Punishment in schools : perspectives of parents, teachers and pupils

Sedumi, Susan Dimakatso (1997) Punishment in schools : perspectives of parents, teachers and pupils. Masters thesis, Rhodes University.




While some research has been done on the use of corpora1 punishment in South African schools, there is a dearth of research on other forms of punishment and little has been done to research the meaning of punishment. This study explores the meaning of punishment in a high school context and focuses on the different attitudes of parents, teachers and pupils, with a view to identifying, in particular, how they justify the use of punishment. A sample of 50 pupils, 30 teachers and 30 parents were selected for the study. Focus groups and a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions were used to collect the data. The questionnaire was constructed to explore themes which emerged in the focus group discussions . Results were grouped into themes and arranged by tables , and the Chi-square test of statistical significance was used to analyze some of the data. The results show that the meaning and the approach to punishment is differently construed by participants. Parents construe punishment as an educative instrument and a disciplinary measure used for the good of pupils and the society. Teachers see it as a discip1inary measure, a strategy used for effective learning, and a negative stimulus used to inflict pain towards the goal of an orderly school environment. To pupils the punishment scene provides an opportunity for what they perceive as sadistic enjoyment and as something negati ve which is used by teachers to vent their own frustrations. Participants agree that clear, consensually agreed upon rules should be set to regulate school behaviour and that there should be clear and consensually agreed upon ways of ensuring that these rules are adhered to; and constructive ways of dealing with violation of these rules. The central concern seems to be to move away from a retributive, puniti ve mode of thinking about punishment, towards a purposeful one. The implications of the research findings are discussed in the context of existing literature in the area and in relation to policy development.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporal punishment, South Africa, School discipline
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
Supervisors:Kelly, Kevin
ID Code:3148
Deposited By: Mrs Carol Perold
Deposited On:25 Jul 2012 08:18
Last Modified:25 Jul 2012 08:18
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