Physical force in schools makes a comeback

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engr
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Physical force in schools makes a comeback

Postby engr » Fri Sep 02, 2011 7:11 pm UTC

...in British schools. Or, at least, it may make a comeback.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011 ... ce-schools

Ministers are scrapping a requirement for teachers to record instances when they use physical force, as part of a wider move to "restore adult authority" in the wake of the riots in England.
The education secretary, Michael Gove, said that he wanted greater numbers of men teaching, particularly in primary schools, so as to provide children with male authority figures who could display "both strength and sensitivity".
In a speech delivered at Durand academy, in Stockwell, south London, Gove said the regulations on the use of force inhibited teachers' judgment.
He said: "So let me be crystal clear, if any parent now hears a school say, 'sorry, we can't physically touch the students', then that school is wrong. Plain wrong. The rules of the game have changed."


About freakin' time.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby a_fuzzyduck » Fri Sep 02, 2011 8:15 pm UTC

Nonononono, ministers are giving teachers the freedom to cover up any child abuse they commit.

They do not, however, make that a requirment, nor prevent anyone else from making such information public
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Jessica » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:42 pm UTC

*headdesk*
Because it was a lack of male authority figures in primary school that caused the London riots. Obviously.
Kids need to learn at an early age that when someone smaller than you bothers you, hitting them is all right.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Gellert1984 » Fri Sep 02, 2011 11:10 pm UTC

Jessica wrote:*headdesk*
Because it was a lack of male authority figures in primary school that caused the London riots. Obviously.
Kids need to learn at an early age that when someone smaller than you bothers you, hitting them is all right.

I hate the conservative movement with a fucking passion.


No. I'm 27 years old. When I was still in school 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to be in the sixth form with the folks who actually wanted to be in school. The younger years however rapidly became known for barricading teachers in cupboards, throwing books desks and computers through windows and generally going out of there way to cause damage and harm to the school and its teachers. The only recourse the school had was suspension and expulsion. Suspension doesnt work, its looked on as a holiday, a chance to stay and home and play on the playstation. Expulsion doesnt work, the parents go to the council or the local mp who pressure the school to take the kid back because the parents can't work or just plain doesn't want to deal with their kids, probably because they to have no way to control their child. Children need to learn that there are consequences to their actions and if the quickest way to teach them is with pain then so be it.

As an aside, I had occasion to revisit my old school 3 years after I left, a handful of windows remained unbroken and I was almost assaulted walking through a hallway. I am not a small person, I am not incapable of defending myself, but the children these schools are releasing are wild animals, both the parents and the schools need the ability to discipline their chldren how they see fit.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Gopher of Pern » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:15 am UTC

Gellert1984 wrote:
Jessica wrote:*headdesk*
Because it was a lack of male authority figures in primary school that caused the London riots. Obviously.
Kids need to learn at an early age that when someone smaller than you bothers you, hitting them is all right.

I hate the conservative movement with a fucking passion.


No. I'm 27 years old. When I was still in school 10 years ago I was fortunate enough to be in the sixth form with the folks who actually wanted to be in school. The younger years however rapidly became known for barricading teachers in cupboards, throwing books desks and computers through windows and generally going out of there way to cause damage and harm to the school and its teachers. The only recourse the school had was suspension and expulsion. Suspension doesnt work, its looked on as a holiday, a chance to stay and home and play on the playstation. Expulsion doesnt work, the parents go to the council or the local mp who pressure the school to take the kid back because the parents can't work or just plain doesn't want to deal with their kids, probably because they to have no way to control their child. Children need to learn that there are consequences to their actions and if the quickest way to teach them is with pain then so be it.

As an aside, I had occasion to revisit my old school 3 years after I left, a handful of windows remained unbroken and I was almost assaulted walking through a hallway. I am not a small person, I am not incapable of defending myself, but the children these schools are releasing are wild animals, both the parents and the schools need the ability to discipline their chldren how they see fit.


Well, thats the parents fault, isn't it? It should be there responsibility to teach morals to kids, not the school. Hitting the kids wont do anything.

