Collective Punishment in Schools

  1. Is collective punishment an effective and/or acceptable disciplinary tool in schools these days and how prevalent is it?

    Do any of the educators here employ it and if so under what circumstances and did it work?

    Are any of the students here ever subject to collective punishment and what is their attitude/behavioural response to it?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I think it's a foolish way to try and solve problems.
    I mean, in "real life" you don't lock up the neighborhood if one person in that neighborhood commits a murder do you?

    Further, students may be more tempted to break the rules with collective punishment. If, for example, two students are breaking a rule and you know you're going to get punished for it anyway you might as well take part in it as well - right?

    That's how I view it, at least.
     
  4. I remember that used to happen at my school sometimes and it drove me insane. And I can guarantee it never solved the problem. It just made the students in the class more bitter towards the teacher imposing it rather than the student/s who had caused it to occur. I think it was completely unfair that I was punished for something I had no part in. It is just an easy way out for the teacher.
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    I completely disagree with it. It only creates hard feelings and accomplishes nothing.
     
  6. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Yep, I had a few teachers who did that, but one in particular would punish the entire class EVERY TIME someone misbehaved, others would only punish the whole class if nobody would "fess up." I never liked either approach, but the one who punished everyone every time was just seen as a nut rather than it being effective. It didn't work too well with the others either, because all it did was identify the class tattle-tale who would point to the person who did whatever the teacher was upset about to avoid us all being punished together. So, instead of the students blaming the kid who misbehaved, we'd instead all end up ganging up on the tattle-tale.
     
  7. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree with previous 4 posts.

    How often do adults tell children not to bow to 'peer pressure'? And then to have a teacher or other adult turn around and attempt to use coercion by peer pressure is a poor example. It's just not appropriate, especially if we wish to promote personal responsibility and accountability of the individual.

    Collective punishment is one of tools we decry in our criticism of repressive governments.
     
  8. I was curious re people's thoughts on this because my 12 year old daughter, who started in secondary school a few months ago, came home fuming today because her class had been given collective punishment because a few boys in her class were talking. Her previous junior school did not subscribe to this form of punishment and so this is a new experience for her.

    She has always been a conscientious student at the top of her class academically and in her previous 8 years in school has never done anything to merit a single punishment so she's more than a little annoyed that her perfect record has been spoiled for something which had nothing to do with her.

    Topics such as human rights and discrimination etc are taught as a subject these days and the punishment was to write a 2 page essay on 'respect'. Having read her work I suspect her first time in trouble is about to be closely followed by her second.

    Her essay centres on the lack of respect collective punishment shows for the class by treating them as a group and not as individuals and argues it is a breach of her human rights and amounts to discrimination mixed in with abuse of authority. She even referenced Art33 of the 4th Geneva convention after consulting the internet :rofl:

    Although I agree largely with her view I am unsure whether to let her hand the essay in as is as I'd rather she didn't incur the wrath of this teacher but at the same time I don't want to discourage her from standing up for her opinions?? Any ideas?
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
  9. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Send the teacher an anonymous link to this thread?

    If the teacher is that messed up that he/she thinks what they're doing is a good idea, they will probably be the kind of vindictive person that would hold a grudge against your daughter. I'm sorry, but it's a sad fact of human personality. Even sadder that your daughter has to deal with it. How can schools allow this kind of thing? What ever happened to personal responsibility? What is this teaching children?
     
  10. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    I think as long as you're willing to stand behind her if she gets in trouble a second time for sharing her opinion in a paper, then let her hand it in. If it's well-written and on the topic of the assignment, then you'll be able to address that with the principal if the teacher tries to punish her for doing as assigned. Who knows, maybe it'll be an eye-opener for the teacher. :biggrin:
     
  11. Oh my god your daughter is the best. That is pure awesome. That being said though I don't know if she should hand it in. A teacher who is a true professional would not have handed out such a punishment and clearly this teacher is not. It would not suprise me in the slightest if your daughter suddenly found herself being marked harder and treated with less respect than before. It is sad when it comes to that but in my experience that is generally the situation.

    That being said her essay sounds well thought and and well written. It would almost be a shame not to hand it in.
     
  12. Astronuc

    Staff: Mentor

    I agree, but then there are such concepts as discretion and diplomacy.

    Hopefully the essay is written in third person, not first person, and doesn't directly address the precipitation action by the teacher.

    If she personalizes it, particularly by 'pointing the finger' at the teacher, the result may be counterproductive.
     
  13. No, she wrote it in a 3rd person conceptual frame but given the circumstances under which it was written the allegory will be obvious.
     
  14. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Good point. If it's finger-pointing, it wouldn't be a good idea, but if she talks about collective punishment in more general terms (even though the intent is well-understood by all), it'll be better received. I doubt many kids put that much time and effort into a punishment essay, and I wouldn't be overly surprised if the teacher doesn't even bother to read them (she's punishing herself too, giving herself extra grading), so hopefully a well-written essay will have more impact than one that's just a rant.

    Incidentally, when I was in school and had that one teacher that did the collective punishments for all for everything, I did speak up about it to her. It turned into a lengthy class debate, and didn't change her views at all, but we didn't get in trouble for it, and she didn't grade me any more harshly after that.

    The only danger is that the teacher will see that well-written essay and think smugly to herself that her punishment was effective to inspire your daughter to write such a great paper. :rolleyes:
     
  15. She's in bed now but as she doesn't have that teacher for another couple of days I might scan her essay tomorrow and post it here to see what folk think.

    How do you attach files to posts?

    Out of interest to see what Samantha's like here's a link to her playing Katie Brown (the one singing) in her school play Calamity Jane.

    http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=BlTWOU65u2A
     
  16. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Art, that's adorable! I can see she's going to be shy and retiring, just like her dad. :biggrin:
     
  17. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    Yes, that might make it easier to offer advice if we see how it's actually written.

    To attach a file, if you either click on the "go advanced" or a quote button, you get to the advanced reply box screen. Scroll down to where it says "Manage Attachments" under Additional Options, and select the file using the browse feature there, tell it to upload, and then close that window. Your file should then be attached.
     
  18. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    :rofl: A talented performer in addition to being sharp as a tack in writing essays...hold onto your hat Art! She's going to keep you on your toes!
     
  19. Thanks Moonbear I'll do that.
    Life was a lot simpler last school year when she was at a girl's only school. Why do they have to grow up :cry:

    I'm glad somebody recognises and appreciates my sensitive side :approve:

    :tongue2: :tongue2: :tongue2:
     
  20. Moonbear

    Moonbear 12,265
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    I'm sure there are other fathers here who have survived teenaged daughters and can give you pointers about proper technique for glaring at the young men appearing at your doorstep. :biggrin:
     
  21. The key is to be cleaning a gun when they come over. You don't even have to own bullets for it. Just have a gun (handgun, shotgun, rifle, doesn't matter) and be cleaning it when someone comes a-callin'.

    At least that's what a friend of mine's father does.
     
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