Whole class punishments - why??

(37 Posts)
therontheron Sat 16-Feb-13 12:42:08

Not sure if this should be in Primary Education or parenting but here goes!
Does anyone understand the logic behind punishing the whole class for the bad behaviour of only one or two children?
DS frequently loses all his golden time because someone else has misbehaved. The teacher is always clear about why the golden time has been cancelled and it is always because one, two or three of the other boys have done / not done something (usually it’s two or three of the same five boys every time). DS doesn’t understand why he and the others should be punished and I don’t either. Does it make sense to anyone else? I don’t want to ask the teacher because it might seem critical when I am only curious about the logic.

lljkk Sat 16-Feb-13 16:04:48

Is golden time a reward to the group or to the individual? If it's a reward to the group then it makes sense that bad behaviour means no GT.

Is Golden Time a default for all unless there has been bad behaviour? That would make it a punishment, but I thought GT was normally a treat not routine.

I bet there are lots of other rewards to individuals for good behaviour.

Thanks RubberDuck smile

AScorpionPitForMimes Sat 16-Feb-13 16:29:32

OP, next tie your school has an OFSTED come up, I'd make sure to contact OFSTED to highlight the fact that whole class punishments are common practice. And get other parents to do the same. Clearly there is a culture of this at your school and it needs tackling.

And it's no wonder you're getting a lot of agreement here, it's a lazy, ineffectual and bad method of maintaining discipline.

therontheron Sat 16-Feb-13 16:46:50

lljkk - its a treat every child in the school gets every Friday. Rightly or wrongly, the children have come to look forward to it and to expect it. However, in DS's class it gets cancelled quite often.

Whether its a reward or a punishment, the children certainly feel punished by not getting it and that's the message they get from the teacher too.

auntevil Sat 16-Feb-13 17:41:04

I think as regular practise it is poor, but sometimes, there are situations where, as mentioned before, the whole class do need to respond to get to the bottom of something.
DS3 had whole class sanction last week. He has SNs and didn't understand the fairness of it, so the teacher explained why.
There had been an incident in the playground at lunchtime. It was one where a said something to b, c got involved, d didn't like that c got involved .... It ended up with the majority of the class being involved in some way. In fact it was hard to work out who wasn't involved. DS3 agreed that this was the case.
So whole class kept in, 'chat' about behavioural expectations.
Personally, I don't see a problem with this.
I would see a problem if it were only 2/3 out of 5 repeat offenders. That I would find hard to justify to a whole class.

piggywigwig Sat 16-Feb-13 18:41:11

My youngest DD's school have done this in the past and I loathe the practice.
One particular teacher (who was and still is a bully) used to keep the entire class in at the end of school for between 5 and 10 minutes at a time, with no prior notice to the parents. We all used to feel very angry at this, as it showed us no respect whatsoever. It also brought about feelings of resentment and confusion amongst the children who behaved and complied . It's a totally counter-productive, lazy, ineffective "disciplinary" measure that should have died out years ago.

treas Sat 16-Feb-13 21:02:13

Lazy teacher?

WorriedTeenMum Sat 16-Feb-13 21:42:50

The problem with using whole class punishments when the majority of the class is involved in the trouble is that the minority who werent involved can end up even more isolated. It is not unusual for there to be piss-taking of the 'good' students. It can seem as though they are doubly punished firstly by having to ignore whatever trouble is going on and then by being punished with the rest of the class.

It can be hard enough being the 'good' student in a disruptive class. They dont need teachers making it worse.

Teachers knowingly punishing innocent students should be ashamed of themselves.

Startail Sat 16-Feb-13 22:16:36

I can't imagine collective punishment for DD1s group, who had their trouble makers and some very quiet children. They would have felt it deeply unfair.

I can imagine by Y5/6 DD2's confident chatty close knit bunch all being kept in for getting too noisy.

But they were a very unusual class in that despite a massive range of abilities and characters they all got on incredibly well and supported each other in a way we didn't until our O'levels loomed.

WorriedTeenMum Sun 17-Feb-13 09:53:55

But can you be sure it is all. This is the problem with assuming an homogeneous group. The one quiet child who was sat in the midst of this 'confident chatty group' gets tarred with the same brush and either gets resentful and more isolated or ends up thinking 'sod it' and joining in with the trouble.

itfriesthebrain Mon 18-Feb-13 01:08:50

I'm afraid my Ds and several other Dc were the cause of many class punishments during yr 2, and I felt awful about it at the end of the day why should an entire class be punished because of others actions especially because of my Ds. I would agree with another post that it was to use peer pressure but it actually resulted in my Ds being bullied even more so than he already was due to other reasons. In my opinion I think it is a teachers lazy way of dealing with bad behavior rather than finding ways to tackle the individuals involved. My Ds's disruptive behavior would of been greatly reduced had the teacher at the time just followed his IEP but sadly it was better if he was treated like an outcast by his entire class. confused

itfriesthebrain Mon 18-Feb-13 01:13:08

and just to add it took my Ds forever to get himself ready at home time. getting his things in his bag putting his coat on etc and the rest of the class had to hang on until he was ready. no pressure there then. hmm

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