Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

May 1994


There were two major purposes of this study. The first purpose was to obtain information from all principals in Tennessee's First District concerning their beliefs about the use of corporal punishment in public schools in Tennessee. Generalizations could be made in areas of similar geographic and cultural makeup. The second purpose of this study was to generate reflective thought in Tennessee's First District to clarify administrators' beliefs as to the use of corporal punishment as a deterrent. Demographic findings of the study revealed a predominately male population of principals. The majority of the population surveyed was male Caucasian. There was a normal distribution among education levels for principals in the First District, ranging from Bachelor degrees to Doctoral degrees. Subgroups that were tested using the Mann-Whitney U test for significance were: principals with 0-10 years experience and those with more than 10 years experience, principals who used corporal punishment in their schools and those who did not, and principals who experienced corporal punishment as children and those who did not. The review of literature in regard to corporal punishment revealed four constructs that proponents used when explaining why it was used: religious beliefs, legal perspectives, cultural beliefs, and effectual beliefs as a disciplinary measure. Principals in the First District of Tennessee had similar religious beliefs regarding the use of corporal punishment. In comparison, principals who used corporal punishment had significantly different belief scores relative to legal perspectives, culture, and effectiveness than those who did not use corporal punishment. Principals who experienced corporal punishment as children scored significantly higher in beliefs of its effectiveness than those who had never experienced it.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted