UNION UNIVERSITY
SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
We hereby recommend that the Dissertation by
Debora R. Gaten
Entitled
Elementary Scho...
STATEMENT OF PERMISSION TO USE
In presenting this dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the
Doctor o...
Elementary School Principals’ Perceptions of Corporal Punishment
A Dissertation
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Re...
3323766
3323766
2008
Copyright 2008 by
Gaten, Debora R.
All rights reserved
PR
EVIEW
ii
Copyright (2008) Debora R. Gaten
PR
EVIEW
iii
DEDICATION
I dedicate this dissertation to the loving memory of my father, Nathaniel Gaten, Sr.
(1923–2001), and in ho...
iv
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First, I give honor and praise to God who planted this dream in my heart long
before I graduated from ...
v
ABSTRACT
The use of corporal punishment is one of the most controversial disciplinary practices in
public education. Twe...
vi
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER PAGE
1. INTRODUCTION ...........................................................................
vii
5. CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION ......................................................................74
Conclusions ......
viii
LIST OF TABLES
TABLE PAGE
1. Gender of Participants ....................................................................
1
CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
The use of corporal punishment is one the most controversial practices in public
schools. Accordi...
2
violence, gang activity, truancy, and dropout rates all have a major effect on the
education of American youth. Most of ...
3
the past, school discipline implied that students knew that bad behavior would be costly
for them. The punishment of mis...
4
parents meet with the administrator to discuss their children’s behavior, they often defend
them, thus, enabling them to...
5
educators a diverse toolbox of disciplinary methods in which corporal punishment
continues to be an option (Mason, 2005)...
6
students. One resolution that was studied by the board committee would ban the practice
altogether. Another proposal wou...
7
The key to strengthening appropriate behavior in our schools is a full-scale review
of a school district’s disciplinary ...
8
3. Is there a significant difference in the number of office referrals of schools that
employ corporal punishment and th...
9
Definition of Key Terms
Corporal punishment. “A discipline method in which a supervising adult
deliberately inflicts pai...
10
CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE
School discipline has been a constant concern of both educators and the public.
Increasi...
11
Past Practices in Discipline
Religious beliefs. Those who quote the bible to justify their use of physical
punishment o...
12
they will be unable or unwilling to submit themselves to the will of God. Therefore, they
will not enjoy the fruits of ...
13
Donohue (1996) asserted that some Evangelical parents still cite Proverbs 12:24
“The man who fails to use the rod hates...
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  1. 1. UNION UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EDUCATION We hereby recommend that the Dissertation by Debora R. Gaten Entitled Elementary School Principals’ Perceptions of Corporal Punishment Be accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education In Educational Leadership _________________________________________________________________ Jennifer Grove, Ed.D., Ed.D. Program Director (Date) Dissertation Committee _________________________________________________________________ Jennifer Grove, Ed.D., Chairperson (Date) _________________________________________________________________ Shirley Hilliard, Ed.D. (Date) _________________________________________________________________ Nina Staples, Ed.D. (Date) PR EVIEW
  2. 2. STATEMENT OF PERMISSION TO USE In presenting this dissertation in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree at Union University, I agree that the Library shall make it available to borrowers under rules of the Library. Brief quotations from this dissertation are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgement of the source is made. Permission for extensive quotation from or reproduction of this dissertation may be granted by my research chair, or in her absence, by the Head of Interlibrary Services when, in the opinion of either, the proposed use of the material is for scholarly purposes. Any copying or use of the material in this dissertation for financial gain shall not be allowed without my permission. Signature ______________________________________________ Date __________________________ PR EVIEW
  3. 3. Elementary School Principals’ Perceptions of Corporal Punishment A Dissertation Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Doctor of Education Degree Union University Debora R. Gaten August 2008 PR EVIEW
  4. 4. 3323766 3323766 2008 Copyright 2008 by Gaten, Debora R. All rights reserved PR EVIEW
  5. 5. ii Copyright (2008) Debora R. Gaten PR EVIEW
  6. 6. iii DEDICATION I dedicate this dissertation to the loving memory of my father, Nathaniel Gaten, Sr. (1923–2001), and in honor of my mother, Elizabeth Wells Gaten. You were my first teachers. Thank you for instilling in all eight of your children a strong work ethic. To my siblings, Retha, Flora, Nathaniel Jr., Frankie, Rickie, Linda, and Adell, thanks for your support. To my nieces and nephews, you inspire me. PR EVIEW
  7. 7. iv ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS First, I give honor and praise to God who planted this dream in my heart long before I graduated from high school and who has allowed me to realize my dream. I thank God for allowing my path to cross the path of truly remarkable people like my first principal, Mr. Arnold Harris, and my current principal and mentor, Ms. Regina Nichols. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following members of my dissertation committee for their support, encouragement, guidance, and understanding as I went through this process: my research chair, Dr. Jennifer Grove, Dr. Shirley Hilliard, and Dr. Nina Staples. I would like to thank the members of my cohort, especially Adlai Shaw and Thomas Rogers for their openness to exchanging ideas and information. I would also like to thank Dr. Susan Kiernan who was so gracious in authorizing my use of the survey instrument she created. To my best friend, Mr. Alfred Harris, Sr., thank you for your encouragement, patience, and support. This would have been even more difficult without you. PR EVIEW
