Title page for ETD etd-06072011-144929

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Olivier, Gerhard Hercules
Email gho@cybersmart.co.za
URN etd-06072011-144929
Document Title Educators' perceptions of corporal punishment
Degree MEd
Department Education Management and Policy Studies
Advisor Name Title
Prof W J van Vollenhoven Supervisor
  • job satisfaction
  • educators
  • perceptions
  • legislation
  • learners
  • human rights
  • corporal punishment
  • educator-learner ration
  • discipline
  • Department of Education
Date 2011-04-04
Availability unrestricted

Corporal punishment is a widespread phenomenon in South African schools in spite of legislation prohibiting spanking of learners. Section 10 of the South African Schools Act No 84 of 1996 states that No person may administer corporal punishment at a school to a learner. The legal consequences for an educator administering corporal punishment could result in dismissal. However, empirical evidence indicates that seven in every ten primary school learners and one in every two secondary school learners still receive corporal punishment from educators. Hence, the purpose of the study is to understand and explain corporal punishment from educatorsí perceptions. Six educators from three schools were interviewed using a qualitative approach.

Participant educators are not convinced that the use of corporal punishment is illegal and a criminal offence. The findings of the study show that these frustrated educators believe that corporal punishment is effective to maintain discipline in classes with a high educator-learner ratio. Furthermore, the participant educators are convinced that alternatives to corporal punishment are ineffective in comparison with the positive effect of corporal punishment on instruction and learning. The ineffectiveness of alternatives to corporal punishment is exacerbated by the poor support provided by the Department of Education in implementing these measures. The study concluded that the implementation of the abolishment of corporal punishment is a tug-of-war between legislation and reality.

© 2010, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Olivier, GH 2010, Educators' perceptions of corporal punishment, MEd dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-06072011-144929 / >

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