CBSE Online Learning

Corporal Punishment

Jayshree Venkatraman

Jayshree Venkatraman

Principal , SNBP International School


The aforesaid lines clearly indicate the impressions of the environment that get imprinted or the vulnerable minds of the children. Negative reinforcement can leave irreversible damage and so it is very essential ‘or teachers to refrain from using any measure which would affect the self esteem of a child.

What is Corporal Punishment ?

School corporal punishment refers to causing deliberate pain or discomfort in response to undesired behaviour by students in schools. It often involves striking the student either across the buttocks or on the hands, with an implement such as a rattan cane, wooden paddle, slipper, leather strap or wooden yardstick. “Spare the Rod and spoil the child”- is an age old maxim which is outdated in its approach *o bringing up children. When teachers run out of patience and don’t know what to do, as despite best efforts students don’t listen, they resort to one of the easiest solutions: a slap, a spank on the bottom, or any other similar type of physical response.

While physical punishment may have an immediate effect in curbing negative behavior, it does far more damage than good in the long run. Firstly t teaches that violence is an acceptable way to express feelings of anger. Children learn that when they are angry, they also have the right to hit others. Secondly, it does not solve the real problem.

When the real problem is not diagnosed, there shall be the recurrence of the action, leading to yet another opportunity to demonize the teacher. Thirdly, the child slowly finds his/her act justifiable and shall explore ways to avoid getting caught by the teacher.

Things teachers need to remember before they hit:

1. Always remember you are an idol, students seek to emulate- will this act fit for idolizing ?

2. Find the root cause of the behavior and not immediately react

3. Ensure that you give due attention to children. Lack of love and attention also lead children to misbehaving

4. Give time to yourself before you react. Losing temper and resorting to demonic behavior reveal your weakness. In fact if you find yourself losing temper more often and you are unable to help control it, say quits to the teaching profession

5. Physical abuse may put temporary check on the bad behavior of the child however shall never teach the child the correct behavior. Focus on the behavior that you would want like to see in your children. Set your expectations straight and clear.

Mrs Rao, a teacher of class 2 had a serious issue in controlling her temper. She believed in disciplining children as if they were cattle to be tamed. Fingers on your lips, hands behind your back, pin drop silence… were the commandments that were incessantly heard from her class. She was a terror to her students. They were paranoid by her acid tongue. Mrs Rao believed herself to be the perfect teacher with the most disciplined students. The learning curve in the class was not encouraging either. Despite not a good feedback, her sincerity and commitment and
regularity to the school made her a worthy employee.

Unfortunately Mrs Rao contracted dengue and was laid up for over a fortnight. A new teacher totally unlike Mrs Rao took over. The class was transformed into a vibrant, lively class. Children loved coming to school. Learning levels improved. School presence improved. Parents pleaded with the Principal that Ms Patil who had replaced Mrs Rao
should continue even after Mrs Rao joined back.

Mrs Rao resumed work and was informed that the Class 2 was settled with the new teacher and she would be assigned a different role and responsibility. Mrs Rao was totally taken aback by the news, however realized her folly and took it upon herself to change her perception of her own role as a teacher.

Children should never feel that they are doing what you ask them to do only to please you. Teachers must make them understand that they are doing those things because it is part of their responsibility- it is something that they need to do for their betterment. Help them prioritize their work.

The best way to make children feel responsible and accountable for their conduct is to decide together the Classroom Rules….. Let them frame their own rules. Children can get too idealistic and may then suggest very harsh punishments. Regulate them to ensure that they are implementable

Tips to implement rules:

1. Rules enable children to accomplish their goals better.

2. They should be simple to follow, enforceable and consistent

3. There are variety of areas where rules can be established Likewise there are numerous innovative ways to create them. Children of different ages respond to rules, based on their mental abilities.

4. With regard to rewards and punishments, the best technique is to make punishments fair, consistent and focused
on correcting the wrong. Never use rewards as bribes.

5. Teach children the values behind rules; encourage them to get internally motivated to make right choices