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Is Corporal Punishment in Schools an Effective Method

The school is considered one of the most important institutions assigned to human societies by the task of raising individuals and forming their personalities. Despite all the recommendations urging applying the educational methods in schools, cases of corporal punishment, psychological, moral and other forms of punishment are still practised in schools.

All educational curricula, pedagogic, and psychologists prohibited punishment methods, and emphasizes their lack of usefulness, confirming that it is counterproductive for students’ psychology, and lead to their failure in studying and learning.

Also, some educational researchers believe that some teachers’ adherence to traditional methods of education and punishment is an indication of the teacher’s failure, as it demonstrates his weakness and his lack of modern education methods such discussions and others.

Ibn Khaldun, centuries ago, had previously warned of severe punishment of students, as he showed that exaggerating the student’s Severe punishment harms his spirit. Severe punishment narrows the soul, and makes the student lie and malice, as Ibn Khaldun said.

The student, for fear of punishment, resorted to lying, hypocrisy, cunning, and deception, Educational researchers and psychologists confirm that corporal punishment cannot be an effective educational means to modify behaviour because of its negative effects on the student.

Some of the Negative Effects of Corporal Punishment on Students

  • Increasing the probability of deviant and antisocial behaviours, such as
  • aggression, adolescent delinquency and violent acts inside and outside the
  • family
  • Negative impact on the mental and emotional health of students.
  • Negative effect on cognitive development
  • Poor performance
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The Difference between Punishment and Discipline

Many believe that punishment and discipline are a single term but the difference is great; Research has proven that discipline is more effective for teaching students than punishment, and the teacher must take some important steps before imposing punishment on students.

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At first, the teacher must explain the error to the student and why it should not be done, and then explain that discipline was found to teach the student the error and deter the student from doing it again, ensuring that the appropriate penalty for the student’s age and the misbehaviour he did.

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Discipline according to Montessori Educational Curricula

Educational curricula are varied around the world, each with its own characteristics, and each has its own way of managing the classroom.
The most famous are the Montessori, Waldorf & Reggio Emilia.

Comparing the numbers of schools that apply those curricula around the world, we will find the following: Accordingly, we have to know more about Montessori and know its method in the discipline.

What is Montessori?

It is an interactive educational curriculum designed by the Italian doctor Maria Montessori that fits all ages of students. Education according to the Montessori curriculum must be effective, supportive, and child-oriented, using a simple system of education and keeping away from the accumulation of information, learning, and preservation, because students must learn about the world through their senses.

The Montessori has been based on developing the student’s creativity and mental capabilities to solve problems, innovate, try to benefit from all that surrounds him, try to link things together, time management and self-confidence in addition to developing the horizon of awareness and imagination without being bound by a method and conservation, but rather create and focus on developing the skills that student will need in their lives in general.

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Montessori’ advantages

  • Montessori ideas are a balanced mixture of rationality and practicality.
  • Ensuring the freedom of students to choose and move, not direct imitation.
  • Through the prepared environment, the student has been controlled over what he is learning.
  • The teacher’s role is manifested in non-interference and in leading towards learning.
  • Thanks to educational tools, the child interacts with knowledge through his senses.
  • Maintaining the student’s interest in encouraging him and providing him with information about the main points so that he can know what to do.
  • Helping students become educated in their independence and take responsibility, naturally, learn self-discipline, Ability to distinguish between good behaviour and bad behaviour (moral development)
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Punishment according to Montessori

Dr Maria Montessori states that punishment is not an effective way to discipline students, and he will never learn through punishment, he learns only lying and fearing his family. Corporal punishment will harm our communication with our students, and make them not dealing with us frankly after that. Dr Maria said,

“Rewarding a child is not harmful, but we are the ones who make it harmful when we make it conditioned by an act.”

Alternative of Corporal Punishment in Schools

Studies have shown that support for positive behaviors may give a better result in disciplining the student, it is better to stay away from corporal punishment and tendency to several other ways to correct student behavior, as physical punishment of students has become a matter punishable by law in many countries of the world.

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Below are some of the methods of school punishment and discipline that are recommended by specialists in the sciences of education

  • Student apologizes for his misbehaviour.
  • Students may do additional duties, such as copying or reading a book and summarizing within a certain period.
  • If you are using a learning management system, you can disable the student account for a few days, so he/she can’t participate in the digital activities.
  • Students may clean a classroom or help pick up trash from the schoolyard.
  • Denial of activities that the student generally likes, such as school trips or visits, or school radio.
  • Threatening the student to inform his parents about his misconduct and even resort to management, if necessary, which is also something that some students fear and that serves as a deterrent punishment.
  • Suspending student studies in a school for a certain period
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What Supporters say about Corporal Punishment in Schools

Although many educationally developed countries prohibited corporal punishment for students, as Japan and most of Europe countries and in most of the American states, and this was reflected in their level of education and it has become one of the best educational systems.

Corporal Punishment

However, opinion-holders who support corporal punishment have another opinion, as they see it as necessary for the education of the student, because moderate beating contributes to raising and stimulating students’ motivation and rejecting them for neglect and laziness

Likewise, they see that a student at a young age does not know his interest and does not affect him ordinary punishment such as blame or deprivation of activities as much as appropriate corporal punishment affects him, and corporal punishment has been the main means of education throughout the past decades.

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Decisions of Egyptian Ministry of Education on Prohibiting Corporal Punishment in Schools

One of the issues of the Seventh Day newspaper in November 2019 stated that the Ministry of Education has warned against the use of physical and verbal punishment for students while emphasizing the activation of continuous daily supervision and follow-up in schools.

The Ministry of Education said that corporal punishment is rejected in all its forms, and any faculty member who violates this will be held accountable, and there is a discipline regulation that applies to the student and the teacher, and the student who violates or commits aggressive behaviour whoever prepares or pronounces external words are held accountable according to the provisions of the school discipline list.

Education experts agreed that verbal or physical beatings or abuse lead to the abandonment of a student. The Ministry of Education is keen to ensure that the school is attractive and that the student is able to learn and practice activities.

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