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Title: An investigation into the effects of punishment in secondary schools
Author: Rochester, Herbert
ISNI:       0000 0001 3529 6735
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1973
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Discipline problems in schools have-focussed attention on punishment methods used. This investigation aimed at ascertaining the effects of punishment in secondary schools. Seven hundred and sixty-three pupils from ten different secondary schools assisted in the study. Judgments of sixth-form pupils provided data on the deterrent values of twenty-six punishments and the relative frequencies of use of these punishments to obtain the best results. From a detailed analysis of pupils' replies the concept of the educational value of a punishment emerged. This novel concept describes the educational benefit the pupils derive from the punishment situation. A new questionnaire was devised to assess the judgments of educational values. The effects of punishments were then examined with this criterion in mind. The results showed that the educational value of a punishment taken together with its deterrent value provided a very good predictor of the effectiveness of a punishment. Punishment was perceived as needing much wider consideration than is implied by the simple mechanism of stopping the unwanted action. The investigation turned to a consideration of the emotional consequences of punishment. Questionnaires were devised to measure the positive and negative emotional consequences. It was found that punishment with high educational value was associated with positive emotional consequences while punishment with high deterrent value was associated with negative emotional consequences. The third stage of the investigation was concerned with identifying the determinants of the educational and deterrent values of punishments. Again appropriate questionnaires were designed and administered to sixth-form pupils. The analysis of the data showed the main determinants of deterrent value were duration of after-effect of punishment, inconvenience to the individual being punished and disturbing social effects resulting from the punishment. The educational value itself is determined by these same three factors plus a positive dimension which provides the opportunity for new endeavours. The next stage of the investigation dealt with the importance of matching the punishment to the circumstances surrounding the offence. The results stress the importance of choosing punishments in relation to the number of times the offence is committed and the age of the pupil. The last stage of the investigation concentrated on a comparison of current practice as perceived by headmasters and the suggestions derived from this investigation. A comparison was also made between the concepts of headmasters and pupils. In conclusion recommendations are made for the practical application of the findings of this research to the school setting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available