  8. 8. v ABSTRACT The use of corporal punishment is one of the most controversial disciplinary practices in public education. Twenty-eight states have banned its use, but it is still practiced in 22 mostly southern states. There is mounting criticism concerning its effectiveness, and research is mixed regarding how effective it is in modifying behavior. The purpose of this study was to determine whether elementary school principals’ assessments and perceptions of corporal punishment differ substantially. School enrollment was also examined to determine whether it affected elementary school principals’ perceptions of corporal punishment. Specifically, do principals who work in larger schools have different perceptions than principals who work in smaller schools? The overall goal of the study was to investigate whether there was a significant difference in the number of office referrals of schools that employ corporal punishment and those that do not. The sample population of this study consisted of 20 elementary school principals. At the time of the study, all principals were employed by a suburban school district located in the Southern region of the U.S. The school system is nearly one-half the size of its urban counterpart. Participants completed the Corporal Punishment Scale Survey that contained questions to determine if they perceived corporal punishment as an effective means of discipline. The results of this study imply that the overall perceptions of corporal punishment for elementary school principals were favorable, even though, most principals in the study did not use corporal punishment as a school disciplinary measure. PR EVIEW
  9. 9. vi TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER PAGE 1. INTRODUCTION .........................................................................................................1 Statement of the Problem ...........................................................................................6 Purpose of the Study ................................................................................................. 7 Research Questions ....................................................................................................7 Significance of the Study............................................................................................8 Definition of Key Terms ............................................................................................9 2. REVIEW OF LITERATURE ......................................................................................10 Past Practices in Discipline.......................................................................................11 Religious Beliefs........................................................................................11 Race and Gender .......................................................................................16 Inappropriate Behavior and Its Impact on Achievement .........................................18 The Corporal Punishment Issue ..............................................................................27 Legal Implications ..................................................................................................45 Best Practices ..........................................................................................................47 Summary .................................................................................................................52 3. METHODOLOGY ..................................................................................................... 54 Description of the Study ......................................................................................... 54 Design .....................................................................................................................54 Participants ..............................................................................................................55 Procedures ...............................................................................................................55 Instrumentation ....................................................................................................... 56 Data Analysis ..........................................................................................................58 Delimitations of the Study........................................................................................ 59 4. FINDINGS .................................................................................................................61 Research Question One ............................................................................................61 Research Question Two ..........................................................................................68 Research Question Three .........................................................................................71 Summary of Findings ..............................................................................................73 PR EVIEW
