This paper aims to argue regarding the effectiveness of corporal punishment. Students are considered the future of a nation. They are the milestone of the society; therefore, it is important to give sufficient attention to their needs and problems. Without proper development of children, it is not possible to develop the society (Zolotor pp. 229). The overall development of children and students requires cooperation of both parents and teachers. The proper development of children requires supportive peer environment, effective classroom environment, and an expressive family environment. The school environment has a significant impact on the emotional and personal development of children. It also has an impact on the social development of students (Zolotor pp. 229).
Corporal punishment is used by both teachers and parents in schools and at home. There have been several discussions, which focused on the effectiveness of corporal punishment. However, those studies have revealed that these kinds of punishments do not translate into effective results (Zolotor pp.229). The negative effects of corporal punishment also include the development of anti-social behavior. Children channel their aggression to other people at home and develop counter-productive behaviors; for instance, lying (Zolotor pp. 229).
In view of the reality that children are an important component of the society, the study has focused on the effectiveness of corporal punishment. It has been argued, in this paper, that corporal punishment is harmful for students because it has more negative consequences than positive outcomes. Corporal punishment is one of the threatening factors, which are present in the learning environment of students. This form of punishment has negative impacts on the psychological and social development of students (Zolotor pp.229). Corporal punishment also negatively influences academic performance of students and reduces their mental abilities. After receiving corporal punishment, students feel humiliated and inferior. Teachers who believe that corporal punishment is a mean for developing classroom discipline ignore the harmful effects caused by corporal punishment (Zolotor pp. 229).
Corporal punishment is used in schools in order to handle different disciplinary problems. This involves different school rules, which allow teachers to punish students through physical pain without any injury. It is believed that corporal punishment increases the obedience of students and reduces the probability of problematic behaviors. The use of corporal punishment in schools also results in decreasing disciplinary cases and promotes silence. Similarly, it also allows students teachers to focus on the learning of students (Zolotor pp. 229).
Although, it is believed that corporal punishment promotes discipline, there are many negative consequences of this form of punishment. One of the harmful consequences of corporal punishment is that it creates an unhealthy learning environment. It is important for schools and other educational institutions to provide a safer learning environment to students inside the classroom. When teachers use corporal punishment on students, they feel threatened. This, in turn, reduces the motivation of students to learn and go to school (Zolotor pp. 220).
There are different arguments, which support the statement that corporal punishment is an effective method of controlling classrooms. Corporal punishment is a method, which can result in serious emotional harm. Furthermore, there is no clear evidence that the uses of such methods increases the control in classrooms and increase the respect of teachers among students. In addition, there is no evidence, which suggests that the use of corporal punishment enhances moral development among children. The use of corporal punishment in schools communicates the message that hitting others and using violence are acceptable methods of dealing with societal problems. Thus, students develop the belief that violence is common in the society and can be used (Zolotor pp. 229).
The prevalence of corporal punishment is high in the United States. There has been an increase in efforts to ban corporal punishment in schools. There are different national group and social organizations involved in these efforts. The use of corporal punishment is more common in kindergarten than in other grades. Similarly, it has also been found that the use of corporal punishment is common in rural schools (Zolotor pp. 229).
The advocates of corporal punishment contend that this is an effective way of ensuring discipline in schools. However, there are many studies, which have revealed that it is an ineffective way of dealing with discipline problems in schools. Personality development is an important aspect of an individual’s life. The process of personality development is influenced by corporal punishments. The application of mild or severe corporal punishment, in schools, is associated with several disorders. It suppresses the potential develop of self and emotional stability (Xing & Wang pp. 9).
There are several negative consequences of corporal punishment including difficulties in sleeping, fatigue, sadness, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and other problems. Corporal punishment is also associated with negative school achievement and antisocial behavior from students. When students continuously receive corporal punishment, they develop a strong intensity of hatred for the authority (Xing & Wang pp. 9). Children who are the victims of corporal punishment face confidence and security problems. The students who witness corporal punishment also suffer from confidence and security problems. When students witness the victims, they develop low self-esteem and guilt feelings. These children also develop different anxiety symptoms, which result in harmful effects (Xing & Wang, 2013). There are different legislations, which have been developed in order to prevent the use of corporal punishments in schools. It is important to develop effective legislations, which ensure that teachers do not use corporal punishment in schools (Xing & Wang pp. 9).
The arguments have also suggested that corporal punishment results in an increase in mental health problems. Some of these problems include psychological distress, alcohol usage, drugs usage, and other psychological maladjustments. The victims of corporal punishment also acquire maladaptive methods of dealing with stress and resolving problems (Zolotor pp. 250).
The corporal punishment sanctions believe that it is a violent act, which encourages students to use violent methods whenever they are exposed to authority. The corporal punishment practices develop the belief among children that violence is acceptable in the society. As a result, these children also start to develop violent habits (Zolotor pp. 250).
Alternatives to Corporal Punishment
There are different ways, which can be used to control classroom instead of corporal punishment. One of these methods is to promote effective communication and maintain positive relationships between students and teachers. The relationships between parents and teachers are also important in ensuring that students maintain discipline in schools. The behavioral problems of students must be discussed with parents and both parties must develop acceptable solutions to those problems (Lorber, O’Leary & Slep pp.1744).
