creative and let us learn ways that can help us and those kids.........

be well...mike
Thanks Mike,
I've just circulated those cartoons round our staff - they are as relevant to the treatment of teachers as they are to students; perhaps more so, since we are the recipients of so much
and for that matter 'fetch'.
Someone somewhere has to put his/her foot down .... perhaps lots of them in unison, and reduce those class sizes. There is no shortage of teachers. There is only a shortage of WILL to spend the money. The extra funds are coming from the feds even as I write, they are expected to go to special ed and technology, which are two very valid solutions to the core problems.

In that hypothetical class of 35 students with one misbehaving, there are 34 students who should be enrolled in online classes RIGHT NOW! With the stimulus money. The one misbehaving needs to have serious one-on-one time with an understanding and compassionate person who can help the miscreant map out a new future.

And, yes, folks, I am an optimist.

But the time for spending that technology money is now, and the way to spend it is on providing online alternatives to overcrowded classes.
Just to ask a question or two:
How are the online facilities resourced for these 34? Are they in a community area, with mentor support/enrichment? Are they at home - assuming that home is, or can be an effective learning space with good technology resources? Are they part of a multiple use school - in the 'second' school community? What outcomes will they provide for the state, in its discharge of responsibility for education?

Will the online shift be fruitful and helpful for all/many or these 34? (I'm thinking of Asimov's story "The Fun they Had")

Love that story! In fact, you can find it decorating my website!

That said, there is a whole lot already going on with online educationl Online schools exist which can be chosen to fulfill the whole of one's high school education. So far, I'm not sure if there are very many ala carte courses available, but if a serious effort was put into them, they could be organized as quickly as the "distance learnnig" tv/satellite courses. They would certainly fulfill the state's mission to educate, such as it is. I'm not sure that here in the states the shoe is on the same foot in that mission as it may be in Australia.

No matter what the facilities that unite student and computer, the outcome of online education for 7-12 is going to be as likely fruitful as for the college level. Grade 6 and below may pose more of a attention problem. But, that problem is surmountable.

In any event, before we resort to beating the brains out of our wayward kids for objecting to being too small a fish in a big pond, we need to give internet education a good try.



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