  10. 10. vii 5. CONCLUSIONS AND DISCUSSION ......................................................................74 Conclusions .............................................................................................................74 Research Question One..............................................................................74 Research Question Two.............................................................................75 Research Question Three...........................................................................77 Recommendations ...................................................................................................78 Implications .............................................................................................................80 Discussion ...............................................................................................................81 For Future Studies ...................................................................................................83 Closing Summary ....................................................................................................84 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................87 APPENDIX ......................................................................................................................97 PR EVIEW
  11. 11. viii LIST OF TABLES TABLE PAGE 1. Gender of Participants ..............................................................................................62 2. Age of Participants ..................................................................................................63 3. Race of Participants ................................................................................................64 4. Years Experience as a Principal ...............................................................................64 5. Highest Degree or Level of Education Earned ........................................................65 6. Corporal Punishment Used as a Disciplinary Measure ...........................................66 7. Number of Times Corporal Punishment Administered Yearly ..............................67 8. Relationship Between Demographics and Use of Corporal Punishment .................68 9. Perceptions of Corporal Punishment ......................................................................69 10. School Enrollment ..................................................................................................70 11. Test of Between-Subjects Effects ...........................................................................71 12. Weekly Office Referrals .........................................................................................72 13. Test of Between-Subjects Effects ...........................................................................73 PR EVIEW
  12. 12. 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The use of corporal punishment is one the most controversial practices in public schools. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (2000), it is estimated that schools in the United States administer corporal punishment between one and two million times a year. Andero and Stewart (2002) reported that, under common law, teachers and other school personnel have the right to administer reasonable corporal punishment--the infliction of physical pain on a student for misconduct. The immediate aims of such punishment are usually to halt the offense, prevent its recurrence and set an example for others. The purported long-term goals are to change the child’s behavior and to make it more consistent with the adults’ expectations. Mason (2005) asserted that just the threat of corporal punishment might keep a boy or girl out of prison. In 1974, the American Psychological Association and several other national groups denounced corporal punishment in schools. Since that time, 28 states have outlawed corporal punishment. However, it has remained an option for school principals in the remaining 22 states, including Tennessee. West Tennessee schools generally mandated corporal punishment to the principal or assistant principal, although a teacher could carry it out if an administrator was present as a witness (Garlington, 1998). Reportedly, school principals face a major challenge where student disruptive behavior is concerned: Increases in teenage crime, pregnancy, substance abuse, PR EVIEW
  13. 13. 2 violence, gang activity, truancy, and dropout rates all have a major effect on the education of American youth. Most of these problems have social origins that are beyond the scope and ability of public schools to remedy (Mayer, 2001). However, there is one major obstacle to quality teaching that most schools do not adequately address--the hour- by-hour disruptions that occur in the classroom. This obstacle is the routine failure of students to arrive in class, on time, with needed materials including pencils. Although only a minority of the student population becomes habitual disrupters, these students’ behaviors are insidious and interfere with the teachers’ responsibility and ability to teach and with the disciplined students’ right to learn (Souza, 2000). Annual Gallup Polls of public opinion have frequently identified the lack of discipline as a common complaint about public schools. The single most common request for assistance that teachers ask of their administrators is for help in managing problem behaviors (Mayer, 2001). Without a safe learning environment, teachers cannot teach, and students cannot learn. Souza (2000) contended that although teachers are neither parents of their students nor officers of the law, they have assumed two duties: (a) to take assertive and proactive measures to ensure that each student is protected from harm resulting from the disciplinary offenses and crimes committed by other students, outsiders, and student offenders themselves; and (b) to use disciplinary action and, when necessary, law enforcement to deal effectively and impartially with misbehavior. Toby (1998) asserted that the public is more shocked by violence that occurs in schools than when it occurs on the street. He contended that students are more prone to misbehave in school now than in the past because school discipline has become lax. In PR EVIEW
