Corporal Punishment in American Education: Readings in History, Practice, and Alternatives

By Irwin A. Hyman; James H. Wise | Go to book overview

PART V
CASE STUDIES

The first three essays of this part offer in-depth studies and examples of the use of corporal punishment in American schools. By way of contrast, the last essay presents the experiences of an American teacher who taught for a limited period within the Soviet Union. This latter article was selected since it is representative of the Communist educational ideology which forbids the use of corporal punishment in the schools.

The first essay by Adah Maurer chronicles the recent history of the excessive use of corporal punishment in the schools as represented in the press. The cases presented offer a rather convincing argument against the assumption that corporal punishment is practiced with moderation and concern in American schools. The many cases of abuse presented are further documented by an ongoing case book kept at the National Center for the Study of Corporal Punishment and Alternatives in the Schools. There is a strong suspicion from informal data collection that these only represent the tip of the iceberg. The preponderance of cases which are reported in the press as occurring in the South and Southwest should be considered in relation to the data presented in the essay by McDowell and Friedman in Part VI on editorial opinion regarding the Supreme Court decision in Ingraham v. Wright.

The essay by Polier et al. was chosen for its detailed documentation of efforts to eliminate corporal punishment where it had already been banned! The analysis of racial, political, and community social standards provides the reader with a good understanding of how community feeling and educational bureaucracy interfaces in the arena of discipline.

The essay by Schumacher describes the ongoing battle between the Pittsburgh Board of Education and the teachers' union. The teachers have been waging a continual war to reestablish their prerogative to use corporal punishment. An understanding of their attitudes is presented in the Introduction of this book in its discussion of research. The liberal board has banned corporal punishment by a slim majority. This becomes a major

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