oa The Independent Journal of Teaching and Learning - Reconceptualising teacher professionalism to address school violence : a quest to end corporal punishment - practitioners' corner

Volume 14 Number 1
  • ISSN : 1818-9687
  • E-ISSN: 2519-5670



The aim of the article is to argue for a need to reconceptualise teacher professionalism as a strategy to mitigate school violence, as manifested with corporal punishment. The article draws data from participatory action research, with a focus on teachers’ use of corporal punishment, despite it being outlawed in South African schools. The study found that a lack of teacher professionalism through corporal punishment is a form of school violence. The implication drawn from the researchers’ findings is that failure to address the lack of teacher professionalism – especially regarding the use of corporal punishment – derails all other attempts to combat violence in schools. It is against this background that the authors propose a reconceptualisation of teacher professionalism to end corporal punishment. The article concludes with the argument that for school violence, teachers need to put an end to corporal punishment and adhere to basic of teacher professionalism.

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