  14. 14. 3 the past, school discipline implied that students knew that bad behavior would be costly for them. The punishment of misbehavior was costly to students a generation ago because schools were orderly; students knew that teachers cared whether they misbehaved. It was understood they might give bad academic grades or unfavorable disciplinary reports when they observed such misbehavior. An orderly school was one in which students respected all teachers, including any disapproving teacher whom they might encounter in the hallways, stairs, cafeteria, or schoolyards. The basis for school discipline lay in the students’ awareness that teachers were vigilant and capable of invoking penalties. The possibility of sanctions was threatening to students because they considered success in school important. What requires explanation, according to Toby, is why students stopped believing that teachers cared about their behavior and why teachers, even if they care, stopped enforcing good behavior. Discipline in our schools is a major issue. Sesko (1999) alleged that parents are in favor of a strict disciplinary policy for troublemakers until their child is the one identified as the troublemaker. Each school district has its own disciplinary policy, but many administrators have failed to follow their policy for fear of being sued, said Sesko. On the contrary, lawsuits against public institutions are most often successful because administrators fail to follow or enforce existing disciplinary policies, not because they do so. Many administrators lose their effectiveness because they do not challenge issues they believe to be important. In many cases, an administrator’s decision concerning discipline is reversed by his or her superior. Teachers feel unsupported because administrators seem to appease the parents of troublemakers at the expense of everyone else involved. When PR EVIEW
  15. 15. 4 parents meet with the administrator to discuss their children’s behavior, they often defend them, thus, enabling them to behave poorly by removing the consequences for their actions, alleged Sesko. Schools usually do not pursue the matter any further. Another problem that is prevalent in many schools, according to Sesko (1999), is that there is a different set of rules for different students. The administrator dispenses whatever penalty he or she believes is appropriate for a student whose parents are supportive of the disciplinary process. On the other hand, for students with parents who complain loudly or the students who excel athletically, the penalty is frequently modified to be less punitive. Oftentimes, the administrator is at fault for creating a double standard, thus, sending a mixed message to students and parents alike. Unfortunately, schools cannot do anything with those members of society who refuse to take responsibility for their own actions. Within the schools, student disruptions must be addressed. As society attempts to pinpoint the root source of the acts of violence that plague our public schools, a single cause for the current state of affairs in these institutions cannot be isolated (Sesko, 1999). However, some believe that defiance, chaos, threats, cursing, and assaults have risen from rare to frequent in many schools since the elimination of corporal punishment (Edwards, 1999; Fredricks, 2001). There was a time when parents held schools in such high esteem that children knew if they were in trouble at school they would be in even more trouble at home. Today, it is more common for a student to use his or her cell phone on the walk to the office to call a parent to intercede. Ideally, parents would teach their children how to behave at home, unfortunately, that may not happen. If the nation desires orderly schools and higher test scores, it must allow PR EVIEW
  16. 16. 5 educators a diverse toolbox of disciplinary methods in which corporal punishment continues to be an option (Mason, 2005). If difficult behaviors are not addressed in a way that produces the desired results early on, children may progress to more serious behaviors (Edwards, 1999). In 1998, a proposal was brought before the school board of a large urban school district in West Tennessee to ban corporal punishment because of its implication of being cruel and inhumane. The proposal was rejected in a 6 to 3 vote. Until recently, this large urban school district’s principals administered corporal punishment by using wooden paddles on the buttock and leather straps on open palms (Garlington, 1998). In 2004, the issue of banning corporal punishment was revisited. According to Bitensky (2004), national statistics for the 1999 – 2000 academic year indicated that Black students were administered corporal punishment at a rate that was more than twice their makeup in the population. Specifically, Blacks comprised 17% of students, but received 39% of the corporal punishment. Whites comprised 62% of all students, but received 53% of the corporal punishment. Along similar lines, a West Tennessee School study published in 2004 confirmed that in the largest school district, Black students and boys were overwhelmingly more likely to get paddled than their White and female counterparts. A reported 97% of the 27,918 paddlings in 2003 were given to the district’s Black children, while only 2% were given to White children (Bitensky, 2004). There are 118,000 students in this particular school system. The decision by the School Board in 2004 to review the district’s corporal punishment policy generated a debate over the use of physical force to discipline PR EVIEW
  17. 17. 6 students. One resolution that was studied by the board committee would ban the practice altogether. Another proposal would keep the punishment, but clarify the policy to specifically give parents the right to decide whether they would allow their children to be physically punished. Many parents of Black students in the district support corporal punishment. While the 118,000–student district policy called for using corporal punishment only as a last resort, in November 2004, school board members voted 5 to 4 to end the practice (Gehring, 2004b). Statement of the Problem In 2005, the school system’s leadership announced that student disciplinary referrals had declined. This result was attributed to the school district’s implementation of the Blue Ribbon Behavior Initiative Plan (Memphis City Schools, 2005a, 2005b). The Blue Ribbon Plan was created to promote academic achievement and positive student behavior. The plan promotes a proactive rather than a reactive approach to soliciting positive student behaviors (Memphis City Schools, 2006). Because many teachers believe that little will be done to a student who misbehaves in their classroom, they simply do not refer students to the principal. Equally disconcerting is the stark reality that new teachers leave the profession at an alarming rate. In leaving, teachers report overwhelmingly that lack of discipline and related support from administrators are compelling influencers. There is slight hope that inadequately controlled school systems can successfully recruit and retain high quality instructors. In the absence of those high quality teachers, the problem will likely worsen at an accelerated pace (Fredricks, 2001). PR EVIEW
