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Effect of Corporal and Non-Corporal Punishment Essay

S.V.Sindhu and Mahjabeen

The present investigation attempts to study the effect of corporal and non-corporal punishment on academic achievement of elementary school children with reference to gender and Board of education. A random sample of 180 elementary school children belonging to the age group of 10 years, both boys and girls hailing from CBSE, Matriculation, State Board schools were taken for the present study. A questionnaire was employed to collect the required data from the children. The questionnaire consists of two parts.

The first part of the questionnaire starts by listing direct beating of the student by the teacher. The second part lists the In-direct punishments, which enumerates non-corporal punishments. The data obtained were statistically analyzed using mean, standard deviation, student’s t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlation coefficient. The result indicated that punishment does not have any effect on academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children, whereas, punishment has a positive effect on academic achievement of State Board school children.

INTRODUCTION

Discipline is an organized, regulated, orderly way of life. It helps to direct the child’s energies into useful and socially acceptable channels. Discipline is also society’s way of teaching the child moral concepts and behaviour approved by the group. Every child needs to be helped to understand the values of discipline through appropriate experiences. He must learn to confirm to the expected patterns of behaviour and customs in an acceptable manner, use freedom wisely and distinguish between ‘safe’ and ‘unsafe’ actions. The ultimate goal of discipline is self-discipline.1

The authors can be contacted at J.B.A.S College for Women, Teynampet, Chennai-18. Discipline is defined as a mental and moral training, obedience to rules, correction and/or chastisement.

2

Techniques, which are used to inculcate discipline, are of three broad categories: authoritarian, democratic and permissive. In autocratic pattern the teacher is the boss, gives the orders and sees that they are obeyed. In this situation a child feels frustrated and often shows hostile behaviour.

3

Under the democratic system members of the group have a share in determining the disciplinary policies and controls within the group. In a democratic, cooperative atmosphere the students are not under the pressures that bring on anxiety and fear. Therefore they are friendly and conscious of group needs and welfare.

4

In permissive pattern the group or members of the group are primarily responsible for determining the controls and for self-enforcement of the controls. There are teachers who through mistaken ideas of what democratic discipline involves do let their students take too much responsibility in establishing controls.

The term punishment comes from a Latin root meaning “penalty” and “pain.” Punishments are one factor in schools, efforts to maintain discipline though to administer a punishment means that all else has failed.

5

Punishment is defined as any event, which reduces the frequency of the behaviour, which preceded the occurrence of that event and has thus been used to modify the occurrence of undesirable behaviour.

6

Punishment can be classified into two main categories: Corporal punishment and Non-corporal punishment. Corporal punishment is the intentional infliction of physical pain as a method of changing behavior. It may include methods such as hitting, slapping, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking, use of various objects (paddles, belts, sticks, or others), or painful body postures. Non-corporal punishment may include: Verbal punishment – Using cruel words, shaming, ridiculing; Withholding rewards – You can’t watch TV if you don’t do your homework; Penalties – You broke the window so you will have to pay for it with money from your allowance.

7

Achievement is the amount of knowledge derived from learning. The child gains knowledge by instruction he receives at school. Classrooms are organized around a set of core activities in which a teacher assigns tasks to pupils and evaluates and compares the quality of their work. The school provides a wide variety of achievement experiences than does the family. Academic achievement is important because it is strongly linked to the positive outcomes of children.

8

In a study on the impact of corporal punishment on the behavior and academic performance of students who perceived it, it was found that the students perceived corporal punishment as not being an effective deterrent in modifying their behaviors and performance. Severe corporal punishment has a definite ill-effect on the children’s academic performance.

9

On studying the attitudes and perception of students on corporal punishment in the public elementary grades, it was found that significant differences between grade levels are apparent as specified by the number of times corporal punishment was chosen.

10

In a longitudinal study on the corporal punishment by mothers and child’s cognitive development it was found that, corporal punishment adversely affects children’s cognitive development.

11

In a study on Corporal punishment and children’s academic achievement, it was found that, children who are spanked perform poorly on school tasks compared to other children.

12

The relationship between punishment and academic achievement of children studying in different Boards of education was also studied in the present investigation. It was inferred that there is no relationship between punishment and academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children. But in the case of State Board school children punishment improves their academic achievement.

