Discipline in Education, 'Discipline in the Classroom: Past and Present'

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Peer-Tutoring Independant Study

Throughout the history of classroom education, many different

types of disciplinary systems have been applied by teachers and other

authority figures in schools for the sole purpose of controlling student

behaviour. These systems include corporal punishment, psychological

abuse or neglect, and assertive discipline. Although two of these three

topics are illegal at this time, they were all widely used in schools across

the country a short time ago.

Corporal punishment in general can be defined as the infliction of

pain or confinement as a penalty for an offense committed by a student.

During the time that corporal punishment was used by schools all over

the United States and Canada, parents did not have any say in school

discipline. It was completely up to the school authority figures on the

type of punishment and the severity of the punishment given to the

student. The classroom teacher had the most say in the matter since it

was the teacher who usually administered the punishment to the

students. Because of this, some teachers (who especially liked the idea

of physical punishment) took advantage of the minor guidelines set by

the principal to protect students from excessive physical beatings. These

guidelines varied from school to school, but often included length, width

and thickness of the paddle or any other weapon used, the amount of

times the student may be struck by the weapon, and other minor details

about other types of physical punishment. The list of weapons that were

acceptable for teachers to use include long: rubber hoses, leather straps

and belts, sticks, rods, straight pins, hard plastic baseball bats, and

arrows. If at the time a teacher did not have his/her weapon, they would

often resort to punching, kicking, slapping and shaking as ways to 'get

children's attention'. Besides...