  18. 18. 7 The key to strengthening appropriate behavior in our schools is a full-scale review of a school district’s disciplinary plan. Anything short of that will produce nothing more than new versions of the current conflicts between teachers, administrators, and parents (Sesko, 1999). Corporal punishment remains an option for one school district in the dual school system of this West Tennessee City. This study investigated current perceptions of elementary school principals regarding corporal punishment. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to determine whether principals’ assessments and perceptions of corporal punishment differ substantially. School enrollment was also examined to determine whether it affects elementary school principals’ perceptions of corporal punishment. Specifically, do principals who work in larger schools have different perceptions than principals who work in smaller schools? The overall goal of the study was to investigate whether there is a significant difference in the number of office referrals of schools that employ corporal punishment and those that do not. Research Questions This study was organized around three primary research questions: 1. Do the demographics of elementary school principals influence the frequency of their use or non-use of corporal punishment? 2. Is there a significant difference between elementary school principals’ perceptions of corporal punishment based on size of school in which they work? PR EVIEW
  19. 19. 8 3. Is there a significant difference in the number of office referrals of schools that employ corporal punishment and those that do not? Significance of the Study Check (2001) explained that discipline models and techniques to maintain order in the classroom have been essential factors in the teaching profession since the establishment of formal education. Check contended that teachers in present day are confronted with problems far greater than in previous years. Novice teachers are entering the profession at a more difficult time, and, according to Check, might find it difficult to maintain order in the classroom. He also questioned whether experienced teachers can subsist. Teaching has one of the highest dropout rates of all the professions with more than half of all teachers quitting within the first five years of their teaching career (Fredricks, 2001). Most cite students’ hostility and defiance as determining factors in their decision to leave the profession. The significance of this study resides in the unfortunate existence of declining discipline in public schools. It is critically urgent that a credible system of maintaining good order be devised, authorized, and implemented. Once corporal punishment was an accepted form of discipline, but as more states and school systems ban its use, educational policymakers and administrators must employ more accepted techniques and models of discipline. This study will add to the body of literature regarding the perceptions of principals relative to the impact of corporal punishment in elementary schools. PR EVIEW
  20. 20. 9 Definition of Key Terms Corporal punishment. “A discipline method in which a supervising adult deliberately inflicts pain upon a child with a device such as a paddle, ruler, or strap, in response to a child’s unacceptable behavior and/or inappropriate language” (American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 1988). Classroom management. The coordinated activities of a teacher including participating in daily routines, special events, student discipline, and academic instruction (Emmer, 2001). Disruptive behavior. Student behavior that is counter-productive to the goals of the teacher, school and class in terms of academic achievement (Ennis, 1996). Safe and orderly schools. Schools where students and teachers feel safe and where learning takes place in an atmosphere that is conducive for optimum teaching and learning (Shanker, 1995). Antisocial behavior. Recurrent violations of socially prescribed patterns of behavior, usually involving aggression, vandalism, rule infractions, defiance of adult authority, and violation of the social norms and mores of society (Mayer, 2001). PR EVIEW
  21. 21. 10 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE School discipline has been a constant concern of both educators and the public. Increasing rates of youth violence and disruptive behavior in our nation’s schools present a major challenge to teachers, administrators, students, and their parents (Winbinger, Katsiyannis, & Archwamety, 2000). For teachers, discipline problems pose serious threats to their ability to teach. It is a source of stress and fear. For administrators, handling frequent discipline problems consume time and resources needed for the continuation of quality instruction. For students and parents, concerns range from the loss of opportunity for academic achievement to physical harm. In an effort to understand the scope and nature of school disciplinary problems and to identify recommendations for best practices, current literature relevant to the study was reviewed. The review is divided into five major sections. The first section explores past practices concerning discipline and parental support. The second section identifies the causes of disciplinary problems and its impact on achievement. The third section provides a discussion of the arguments in favor of and against corporal punishment. The fourth section addresses legal implications, and the fifth section investigates current research-based best practices in discipline. PR EVIEW
