The term punishment can be defined as the consequences that decrease the likelihood of behavior to recur (Kano, 2013). It also means being subjected to a painful stimulus when one is involved in undesirable behavior or the act of the removing unpleasant stimulus. Inflicting pain or injury to the body such as spanking the childs buttocks or slapping childs hand or face is a form of corporal punishment. The deliberate infliction of pain so many times intends to discipline or to reform and change a person from his or her wrong doings (Kano, 2013). The striking of a student on his or her hand or on his/her normally clothed buttocks with a light, flexible stick with the exclusion of striking him or her with any other part of the body moreover would also refer to the term punishment.
Regimes of punishment are usually part of the school system. According to Glasser (1971), it could be argued that central to the organization of schooling systems are punishments. Punishments have been subjected to most aspects of school organization since it is accepted as necessary and natural, through the years and is seen to be administered with a sense of justice which is not, however, the case for the use of punishment in schools calls for a more critical analysis.
In the worldwide education institutions, punishment is used as a means of controlling undesirable behavior (Glaser, 1971). In a few sections of the world, it is utilized broadly and uninhibitedly, somewhat due to the factor of teachers low level of education and partly because legal measures in existence to restrain its use are not in place, particularly in the form of corporal punishments. So much controversial issues have been raised by the use of punishment, with some of the psychologists arguing in its favor while others for its banning it. About the efficacy of punishment for redressing misdeeds in the education, the controversy has been long because of different views about its practice (Lawrent, 2012). Basically because of the varied and equivocal result, these have been the most debatable issues in contemporary psychology, coupled with human rights objections.
Punishment is of great value as it reduces the frequency of unwanted behaviors. It is usually aimed at a positive feedback of suppressing the inappropriate behaviors totally, in as much as this is rarely the actual result. Parents are by the value of various views told that punishment, particularly corporal punishment, is distinct from discipline. Punishing children while still learning, growing and deserving to be taught how to do better is preferably the best way of disciplining children (Kano, 2013).
According to Glaser, 1971, it, unfortunately, observed that punishment is only effective at deterring inappropriate behaviors in so far as it provokes so much fear in children. Most of the Children live on the fear for their possessions, privileges, preferences, safety and wellbeing mostly if they are routinely caused pain or harm in the name of punishment. Children do not most often come to understand why their behavior was termed wrong, or even how their behavior impacted on others negatively. The high levels of responsibility, self-confidence and the ability to differentiate appropriately from inappropriate behaviors, however, are in contrast, the effects of discipline on children (Glaser, 1971). According to Glaser, 1971, a child is taught through punishment that those with the power can make others do what they want. On top of this, most forms of punishment, such as spanking, does not teach a child an acceptable alternative way to behave and by this makes it the least effective form of changing behavior and may have long-term consequences. The feeling humiliation easily comes to the child, tendency of often hiding mistakes being angry and aggressive and completely failing to develop self-control. The punishment, therefore, stops the targeted behavior temporarily, but in other settings, it is repeated rendering it helpless to the child.
The book lays emphasis on the importance of punishment, reinforcement and structural errors in the learning process. I also come to the fact of noting the change over the years over this view particularly the perspectives on the physical punishment of children. Having observed at the various views from the two sides, that is the side of view that supports punishment in learning the process and the side that does not, these is the views that I have from a personal perspective.
First I must say that for a good learning process, learners must be continually shown the right way of doing the studies and relating with others. This understanding and practice of the norms learned to make the learning society a peaceful place for harmonious co existence.
On the other hand, any learning institution without guiding principles and guides is a home for anarchy. Punishment in my view therefore, is an important tool in telling wrong from right. Having gone through the two schools of views and from my personal life experiences, I draw out a point that parents teachers should adopt corrective punishments in ways that could be adoptive to change by the children such as living a life model in all circumstances as children learn mostly from what they see others do, explaining to children their wrongs before punishments, establish guidance and counseling for children with special cases, rewarding the good behaviors, being clear about the given rules and mostly treating the children with love even times of corrective measures. These would be a great path to having a generational succession of a disciplined society.
Kano, E. (2013). Punishment and learning. S.l.: Grin Verlag.
Glaser, R. (1971). The nature of reinforcement; a symposium of the Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh. New York: Academic Press.
Lawrent, G. (2012). The Impact of Punishment on Student Learning: Experiences from Basic and Secondary Education in Tanzania. Munchen: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
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