If kids are breaking stuff, hit them with the bill. If they graffiti, make them clean it up. If they lock teachers up, lock them up.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby mmmcannibalism » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:00 am UTC

Corporal punishment may be a discussion worthy idea; but what possible reason could they give for removing recordings of use?
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Kulantan » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:19 am UTC

For the same reason that you don't have teachers record sending kids out of the class every time they do it. Which hopefully what they should be using physical force for, rather than beatings.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby engr » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:31 am UTC

I think this quote from Heinlein has never been more appropriate :)

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Mr. Dubois was talking about the disorders that preceded the breakup of the North American republic, back in the XXth century. According to him, there was a time just before they went down the drain when such crimes as Dillinger’s [Dillinger murdered a young girl] were as common as dogfights. The Terror had not been just in North America — Russia and the British Isles had it, too, as well as other places. But it reached its peak in North America shortly before things went to pieces.

"Law-abiding people," Dubois had told us, "hardly dared go into a public park at night. To do so was to risk attack by wolf packs of children, armed with chains, knives, homemade guns, bludgeons . . . to be hurt at least, robbed most certainly, injured for life probably — or even killed. This went on for years, right up to the war between the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance and the Chinese Hegemony. Murder, drug addiction, larceny, assault, and vandalism were commonplace. Nor were parks the only places — these things happened also on the streets in daylight, on school grounds, even inside school buildings. But parks were so notoriously unsafe that honest people stayed clear of them after dark."

I had tried to imagine such things happening in our schools. I simply couldn’t. Nor in our parks. A park was a place for fun, not for getting hurt. As for getting killed in one — "Mr. Dubois, didn’t they have police? Or courts?"

"They had many more police than we have. And more courts. All overworked."

"I guess I don’t get it." If a boy in our city had done anything half that bad . . . well, he and his father would have been flogged side by side. But such things just didn’t happen.

Mr. Dubois then demanded of me, "Define a ‘juvenile delinquent.’ "

"Uh, one of those kids — the ones who used to beat up people."

"Wrong."

"Huh? But the book said — "

"My apologies. Your textbook does so state. But calling a tail a leg does not make the name fit ‘Juvenile delinquent’ is a contradiction in terms, one which gives a clue to their problem and their failure to solve it. Have you ever raised a puppy?"

"Yes, sir."

"Did you housebreak him?"

"Err . . . yes, sir. Eventually." It was my slowness in this that caused my mother to rule that dogs must stay out of the house.

"Ah, yes. When your puppy made mistakes, were you angry?"

"What? Why, he didn’t know any better; he was just a puppy.

"What did you do?"

"Why, I scolded him and rubbed his nose in it and paddled him."

"Surely he could not understand your words?"

"No, but he could tell I was sore at him!"

"But you just said that you were not angry."

Mr. Dubois had an infuriating way of getting a person mixed up. "No, but I had to make him think I was. He had to learn, didn’t he?"

"Conceded. But, having made it clear to him that you disapproved, how could you be so cruel as to spank him as well? You said the poor beastie didn’t know that he was doing wrong. Yet you indicted pain. Justify yourself! Or are you a sadist?"

I didn’t then know what a sadist was — but I knew pups. "Mr. Dubois, you have to! You scold him so that he knows he’s in trouble, you rub his nose in it so that he will know what trouble you mean, you paddle him so that he darn well won’t do it again — and you have to do it right away! It doesn’t do a bit of good to punish him later; you’ll just confuse him. Even so, he won’t learn from one lesson, so you watch and catch him again and paddle him still harder. Pretty soon he learns. But it’s a waste of breath just to scold him." Then I added, "I guess you’ve never raised pups."

"Many. I’m raising a dachshund now — by your methods. Let’s get back to those juvenile criminals. The most vicious averaged somewhat younger than you here in this class . . . and they often started their lawless careers much younger. Let us never forget that puppy. These children were often caught; police arrested batches each day. Were they scolded? Yes, often scathingly. Were their noses rubbed in it? Rarely. News organs and officials usually kept their names secret — in many places the law so required for criminals under eighteen. Were they spanked? Indeed not! Many had never been spanked even as small children; there was a widespread belief that spanking, or any punishment involving pain, did a child permanent psychic damage."

