Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Mary Jane Connelly
John R. Ray, Lloyd Davis
Corporal punishment is probably one of the single most controversial and enduring issues in American education. Though more and more states continue to outlaw the practice, it still continues in certain regions of the country, primarily in the South is used most frequently in the elementary grades and used on black males more than on any other students.
Some teachers believe corporal punishment is the only deterrent in an overcrowded, chaotic classroom. Studies show, however, that the use of corporal punishment in the school has steadily declined.
Opponents of corporal punishment have linked the term to child abuse. Such means of discipline remains a national concern. Individual states are resolving the issue through legislative action.
The purpose of this study was to determine administrators' perceptions of corporal punishment determined by the number of years they had been an administrator, whether they had experienced corporal punishment as a child, and whether they used corporal punishment. A survey entitled Corporal Punishment Scale was sent to 77 administrators. Four constructs, religion, legal, culture, and effectiveness, were used in the determination of the administrators' perception of corporal punishment.
The main findings of this study were that administrators with 0-10 years experience impacted the belief in the constructs of religion, culture and effectiveness as important in extinguishing undesirable student behavior; the administrators who used corporal punishment agreed more strongly with the legal issues related to corporal punishment, perceived culture/society as supportive of corporal punishment, and showed stronger agreement with the effectiveness of corporal punishment. Those administrators who experienced corporal punishment as a child perceived it to be related to religious beliefs more strongly than those who did not experience corporal punishment as a child.
Hawkins, Kathryn Hunt, "Administrators' Perceptions of Corporal Punishment in Hamilton County Elementary Schools. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2006.