The use of corporal punishment is very harmful, particularly if it is used in an unskillful manner. When this form of punishment is used in a severe manner, children receive harmful and long-lasting effects. For instance, the exposure to corporal punishment develops negative personality traits among children and increases their vulnerability towards different kinds of disorders (Lorber, O’Leary & Slep pp. 1744). These students also face difficulties with learning and they try to escape from people. The continual exposure to corporal punishment also increases hesitation among students and stimulates aggression. Children often imitate their parents and teachers when they play with peers or friends. When children receive corporal punishment, they also imitate such actions (Lorber, O’Leary & Slep pp. 1744). This proves that corporal punishment does not only cause physical harms but also psychological problems. Children develop feelings of harassment, depression, aggression, self-doubt, guilt, and anxiety. These factors, in turn, decrease their confidence level (Lorber, O’Leary & Slep pp. 1744). There are other studies as well, which have revealed that corporal punishment causes lower self-esteem, depression and suicidal thoughts. The literature review, related to the topic of corporal punishment, has highlighted and explained several negative consequences of corporal punishment. The use of corporal punishment is not only harmful for children but also for adolescents. The continual exposure to such methods of punishment increases the aggression among adolescents (Abolfotouh, Bourgy, Seif El Din, & Mehanna pp. 5).
The management of the school as well as teachers must possess the expertise in child emotional and mental development. The management must choose teachers who enjoy working with students. The teachers must also possess a strong desire to help students learn and grow. The educational institutions must develop and promote an environment, which makes students believe that they are valuable, and respectful (Gould & Pate pp. 185).
Both students and parents must be involved in the process of decision making regarding the school issues. The examples of such issues include educational goals, disciplinary rules, and others. It is also important for schools to provide necessary support to students and teachers. Schools must also develop and implement peer support programs in order to utilize techniques promotes positive behavior. It is also important to ensure that adequate training and resources are provided to teachers to manage classrooms in an effective manner. The motivation of teachers and their constant monitoring will discourage them to use aggressive methods of teaching and controlling the classroom (Mweru pp. 248).
One of the ways through which this goal can be achieved is the introduction of trainings in schools. Both in-service and pre-service trainings are helpful in developing positive behavior among teachers. The management techniques must be utilized in such a manner for positive classroom interactions to be promoted and encouraged (Mweru pp. 248). This will also promote a positive learning environment for students. The teachers must be well aware of the harmful consequences of corporal punishment. This will motivate them to use the alternative methods of controlling the classroom (Donoso & Ricas pp. 78).
The school of corporal punishment in schools reinforces physical aggression. Corporal punishment cannot be accepted as an effective way of controlling behavioral problem among children. Corporal punishment is an ineffective and dangerous method of dealing with discipline problems. It is important for schools and teachers to utilize non-violent methods of classroom control. There is no evidence that suggests that the use of corporal punishment improves control in schools (Donoso & Ricas pp. 78). Corporal punishment has several harmful consequences on the mental health of students. Instead of enhancing academic success, the use of corporal punishment reduces the academic success of students. The use of this method of punishment also promotes violence in the society. In order to get rid of corporal punishment, it is important to develop alternative methods of discipline. The focus of different current students is on developing methods, which allow teachers and parents to deal with the behavioral problems of students (Gerald, Kimani, Narok, Kara & Ogetange pp. 268).
The concept of child abuse is also associated with the argument of corporal punishment. The exposure to corporal punishment impedes the development of children. Children do not have the capacity to tolerate pain physically or emotionally. Corporal punishment is similar to physical torture. This is in different forms including beating, whipping, and others (Gerald, Kimani, Narok, Kara & Ogetange pp. 268). School psychologists can play a vital role in encouraging teachers to utilize alternative methods of dealing with behavioral problems. There are different programs, which can be designed and implemented by psychologists. Some of these programs include discipline trainings and awareness trainings (Gerald, Kimani, Narok, Kara & Ogetange pp. 268). The trainings of teachers prepare them regarding different behavioral problems faced by students and the possible solutions. With the help of trainings, teachers can develop appropriate programs and interventions to guide students’ behavior. School psychologists can also provide different education programs for parents and teachers with the focus on appropriate ways that can be used at home and in schools to deal with disciplinary problems. School psychologist can make use of the latest research conducted on the topic (Hicks-Pass pp. 2). They can, therefore, play a vital role in educating teachers, policy makers, and the overall community.
The use of corporal punishment in schools is not only a problem associated with education but also it is a societal problem. The increase in the number of different types of crimes and increase in the levels of aggression and hostility of people, in the modern society, has created the need to consider every factor causing the problem. The studies conducted on the topic of corporal punishment have indicated an association between the exposure to these forms of punishment and the development of violent behavior. It has also been found that students who receive corporal punishment in schools are likely to use violent methods over other members of the society (Gerald, Kimani, Narok, Kara & Ogetange pp. 268). Therefore, it is important to solve this problem. The educational institutions as well as policymakers have the responsibility to take adequate steps in order to introduce alternatives of corporal punishment in schools (Hicks-Pass pp. 2). It is also important to increase the awareness of both parents and teachers regarding the side effects of corporal punishment. It has been observed that some parents and teachers often believe that corporal punishment is important for the moral and emotional development of children. However, the negative consequences of corporal punishment indicate that it is not an effective method. The method, chosen for behavioral control, must be one, which reduces disciplinary problems and ensures the moral and emotional development of students. The corporal punishment does not fulfill these goals. It only makes students afraid of teachers and schools. The alternative methods of behavioral control must be introduced in schools in order to ensure that children remain protected from harsh punishments.
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