(I had reflected that my father must never have heard of that theory.)

"Corporal punishment in schools was forbidden by law," he had gone on. "Flogging was lawful as sentence of court only in one small province, Delaware, and there only for a few crimes and was rarely invoked; it was regarded as ‘cruel and unusual punishment.’ " Dubois had mused aloud, "I do not understand objections to ‘cruel and unusual’ punishment. While a judge should be benevolent in purpose, his awards should cause the criminal to suffer, else there is no punishment — and pain is the basic mechanism built into us by millions of years of evolution which safeguards us by warning when something threatens our survival. Why should society refuse to use such a highly perfected survival mechanism? However, that period was loaded with pre-scientific pseudo-psychological nonsense.

"As for ‘unusual,’ punishment must be unusual or it serves no purpose." He then pointed his stump at another boy. "What would happen if a puppy were spanked every hour?"

"Uh . . . probably drive him crazy!"

"Probably. It certainly will not teach him anything. How long has it been since the principal of this school last had to switch a pupil?"

"Uh, I’m not sure. About two years. The kid that swiped — "

"Never mind. Long enough. It means that such punishment is so unusual as to be significant, to deter, to instruct. Back to these young criminals — They probably were not spanked as babies; they certainly were not flogged for their crimes. The usual sequence was: for a first offense, a warning — a scolding, often without trial. After several offenses a sentence of confinement but with sentence suspended and the youngster placed on probation. A boy might be arrested many times and convicted several times before he was punished — and then it would be merely confinement, with others like him from whom he learned still more criminal habits. If he kept out of major trouble while confined, he could usually evade most of even that mild punishment, be given probation — ‘paroled’ in the jargon of the times.

"This incredible sequence could go on for years while his crimes increased in frequency and viciousness, with no punishment whatever save rare dull-but-comfortable confinements. Then suddenly, usually by law on his eighteenth birthday, this so-called ‘juvenile delinquent’ becomes an adult criminal — and sometimes wound up in only weeks or months in a death cell awaiting execution for murder. You — "

He had singled me out again. "Suppose you merely scolded your puppy, never punished him, let him go on making messes in the house . . . and occasionally locked him up in an outbuilding but soon let him back into the house with a warning not to do it again. Then one day you notice that he is now a grown dog and still not housebroken — whereupon you whip out a gun and shoot him dead. Comment, please?"

"Why . . . that’s the craziest way to raise a dog I ever heard of!"

"I agree. Or a child. Whose fault would it be?"

"Uh . . . why, mine, I guess."

"Again I agree. But I’m not guessing."

"Mr. Dubois," a girl blurted out, "but why? Why didn’t they spank little kids when they needed it and use a good dose of the strap on any older ones who deserved it — the sort of lesson they wouldn’t forget! I mean ones who did things really bad. Why not?"

"I don’t know," he had answered grimly, "except that the time-tested method of instilling social virtue and respect for law in the minds of the young did not appeal to a pre-scientific pseudo-professional class who called themselves ‘social workers’ or sometimes ‘child psychologists.’ It was too simple for them, apparently, since anybody could do it, using only the patience and firmness needed in training a puppy. I have sometimes wondered if they cherished a vested interest in disorder — but that is unlikely; adults almost always act from conscious ‘highest motives’ no matter what their behavior."

"But — good heavens!" the girl answered. "I didn’t like being spanked any more than any kid does, but when I needed it, my mama delivered. The only time I ever got a switching in school I got another one when I got home and that was years and years ago. I don’t ever expect to be hauled up in front of a judge and sentenced to a flogging; you behave yourself and such things don’t happen. I don’t see anything wrong with our system; it’s a lot better than not being able to walk outdoors for fear of your life — why, that’s horrible!"