  22. 22. 11 Past Practices in Discipline Religious beliefs. Those who quote the bible to justify their use of physical punishment on children may hold strong Anglo-Saxon Protestant values, according to Richardson, Wilcox, and Dunne (1994). Historically, Anglo-Saxon literature depicts children as victims who are often treated as property. Child abuse is an integral part of the stories written by English novelist, Charles Dickens. The American practice of corporal punishment is firmly rooted in the Anglo-Saxon colonial traditions. The right to physically punish children in schools evolved from the position of “in loco parentis” or in the place of the parent (Richardson et al., 1994). Several studies suggest that aspects of fundamentalist and evangelical religions foster support for, and the use of corporal punishment (i.e., Bartkowski & Wilcox, 2000; Danso, Hunsberger, & Pratt, 1997). A large percentage of contemporary religious conservatives consider the Holy Bible to be without error. They feel that it provides guidance to manage all human conduct, including child rearing. Accordingly, parents are “devinely ordain” as authority figures and their role should remain unchallenged (Bartkowski, 1995). Pastors in this tradition tend to emphasize biblical passages lauding the child’s obedience to parental authority. Critics charge that Conservative Protestants encourage, or at least tolerate the physical abuse of children. Some Conservative Protestants even suggest that corporal punishment shapes the nature of children (Capps, 1995). Many believe that all individuals are born predisposed to willful conduct and rebellion against all forms of authority. They suggest that these tendencies are dangerous and must be corrected immediately. In view of that, children who grow up without proper discipline will not respect authority figures, and PR EVIEW
  23. 23. 12 they will be unable or unwilling to submit themselves to the will of God. Therefore, they will not enjoy the fruits of spiritual salvation (Bartkowski, 1995). “Shaping the will” of children becomes an important priority to conservative religious parents. Many cite religious scripture to support their claim that corporal punishment is the biblically ordained consequence to overt challenges to parental authority. A historical perspective from the 1700’s described the value of corporal punishment as follows: In order to form the minds of children, the first thing to be done is to conquer their will. Therefore, let a child from a year old be taught to fear the rod and to cry softly. In order to do this, let him have nothing he cries for, absolutely nothing, great or small; else you undo your own work. At all events, from that age, make him do as he is bid, if you whip him ten times running to effect it. Let none persuade you it is cruelty to do this; it is cruelty not to do it. Break his will now, and his soul will live and he will probably bless you to all eternity. (Susanna Wesley, as cited in Donohue, 1996, p. 4) According to Donohue (1996), this passage was stated by Susanna Wesley in the early 1700’s. By the time Susanna Wesley died in 1742, she and her husband, Samuel, rector of the Anglican Church, had 19 children, 9 of whom died in infancy and of the 10 who survived, 2 became Methodist “saints.” John Wesley, who also became an Anglican priest, was the principal founder of the Methodist Church, and Charles Wesley was considered one of the greatest English hymn writers. Donohue concluded that if Mrs. Wesley did employ this fierce pedagogy with her own gifted sons, it apparently left no rancorous memories. When he was 77, John Wesley said that throughout his whole life, he had not “felt lowness of spirits for one quarter of an hour” (p. 4). Donohue stated that parents in the United States today who follow Mrs. Wesley’s “recipe” for rearing children would be liable to arrest for child abuse. PR EVIEW
  24. 24. 13 Donohue (1996) asserted that some Evangelical parents still cite Proverbs 12:24 “The man who fails to use the rod hates his son,” as a biblical warrant for tough love. He further stated that in the 19th Century, American public school teachers employed corporal punishment whenever they felt so disposed. Bergman (2004) added that children at that time would not have considered complaining to their parents. He further stated that children would not have thought about challenging a teacher’s actions because parents communicated to them that the teacher was the boss, and they had to follow the boss’s rules. At one time in history, parents held schools in such high esteem that children knew if they were punished at school, they would be punished more severely when they arrived at home (Mason, 2005). Equally supportive of corporal punishment is a conviction based on moral authority by Danso et al. (1997). They conducted two studies in 1997 to assess how religious beliefs and endorsement of right-wing authoritarian attitudes linked to the kinds of goals parents establish for their children and their approval of corporal punishment. A seven-page questionnaire was mailed to 360 second-year undergraduate students in a northern university. Two hundred-fifteen responses were received from 148 females and 67 males. Questionnaires with missing data reduced the number to 204. The age of the participants ranged from 18 to 22 years with a mean age of 19.69. Of the 204 participants in the first survey, Danso et al. found that those who considered themselves fundamentalist Christians put greater emphasis on obedience, and had greater approval of the use of corporal punishment in child rearing. In the second study, Danso et al. replicated the first study but used parents instead of college students. Students from a PR EVIEW

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