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30 years ago

Classroom discipline and the Lochgelly leather. Corporal punishment exercised the mind of Malcolm Mackenzie, senior lecturer in education at Glasgow University, in an article on The TES Scotland's front page of February 1, 1974:

"Discipline is the main worry of new recruits to the profession and, let it be admitted, of many experienced teachers, who know that success in controlling a class, much more than teaching methods or examination results, will determine their status in the eyes of colleagues and pupils .

. .

"Discipline above all symbolises in the eyes of many teachers the great divide between educational theory and practice . . .

"The divide is at its most acute in the perennial debates about corporal punishment, with frequent attacks by liberal minded but usually inexperienced people on barbarity, and defensive reactions by teachers against woolly-minded theorists who do not understand the realities of the classroom . . .

"Instead of being defensive (the teacher) should be indignant that he works in a society which obliges him, a highly educated professional, to hit children and young adults with a piece of leather so that the basic conditions may exist for learning and teaching."

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