"I agree. Young lady, the tragic wrongness of what those well-meaning people did, contrasted with what they thought they were doing, goes very deep. They had no scientific theory of morals. They did have a theory of morals and they tried to live by it (I should not have sneered at their motives) but their theory was wrong — half of it fuzzy-headed wishful thinking, half of it rationalized charlatanry. The more earnest they were, the farther it led them astray. You see, they assumed that Man has a moral instinct."

"Sir? But I thought — But he does! I have."

"No, my dear, you have a cultivated conscience, a most carefully trained one. Man has no moral instinct. He is not born with moral sense. You were not born with it, I was not — and a puppy has none. We acquire moral sense, when we do, through training, experience, and hard sweat of the mind. These unfortunate juvenile criminals were born with none, even as you and I, and they had no chance to acquire any; their experiences did not permit it. What is ‘moral sense’? It is an elaboration of the instinct to survive. The instinct to survive is human nature itself, and every aspect of our personalities derives from it. Anything that conflicts with the survival instinct acts sooner or later to eliminate the individual and thereby fails to show up in future generations. This truth is mathematically demonstrable, everywhere verifiable; it is the single eternal imperative controlling everything we do."

"But the instinct to survive," he had gone on, "can be cultivated into motivations more subtle and much more complex than the blind, brute urge of the individual to stay alive. Young lady, what you miscalled your ‘moral instinct’ was the instilling in you by your elders of the truth that survival can have stronger imperatives than that of your own personal survival. Survival of your family, for example. Of your children, when you have them. Of your nation, if you struggle that high up the scale. And so on up. A scientifically verifiable theory of morals must be rooted in the individual’s instinct to survive — and nowhere else! — and must correctly describe the hierarchy of survival, note the motivations at each level, and resolve all conflicts."

"We have such a theory now; we can solve any moral problem, on any level. Self-interest, love of family, duty to country, responsibility toward the human race — we are even developing an exact ethic for extra-human relations. But all moral problems can be illustrated by one misquotation: ‘Greater love hath no man than a mother cat dying to defend her kittens.’ Once you understand the problem facing that cat and how she solved it, you will then be ready to examine yourself and learn how high up the moral ladder you are capable of climbing.

"These juvenile criminals hit a low level. Born with only the instinct for survival, the highest morality they achieved was a shaky loyalty to a peer group, a street gang. But the do-gooders attempted to ‘appeal to their better natures,’ to ‘reach them,’ to ‘spark their moral sense.’ Tosh! They had no ‘better natures’; experience taught them that what they were doing was the way to survive. The puppy never got his spanking; therefore what he did with pleasure and success must be ‘moral.’

"The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the same relation to group that self-interest has to individual. Nobody preached duty to these kids in a way they could understand — that is, with a spanking. But the society they were in told them endlessly about their ‘rights.’ "

"The results should have been predictable, since a human being has no natural rights of any nature."

Mr. Dubois had paused. Somebody took the bait. "Sir? How about ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’?"

"Ah, yes, the ‘unalienable rights.’ Each year someone quotes that magnificent poetry. Life? What ‘right’ to life has a man who is drowning in the Pacific? The ocean will not hearken to his cries. What ‘right’ to life has a man who must die if he is to save his children? If he chooses to save his own life, does he do so as a matter of ‘right’? If two men are starving and cannibalism is the only alternative to death, which man’s right is ‘unalienable’? And is it ‘right’? As to liberty, the heroes who signed that great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called ‘natural human rights’ that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.

"The third ‘right’? — the ‘pursuit of happiness’? It is indeed unalienable but it is not a right; it is simply a universal condition which tyrants cannot take away nor patriots restore. Cast me into a dungeon, burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can ‘pursue happiness’ as long as my brain lives — but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it."

