The development of a scale for the measurement of attitude toward corporal punishment at the junior high school level

Thumbnail Image
Glover, William Walls
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
While modern educationists agree that disciplinary difficulties will arise even in well-run schools they hold to the belief that the end of discipline is not to destroy but to construct. Good discipline maintains proper relationships without repression. It is secured through force of character and personality - not by coercion. Even with this change in viewpoint from previous times, no perfect remedy for stubborn unsocial behaviour that resents the usual methods of guidance has been found. The school must be protected against the misconduct of any of its members who are inclined to ignore the rights and wishes of other members. Where stopping unsocial conduct is not accomplished by suggestion and guidance force may be required. An important concern of educators today is to measure how far habits of conduct, that are in accordance with modern educational ideas, have been established within the teaching profession. The question of discipline is ever present in most schools and it is within this field that attitudes become increasingly important. Specifically, then, the problem is the development of an attitude scale toward corporal punishment that may be used for teachers at the Junior High level. This measurement of attitude should be related to the modern concept of discipline in the Junior High School. The attitudes will involve tendencies toward the mode of behaviour, the manner of living and working together, the question of leadership and in general the proper relationship in the school. The assumptions are as follows: (1) That attitudes are measureable; (2) That attitudes vary along a linear continuum; and (3) That measurable attitudes are common to the group. The data were obtained from three main sources: 1. A list of opinions on corporal punishment from various educationists and current literature. 2. The tabulation arising from the sorting of the opinions. 3. The statistics derived from the tabulation. The work of Weber, Fechner and Cattell brought out the idea of equally often noticed differences. This idea was used by Thurstone as a method for obtaining equal appearing intervals for the construction of a scale of attitude. The general procedure used here follows Thurstone's work and is as follows: 1. A number of educationists were asked to write out their opinions about corporal punishment. 2. These opinions were edited in order to reduce the number of opinions to one-hundred. 3. These edited opinions were presented to a large number of...