Education Project Topics

Primary School Pupils’ Perspective of Punishment in Enhancing Discipline





Punishment and other types of cruel and humiliating punishment have long been popular techniques of enforcing discipline at home and in the classroom. Teachers believe that without corporal punishment, discipline cannot be maintained, and that students would be rude to the teacher and fail to learn the discipline to work hard, according to Kubeka’s (2004) research of disciplinary methods in a South African primary school. Teachers preferred the use of physical punishment in controlling school discipline because it was quick and easy to administer compared to other discipline management approaches, which they believe involve time, patience, and talent, all of which educators sometimes lack. Discipline is involved with either preventing or punishing wrongdoing. Discipline, according to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2015), encompasses both prevention and correction. It can be “training designed to generate a certain character or pattern of conduct” or “controlled behavior arising from such training,” as well as “punishment meant to rectify or train.” The preventative and remedial components of school and classroom discipline have been studied by educational scholars, which will be covered in the background (Fowers, 2012). Discipline is the expression of purely basic wants, and it is sometimes confused with self-control. Self-discipline can be used as a substitute for motivation, but it isn’t. When one utilizes reason to identify the optimal course of action, it is the polar opposite of having fun. Virtuous behavior is defined as when one’s actions are in line with one’s goals: doing what one knows is best and cheerfully doing it. Continent conduct, on the other hand, is when one does what one knows is best but has to go against one’s own desires in order to do so (Blaine, 2008). Both the preventative and remedial components of school and classroom discipline have been studied by educational scholars, and the findings from both are crucial to the backdrop. It is often considered that pupils must be disciplined in order to be successful in school, particularly during the compulsory two-year term. Discipline, according to Eggleton (2001), is “instruction that corrects, molds, or perfects mental capacities or moral characteristics, adherence to authority or laws, and punishment to correct undesirable behaviors.” School discipline is generally defined as school policies and actions taken by school personnel to prevent students from engaging in undesirable behaviors, with a focus on school conduct codes and security methods, suspension from school, corporal punishment, and teachers’ methods of managing students’ actions in class (Cameron, 2006). Respect for one another, timeliness, honesty (which eliminates academic cheating), trust, and many other components of school discipline are important. The sort of punishment is primarily determined by the child’s socio-cultural context (Tan, 2014). Slapping, beating, or kicking, kneeling or standing for an extended period of time, scolding and verbal assault, cutting grasses, fetching water, knock on the head, pulling of ears, sweeping and tidying of the school environment, sending a pupil out of the class, seizure and denial of a pupil’s belongings, and other forms of punishment can be used in a school setting. According to Yuanshan (1999), physical punishment is prohibited in various nations, including the United States, Canada, Australia, and, most recently, Hong Kong, as well as in South African schools (Cicognani, 2004). Corporal punishment in schools is prohibited in Zambia. Meanwhile, both as a sentence for crime and as a disciplinary mechanism in correctional facilities, physical punishment is still legal in Nigerian households and schools (Newell, 2007). The use of punishment, particularly corporal punishment, as a technique of correcting children has been contested. Some scholars (Hyman, 1990) believe that corporal punishment is a form of child maltreatment and psychological abuse. They also denounced it, citing its negative consequences such as physical problems, increased anxiety, personality changes, and despair. According to Gershoff (2002), corporal punishment promotes aggressiveness while lowering moral internalization and mental health. Running away, dread of the instructor, feelings of powerlessness, humiliation, hostility, and damage at home and at school, abuse, and criminal activity are all adverse consequences of physical punishment, according to Robinson (2005). Nigerian children who are subjected to corporal punishment suffer from eye damage (Kayode, 2007). Other scholars, such as Baumrind (1996) and Larzelere (1996), backed physical punishment as a legitimate way of discipline.

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Over the years, the issue of school indiscipline has remained. These activities have either been taken out by students individually or as a group, resulting in rioting or revolts. There is little question that student disobedience hinders efficient teaching and learning, as well as the generation of valuable and accepted members of society (Straus, 2003). As a result, some parents appear to have shied away from their parental roles and responsibilities toward their children. If teachers are dissatisfied and unmotivated, they are unlikely to urge others to study or use their time in effective instruction (Oluwakemi, 2009). The government contributes to indiscipline by failing to provide adequate school facilities and equipment. The researcher has observed that teachers no longer punish their students as they once did, particularly in today’s private schools, and this is influencing student indiscipline. While there are other ways to make students discipline, the role of punishment cannot be eliminated; this, however, prompted the researcher to conduct this study on the perspective of students on using punishment to enhance discipline among primary school pupils.


The basic goal of this study is to learn about primary school students’ perspectives on utilizing punishment to improve discipline in the classroom. More specifically, the study aims to:

i. Find out what variables help students in primary school to be more disciplined.


ii. Examine how punishment affects the discipline of elementary school students.

iii. Find out what primary school students think about punishment and how it might help them be more disciplined.

iv. Learn about the difficulties that teachers experience when punishing their students.


i. What are the variables that  help students in primary school to be more disciplined?

ii. How can  punishment affect the discipline of elementary school students?

iii. What is the thought of primary school students  about punishment and how it might help them be more disciplined?

iv. What are difficulties that teachers experience when punishing their students?


The findings of the study will be useful for policy and decision makers in establishing training needed for teachers on the effects of corporal punishment in enhancing discipline in primary schools. Decision makers and policy makers at large can use the findings of this study to improve the strategies of dealing with corporal punishment issues in primary schools. The study also is useful to pupils as the use or not use of CP may help them to perform well academically. Furthermore, the study can be used by researchers in identifying the gaps that warrant for research investigation on educational issues.


The following subject scope was evaluated in the study: to identify varied opinions on punishment on student discipline in a sample of elementary schools. To find alternatives to punishment for primary school pupils and to investigate how the delivery of punishments by head teachers affects students’ discipline.


Obtaining funding for general research activity will be difficult over the course of studies. Correspondents may also be unable or unwilling to complete or submit the questionnaires that have been sent to them. However, it is expected that these limits will be overcome by making the greatest use of existing resources and devoting more time to research than is required. As a result, it is firmly considered that, despite these constraints, their impact on this research report will be small, allowing the study’s purpose and importance to be met.



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