METHODOLOGY

Sample: A total sample of 180 elementary school children from three Boards of education – CBSE, Matriculation, and State Board schools of Madras city was studied. Out of which 60 belonged to CBSE School, 60 belonged to Matriculation school and 60 belonged to State Board School. From each group 30 were boys and 30 were girls.

Tool: The Punishment Frequency Assessment Scale, a questionnaire, originally developed in the year 1972, was adapted, revised and revaluated by the authors in 2004, was used in this study.

In order to assess the frequency 20 types of corporal and non-corporal punishments were listed in the questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire starts by listing direct beating of the student by the teacher. The second part lists the In-direct punishments, which enumerates non-corporal punishments. All aspects of direct and indirect punishments were visualized and put into the questionnaire in simple break-up sentences for easy response by the students. The relative merits and demerits of corporal and non-corporal punishments could be studied by this separation of the two types of punishments. It is a 3-point scale.

Procedure: The Punishment Frequency Assessment Scale (Revised) was distributed among the children by seeking the permission of the Head of the Institutions. The questions were read out, proper explanations were given, doubts were clarified and the children were asked to give their response. Their answers ranged from often, sometimes to never. The time taken by the children to answer the questions was 15-20 minutes.

Academic Achievement of the pupils was taken into account to relate with punishments, Board of school education, and gender. II terminal and I terminal examination marks obtained by each child were taken for the study. The collected data were tabulated and scored. Then they were subjected to statistical analysis using mean, standard deviation student’s t-test, analysis of variance (ANOVA) and correlation coefficient.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

From the results presented in Table-1 it is inferred that, there does not exist any significant relationship between punishment and the academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school boys. Whereas in the case of State Board school boys, it is inferred that there exist a positive correlation between corporal punishment and academic achievement of State Board school boys (r = 0.403) at 5% level, but there does not exist any significant relationship between non-corporal punishment and the academic achievement of State Board school boys. It is also inferred that, there does not exist any significant relationship between punishment and the academic achievement of CBSE, Matriculation and State Board school girls.

In an analysis, it was found that punishment doesn’t have any effect on academic achievement of the students.

CONCLUSION

Thus it can be concluded from the present investigation that there is no relationship between punishment and academic achievement of CBSE and Matriculation school children, whereas, in the case of State Board school children punishment improves their academic achievement. However punishment should not be considered as a major criterion to improve academic performance of children. Extra care like, additional coaching classes and individual attention will be more effective.

REFERENCES

Nancy, S. (1987). “Loving your child is not enough: Positive discipline that
works”. New York: Viking.

Hoffman, M. L. (1994). “Discipline and internalisation. Journal articles developmental psychology”. New York: Journal.

Borr, J. A. (1958). “The elementary teacher and guidance”. Henry Holt and co. New York. p. 65.

Benjamin, H. (1954). “Psychology in education”. 3rd edition. Mc Graw Hill book co. Inc. New York. p. 174.

Michael, F., Trevor, K., & Carole, K. (1995). “The Blackwell handbook of education”. Blackwell publishers. Oxford. U.K. p. 183.

Azrin, N. H., & Holtz, W. C. (1966). “Punishment – Operant behaviour: Areas of research and application”. New York: Appleton. Century Crofts.

Valya, T. (1999). “Discipline and punishment: What is the difference?” Virginia State University.

Nidds, J. A., & McGerald, J. (1996). “Corporate America looks critically at public education: How should we respond?” Contemporary Education.

Inniss, D., & Delores, I. (1990). “Students’ perceptions of corporal punishment on modifying behavior and school attitude”. Secondary education. DAI Vol. 51(08). p. 2700.

Riley, J., & David, V. (1992). “Corporal punishment: The attitude and perception of students in the public elementary grades”. Guidance and counselling. DAI Vol. 53(06). p. 1756.

Straus, M. A., & Paschall, M. J. (1998). “Corporal punishment by mothers and child’s cognitive development: A longitudinal study”. Paper presented at the 14th world conference of sociology. Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and Durham, New Hampshire: Family Research Laboratory. University of New Hampshire.

Straus, M. A., & Mathur, A. K. (1995, April). “Corporal punishment and children’s academic achievement”. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Pacific Sociological Society. San Francisco.

United Federation Of Teachers. (2000). “Effect of punishment on school performance”. India.


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