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

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

PART VIII

ALTERNATIVES

The final section of this book represented the greatest problem in terms of selection of articles. Because of page limitations, the vast literature on alternatives could only be meagerly represented. Yet no book on the topic of corporal punishment should omit discussion of the plethora of approaches available which offer positive techniques for changing behavior, building good character, and developing good citizens who will behave appropriately because they want to rather than because they are afraid. The problem that faces modern society is to help young people develop internalized controls rather than external controls represented by authority. The result of the two types of controls on the behavior of unsupervised fifth graders is described in the lead essay by Hyman. It presents a conceptual scheme for understanding discipline in the classroom.

The second essay by Ladd furthers the argument for internalized control through the use of "influence strategies." Ladd speaks to the teacher who wishes to move toward positive approaches with students who have been accustomed to punitiveness. Attempts by beginning teachers to be friendly and open are often mistaken by pupils as signs of weakness. Ladd tells teachers how to become friendly and still maintain discipline.

The following essay by Jacob Kounin represents one of the few empirical studies of discipline that have effectively identified good management techniques. Kounin's findings regarding "with it" techniques and other appropriate desist behaviors should be included in the training of all teachers in the United States. The techniques do not require a particular philosophical approach and may be learned easily. They certainly offer a basic approach to classroom management.

The following two essays discuss the problems of inner-city schools and methods to eliminate violence. The Sanders and Yarbrough essay offers research support for a multifaceted approach drastically to eliminate the use of corporal punishment in an inner-city middle school. Jackson, in his article dealing with violence in high schools, stresses the importance of

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