Mr. Dubois then turned to me. "I told you that ‘juvenile delinquent’ is a contradiction in terms. ‘Delinquent’ means ‘failing in duty.’ But duty is an adult virtue — indeed a juvenile becomes an adult when, and only when, he acquires a knowledge of duty and embraces it as dearer than the self-love he was born with. There never was, there cannot be a ‘juvenile delinquent.’ But for every juvenile criminal there are always one or more adult delinquents — people of mature years who either do not know their duty, or who, knowing it, fail."

"And that was the soft spot which destroyed what was in many ways an admirable culture. The junior hoodlums who roamed their streets were symptoms of a greater sickness; their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’ . . . and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure."
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Glass Fractal » Sat Sep 03, 2011 1:53 am UTC

engr wrote:I think this quote from Heinlein has never been more appropriate :)


So to sum up: Corporal punishment will lead to fascism.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby engr » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:19 am UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:So to sum up: Corporal punishment will lead to fascism.


If being able to walk through a park at night without fear of being mugged (or worse) is fascism... I guess I am a fascist.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:30 am UTC

engr wrote:I think this quote from Heinlein has never been more appropriate :)

Really? What is the relevance of a monologue by a character who lives in a world where human nature is radically different from what we can observe in real life?
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby folkhero » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:36 am UTC

engr wrote:I think this quote from Heinlein has never been more appropriate :)

Stories and novels can be nice, but what does the science say? Certainly you wouldn't want children to be hurt at the hands of the state unless you have good evidence that it will be beneficial in reducing crime.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby FrancisDrake » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:36 am UTC

I don't believe using violence is a proper way to keep violent students in line. I Also wonder if the students are acting up in the UK becuase of the specialized education system that can caste students early on? I would like to test this with graduation rates of countries who are not specilized, like the US, and countries who are, like the UK. The graduation rate in the UK has fallen recently as well. However the United States' dropout rates have only recently lowered. Also the crime in schools has also lowered in the US.
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=49
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=16
http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... university
http://www.euractiv.com/en/education/eu ... ews-501681
However the UK seems to be already pushing education as a pop culture again with the return of "Dr.Who."
I also see alot of anti crime movies coming out in the UK like Harry Brown, and Blitz. Both movies have A list stars like Jason Statham and Micheal Caine.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289406/
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1297919/
So far I see alot of propaganda, control, and now force, which could only mean the problem is getting worse. I hope the youth comes to understand if they want to be free then they must become educated individuals. Only through intelligence and knowledge can a individual be free for one who is ignorant and stupid lacks the tools and knowledge of freedom. I understand poverty is rough but the only way out of poverty is through hard work in education. The shortcuts are fairly tales to keep those who have failed in line, and those who have failed should realize that it is their own fault.
Another problem is the population rate increasing which is causing pressure on alot of aspects. I am also not saying that there is a high number of uneducated individuals in the UK.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Glmclain » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:50 am UTC

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Lazar » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:15 am UTC

Glmclain wrote:
engr wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:So to sum up: Corporal punishment will lead to fascism.


If being able to walk through a park at night without fear of being mugged (or worse) is fascism... I guess I am a fascist.


Wait, what? Okay.

A. I'm not sure what you're talking about

engr is relying on the baseless claim that hitting children will prevent urban crime.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Steax » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:24 am UTC

I don't get it. Instead of making "harsh punishment" (not that I approve of it, but anyway) "legal"/"okay", they choose to just let it be off the records.

I. Don't. Get. It.

I don't buy arguments saying "discipline with violence is what we need", but even if that were true, the solution would be to give a controlled and carefully judged amount of it, not allowing people to do as much as they could possibly want, yet shrug when asked about it.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:41 am UTC

I don't know that discipline with violence is the answer, but there does seem to be a discipline problem with kids that is getting more widespread. I don't know if it's just because kids don't respect authority, authority doesn't respect kids, people just aren't paying attention, or what.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby folkhero » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:47 am UTC

Thesh wrote:I don't know that discipline with violence is the answer, but there does seem to be a discipline problem with kids that is getting more widespread.

Do you have evidence for this? Crime rates have been dropping for some time now. This is probably just a case of "kids these days" which has been a complaint since the beginning of time.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Glass Fractal » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:50 am UTC

engr wrote:
Glass Fractal wrote:So to sum up: Corporal punishment will lead to fascism.


