The effectiveness of corporal punishment as perceived by middle school administrators in East Tennessee

Larry D Mason, Tennessee State University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of corporal punishment as perceived by East Tennessee middle school administrators. A review of the literature revealed three constructs that proponents of corporal punishment rely upon to advocate its use: corporal punishment is supported by religious beliefs, corporal punishment has legal precedence, and corporal punishment is an effective disciplinary measure. It was on these three constructs that Keirman (1994) based the corporal punishment scale survey instrument used in this study. ^ The sample consisted of East Tennessee schools that had sixth, seventh, and/or eighth grades. Responses were received from 64 of 95 administrators who were sent the survey instrument. Demographic findings revealed a predominately Caucasian male population of middle school administrators. Data from participants that were tested using the Mann-Whitney U-test for statistical significance were grouped by participants' years of professional experience, the use/non-use of corporal punishment, and childhood experience with corporal punishment. ^ The number of years of professional experience had little or no impact on perceptions of corporal punishment's effectiveness, its effectiveness based on legal aspects, nor its effectiveness based on religious beliefs. Administrators who did not use corporal punishment perceived their schools' discipline as being as good as administrators who used corporal punishment. Responses indicated that, where corporal punishment was permitted by local school boards, a majority of administrators chose to use it. Administrators that did not use corporal punishment perceived it as a deterrent for misbehavior. ^ It was recommended that further research into the school climate and school discipline of schools that abolished the use of corporal punishment should be pursued. Additional research into the long-term effects of the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure should be carried out. State laws and school board policies should be in place and followed to guide the use of corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure. Administrators and teachers who use corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure should reexamine their disciplining philosophy and, after researching the facts, should decide whether corporal punishment is the appropriate disciplinary measure available. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Guidance and Counseling|Sociology, Criminology and Penology

Recommended Citation

Larry D Mason, "The effectiveness of corporal punishment as perceived by middle school administrators in East Tennessee" (2000). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI3007615.
http://digitalscholarship.tnstate.edu/dissertations/AAI3007615

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