|(Katty’s remarks, continued)|
Corporal punishment is not allowed as a method of teaching children to obey in any school in China. In China it is acknowledged that corporal punishment is a fundamental breach of children’s rights, and is disrespectful to their human dignity, as well as to their physical and mental integrity. There is a clear statement in the Principles for Teachers, which is applied in every school throughout the nation, that teachers should not corporally punish students. Therefore the law against corporal punishment in school protects children.
It is widely believed in China that corporal punishment is neither a wise nor an effective way to teach children. Both parents and teachers agree that discipline takes time. Children should learn self-discipline from gentle and kind ways such as discussion, communication after school or taking responsibility. These means are preferred to corporal punishment such as caning and paddling. Physical pain doesn’t necessarily guarantee the freedom from unruliness, vandalism and juvenile delinquency.
Corporal punishment is a dangerous way to teach children. Physically, hitting children sometimes can cause severe injury and even death. In some cases emotionally irritated teachers are in a fit of temper and lose self-control themselves. Psychologically, being beaten is detrimental to the self-esteem and self-confidence for some students. Corporal punishment hurts all kids, both victims and witnesses alike. Sometimes students subjected to corporal punishment exhibit symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Those who witnessed the corporal punishment are frightened by thinking the beating stick will fall into their own palm or buttock someday. Generally speaking, corporal punishment may cause more stress and insecurity among small kids during their school life.
Teachers who employ corporal punishment set a bad example among children. The best way to teach is by example. In Chinese culture, from thousands of years ago, teachers had been highly respected and taken as an example for children. Children easily mimic the actions of their teachers. If, in their childhood, their respected teacher resorts to corporal punishment to make them obey, then they will think the way to let out dissatisfaction is by physically abusing others. The cycle of violence is perpetuated when they later resort to violence to teach their own children and students. In addition, some studies have suggested that corporal punishment is a significant factor in the development of violent attitudes and actions. It inhibits or prevents positive child development and positive forms of discipline.
Why are children in China are self-disciplined without corporal punishment
|(Katty’s remarks, continued)|
|Children grow up in a culture where the teacher should be awed. Teachers are seen as an important figures in their lives. As mentioned before, in Chinese culture, the teacher has been highly respected from ancient times through today. Children are taught to obey and respect their teacher long before they go to school. Furthermore, after they go to school, they learn how to respect teachers further. They celebrate Teacher day every Sept 10th. In addition, they learn songs and read articles that are specially written for praising teachers. |
| Communication between teacher and parents make children more self-disciplined. Since children care very much about the impression of teachers on them, they become better behaved by simply warning them of that misbehavior will be reported to their teacher. Teachers and parents can easily communicate about the behavior of the children in school every morning or afternoon when parents drop their children off or pick them up from school. There are, beyond that, special meetings for communication among parents, teachers and children every month for the whole class. Sometimes there are extra meetings for some of the children and parents, if especially needed. If their bad deeds are reported at the meeting, the children will feel very embarrassed and become better self-disciplined to avoid so. |
| A rewarding system makes children more self-disciplined. In almost every school in China, especially at the elementary level, teachers use a rewarding system to make children more self-disciplined and to encourage them to do better. Rewards are especially used when children do something good, but even “bad kids” can be rewarded when they make some progress. Generally they will be granted a little paper red flower or a little star or be entitled to some small leadership position to make them more responsible. Sometimes, their good deeds will be reported to the teacher coordinator or to their parents. By a variety of ways of rewarding and taking responsibility, children gradually learn to be self-disciplined. |
| Thank you Katty for providing an “inside look” at Chinese schooling and, in a sense, “Taoist” schooling as well.|