If being able to walk through a park at night without fear of being mugged (or worse) is fascism... I guess I am a fascist.


No my point is that facism (well a sort of strict militarism that is traditionally associated with facism, at least) is literally what resulted in the book, it's really not a good example (even leaving aside it being fiction) since the corporal punishment is used to promote and maintain something that very few people are going to find desirable.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 03, 2011 3:51 am UTC

folkhero wrote:
Thesh wrote:I don't know that discipline with violence is the answer, but there does seem to be a discipline problem with kids that is getting more widespread.

Do you have evidence for this? Crime rates have been dropping for some time now. This is probably just a case of "kids these days" which has been a complaint since the beginning of time.


Any evidence I could provide would be anecdotal. There's a reason I said "seems".

It's not really about crime, so much as general attitude to authority.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Princess Marzipan » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:11 am UTC

Thesh wrote:It's not really about crime, so much as general attitude to authority.
Maybe if we some authority worthy of respect or even admiration, that'd be different.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Thesh » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:15 am UTC

Well, maybe if that was the case I would have respect for authority, but kids should respect authority no matter what :)
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby curtis95112 » Sat Sep 03, 2011 4:30 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Well, maybe if that was the case I would have respect for authority, but kids should respect authority no matter what :)


Are you serious? I'm having trouble interpreting your smiley
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Elvish Pillager » Sat Sep 03, 2011 5:58 am UTC

I'm calling Poe's Law on that one.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby nitePhyyre » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:17 am UTC

I liked that quote, had some problems with it, but in general I liked it. So, what does that data tell us? What is the best way to 'correct' unruly children? Now, obviously, it would be best to create an environment where kids would not become unruly in the first place. Is that even possible?

Any one know of any good studies?
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Magnanimous » Sat Sep 03, 2011 6:51 am UTC

article wrote:In a speech delivered at Durand academy, in Stockwell, south London, Gove said the regulations on the use of force inhibited teachers' judgment.
He said: "So let me be crystal clear, if any parent now hears a school say, 'sorry, we can't physically touch the students', then that school is wrong. Plain wrong. The rules of the game have changed."

You'd think people would eventually realize behaviorism doesn't translate well to humans. Beatings work for lab rats--not for children who have 50+ years left of social interaction. From a psychology book I have sitting on my shelf:
Spoiler:
Consider the long-term effects of punishment. Skinner argued that when we punish someone we teach only what he is not supposed to do and offer insufficient guidance of what he should do instead. But this criticism only scratches the surface. Punishment doesn't even teach what not to do, much less the reason not to do it: what it really teaches is the desire to avoid punishment. The emphasis is on the consequence of the action, not the action itself. We say, "Don't let me catch you doing that again!" and the child mutters, "Okay - next time you won't catch me."

Punishing children does teach some lasting lessons, though. Take the use of violence to discipline. Regardless of what we are trying to get across by slapping them, the messages that actually come through are "Violence is an acceptable way of expressing anger" and "If you are powerful enough you can get away with hurting someone". For decades, researchers have consistently found that children subjected to physical punishment tend to be more aggressive than their peers, and will likely grow up to use violence on their own children. Even "acceptable" levels of physical punishment may perpetuate physical punishment.
Research documenting the detrimental effects of physical punishment has been published at least since the 1940s. One interesting study found a clear-cut relationship between the severity of the punishment received by eight-year-olds and how aggressive their peers judged them to be. More than two decades later, the researchers tracked down some of these subjects and found that the aggressive children had grown into aggressive adults, many of whom were now using physical punishment on their own children (Eron et al., 1987). Even more recent research has found that alcoholics and people suffering from depression are much more likely than other individuals to have been beaten when they were children (Holmes and Robins, 1988), that toddlers who are hit by their mothers are in fact less likely than their peers to do what they are told (Power and Chapieski, 1986), and that three- to five-year-olds who are spanked by their parents are more likely than other children to be aggressive while playing at a day care center (Watson and Peng, in press).

