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Being a Teacher: Reading 12. Spoil the Rod, Spare the Child

Being a Teacher: Reading 12. Spoil the Rod, Spare the Child

Teachers often confuse authority with power, to use the distinction made at the beginning of Reading 11. Probably the most common means of wielding power (for teachers) has been the use of corporal punishment. The following extract was taken from a two-part article in The Educator’s Voice, published by SADTU. Vally briefly analyses some of the reasons for the popularity of corporal punishment among teachers in South Africa. Corporal punishment is of course now illegal in South Africa (as it is in many countries). However, it still has many supporters among teachers and parents. Vally goes on to summarize a number of different research findings that indicate that corporal punishment has few, if any, educational advantages. Even if you feel inclined to question the research, the question remains: should professional teachers advocate a practice upon which so much doubt has been cast?


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