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Corporal Punishment: Comparison of Asia and America

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The cane of love

Most Asian schools are ranked as the highest around the world. They are not only ranked high in academics, but sports as well as the arts. They also have very high requirement for admission. They have the highest discipline and rigorous courses. Asian schools need corporal punishments to achieve a higher standard of learning.

The cultural differences between American and Asian schools put corporal punishment in different light. In Asian schools teachers have absolute control of their students. In almost every Asian country “teachers [are] permitted to wield what many euphemistically [call] the stick of love.” (Strothers). Asian teachers believe that corporal punishments is type of tough love. They are given this right freely by their parents and their culture. In most East Asian societies they use the Confucian ideal to help guide them in social interactions. Almost all “Confucian ideals create a hierarchal teacher- student relationship that grants the teacher unquestioned authority in a teacher-centered classroom” (Novitas). This not only makes corporal punishment seem normal but this is also the reason that corporal punishment is so readily accepted. However in American schools there is less social hierarchy. In American schools “students talk to teachers more freely and teachers respect students’ opinion” (Hyun). American students are given more freedom by their teachers to express their opinion without harsh judgement. They do not have hierarchal ideals to mold them to achieve the best they are capable of.

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Asian schools use corporal punishments to discipline and teach their students without affecting their school records. Teachers prefer using corporal punishments over school regulation punishments. This is because “the students will have [a] disadvantage after graduating from school and [when they] apply for a job or college” (Weiss). Students who have a school regulation punishment will have a harder time getting a job or getting into a college. For Asian student the most important thing is to keep their student record clean because to get into a university they have to have close to perfect scores. Asia’s high competition requires student to have the highest scores possible. Which makes using corporal punishment an ideal option because corporal punishment is documentable. Using corporal punishment on student not only helps them reflect on what they have done but also how to refrain from doing it again. Using corporal punishments “in the established rules will help students’ character [develop]” (Higginbotham). Corporal punishment helps students to conform or surpass the standard. It helps students to learn the hierarchy in society and how to interact with others.

Even though student in Asia are always on the receiving end of corporal punishment, they feel that it needed to control the class. They feel that without corporal punishment their classes will be in chaos. In 2003 a survey was taken that shows that “70% of middle- and high-school students” believed that it was fair for the teacher to use corporal punishment in the classroom (school of corporal punishment in South Korea). They felt that it was ok for teachers to use corporal punishment in classes because corporal punishment allows teacher to put an end to class disturbance fast without taking much time from the lesson. Another reason “that many students believed corporal punishment was sometimes necessary” is because of situations where student try to get physical with the teacher or publicly go against the teacher (corporal punishment ‘widespread’ in India). When South Korea banned corporal punishment the amount of students that disturbed class or didn’t do their work increased. There were even case of student attacking physically attacking the teachers. Which in any Asian culture is unheard of. This not only affected their teachers but also their grades. To rectify this problem the South Korean government reinstated corporal punishment in classes.

The reason for the success of Asian schools is corporal punishment. It allows teachers to have and teach strict discipline to their students. Which allows students to achieve the self-discipline and focus that makes them do better than students in American schools. Also the parents’ complete support of the teacher’s method of discipline solidifies these values that are the cause of Asian schools success.

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