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:09 am UTC

Skinner is pretty much a saint in my book for his work in showing why violent punishment is suboptimal in childrearing. Corporal punishment may well have merit in the adult justice system, but there are more effective ways to raise peaceful, law-abiding children.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 03, 2011 7:29 am UTC

I have yet to see anything that says beatings improve respect for authority; being beaten by my father just had me biding my time until I was big enough to strike back, and I imagine the same would be true of many people here. This is the same as people suggesting forced army service as a solution to the problem. The Conservatives want to teach children that violence denotes authority and then teach them all how to kill, and this will somehow make urban crime better?

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby greengiant » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:17 am UTC

Am I going mad or did the article have no mention of corporal punishment? I enjoy a look-what-the-evil-tories-are-doing story as much as the next man but I seriously doubt they're trying to reintroduce corporal punishment to schools.

Michael Gove just made it clear that a teacher using physical force is not illegal. Which seems sensible to me, there are lots of times when pupils are a danger to themselves or others and physical force is necessary. It's not like they're saying 'any teacher using force is automatically inncoent', teachers can still be tried if they use excessive force. All they've really said is 'any teacher using force is not automatically guilty', which is something worth pointing out. There are parents who will claim that any physical contact with their child constitutes assault.

Sure, it fits into a weird bigger picture of soldiers = great teachers and rioters are over-coddled children, but I still don't think it's a bad thing to clarify that teachers can use physical force. I'd be happier if they introduced it along with training for teachers on safe ways to restrain children and what force is appropriate but I guess they figure it's cheaper to let the courts decide what's appropriate after the fact.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:24 am UTC

I'd like to believe that, but the subtext doesn't make sense. In what context does a teacher need to use physical force, and be afraid they would be punished for it, aside from corporal punishment? I'd be pretty shocked if teachers weren't already allowed to restrain students in the act of violence in the UK. I know there were a few incidents at my US high school where teachers had to pull students off of each other* and only the violent students got in trouble. What else could be considered inappriopriate, non-sexual contact?

*A friend of mine claims to this day that while he was punching another student, in what resembled self-defense, a teacher pulled him off so hard that he hit the ceiling.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby greengiant » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:49 am UTC

They are already allowed to I believe, but there's a very pervasive myth that they aren't. It's a fairly common theme over here. Parents complain about teachers using force (some reasonably, some unreasonably) and some schools introduce policies to try and protect themselves. Some have 'no-touch' policies, some send a few teachers on a training course, some employ a security guard and without any change in the law people start to believe that a normal teacher is not allowed to use any force whatsoever. At the extreme end of the spectrum, you have people claiming assault any time a teacher touches a pupil.

Not that, from what I've seen, the charges normally materialise. Presumably because a court's not going to convict a teacher unless the force is clearly excessive. But that doesn't help to get rid of the atmosphere because 'accusation fails to make it to court' is not a news story, all you hear are the accusations. I've never personally come across a person who was fired/convicted for this sort of contact with a child but I've definitely come across the culture of fear that makes teachers very nervous of restraining pupils.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Prefanity » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:51 am UTC

Actually, I believe very few schools in the United States allow any physical contact between children and faculty these days. (If my teacher friends are to be trusted, anyway.)

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Alder » Sat Sep 03, 2011 8:55 am UTC

greengiant wrote:Am I going mad or did the article have no mention of corporal punishment? I enjoy a look-what-the-evil-tories-are-doing story as much as the next man but I seriously doubt they're trying to reintroduce corporal punishment to schools.

Nope, you're not mad, that's exactly what I thought. I'm starting to think there's some prize in N&A for Most Misleading Thread Title.

greengiant wrote:Michael Gove just made it clear that a teacher using physical force is not illegal. Which seems sensible to me, there are lots of times when pupils are a danger to themselves or others and physical force is necessary. It's not like they're saying 'any teacher using force is automatically inncoent', teachers can still be tried if they use excessive force. All they've really said is 'any teacher using force is not automatically guilty', which is something worth pointing out. There are parents who will claim that any physical contact with their child constitutes assault.

