In the U.K.: Nostalgia for Corporal Punishment?

By Anthony Rebora — April 04, 2012 1 min read
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Not sure what to think about this one: According to a story in the London-based Guardian, teachers who spoke at the recent annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, an educators’ union in the United Kingdom, vented that student behavior has gone significantly downhill since caning was banned in schools 25 years ago.

“The forms of discipline currently available to teachers for dealing with inappropriate behaviour remain totally inadequate,” said one teacher from London. The teacher was not advocating a return to corporal punishment, the story notes. He was, apparently, just sayin’ ...

Other educators blamed the rise in students’ misbehavior on poor parenting. Today’s parents, said the ATL’s general secretary, fail to discipline their children effectively and as a result are turning them into “little buddhas.”

Perhaps uncharacteristically aggressive little buddhas at that. In a recently released poll, ATL found that a third of teachers had been confronted with physical violence from students in the past year.

But are there really educators out there who believe that harkening back to the days of caning is a constructive way to deal with this?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.