That's also what I thought it was about. In fact (though I wish these two articles were more recent) I think it's supposed to be in response to stuff like this:


http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/200 ... ls-parents

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/201 ... s-teachers

And this list of articles also seems interesting.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/classroomviolence

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Jesse » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:27 am UTC

Except, if you no longer have to record it, then what oversight is there to stop corporal punishment from coming back?

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:58 am UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I'd like to believe that, but the subtext doesn't make sense. In what context does a teacher need to use physical force, and be afraid they would be punished for it, aside from corporal punishment? I'd be pretty shocked if teachers weren't already allowed to restrain students in the act of violence in the UK. I know there were a few incidents at my US high school where teachers had to pull students off of each other* and only the violent students got in trouble. What else could be considered inappriopriate, non-sexual contact?

*A friend of mine claims to this day that while he was punching another student, in what resembled self-defense, a teacher pulled him off so hard that he hit the ceiling.

That's the US. In the UK, there's very much a culture of Thou Shalt Not Lay A Hand On A Child No Matter What (and if you do, you're clearly some kind of violent psychopath or pervert).
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby greengiant » Sat Sep 03, 2011 10:04 am UTC

Jesse wrote:Except, if you no longer have to record it, then what oversight is there to stop corporal punishment from coming back?


I think the recording was just a case of writing a few details in a logbook. I don't really see how it makes much difference. If there is a complaint and the pupil and teacher have differing versions of events, a logbook filled in by the teacher isn't going to throw much light on the situation.

I guess I don't see how having a book filled with the teacher's versions of events stops corporal punishment. Not that having the book is a big deal to me, I'm only mildly against it because it's one of a million small pieces of paperwork that add up to make teaching a drag.

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby engr » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:30 pm UTC

Glass Fractal wrote:No my point is that facism (well a sort of strict militarism that is traditionally associated with facism, at least) is literally what resulted in the book, it's really not a good example (even leaving aside it being fiction) since the corporal punishment is used to promote and maintain something that very few people are going to find desirable.


Personally I am OK with the society described in a book. It does not see too strictly militaristic. Heck, in that society army service is not even mandatory, unlike in many real non-fascist societies today.

Psych book wrote:Punishing children does teach some lasting lessons, though. Take the use of violence to discipline. Regardless of what we are trying to get across by slapping them, the messages that actually come through are "Violence is an acceptable way of expressing anger" and "If you are powerful enough you can get away with hurting someone". For decades, researchers have consistently found that children subjected to physical punishment tend to be more aggressive than their peers, and will likely grow up to use violence on their own children. Even "acceptable" levels of physical punishment may perpetuate physical punishment.


That line of thought looks so familiar... "oh, look, if a state sends a guy who brutally murdered 10 innocent people to an electric chair, it is just as bad as him! Executions teach that it is OK to kill people!"
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Nordic Einar » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:52 pm UTC

engr wrote:That line of thought looks so familiar... "oh, look, if a state sends a guy who brutally murdered 10 innocent people to an electric chair, it is just as bad as him! Executions teach that it is OK to kill people!"My uninformed internet opinion is equally valid as scientific research. If the scientific research disagrees with me, bollocks it!


FTFY

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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby bigglesworth » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:37 pm UTC

Iulus Cofield wrote:I I'd be pretty shocked if teachers weren't already allowed to restrain students in the act of violence in the UK.
Be shocked then. I'm not sure the previous rules truly disallowed it but the cultural unwritten laws, and opinions of many parents, made it so in some areas. Teachers (I have a fair few in my family, and know several others) were not confident of the support of those above them in such cases. And having it on your record is a black mark when it comes to promotion and moving schools.

Whether this legislation will change that I do not know.
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Re: Corporal punishment in schools makes a comeback

Postby Iulus Cofield » Sat Sep 03, 2011 2:42 pm UTC

Well I am shocked.


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