Caribbean Journal of Psychology: Volume 1, Issue 1

Article 3
A Climate of Punishment in Jamaican Classrooms: Attitudes, Beliefs and Use of Disciplinary Practices by Educators

Audrey M. Pottinger
University of the West Indies, Mona

Kenisha V. Nelson
University of the West Indies, Mona


The sample consisted of 74 elementary grade teachers from four schools in Jamaica: public rural, public urban, private urban and inner-city. The teachers participated in a survey on their use of and attitudes towards disciplinary techniques in the classroom. Years of experience and training, class size and location of school significantly determined disciplinary practices (p < .05). Sending students to the principal, along with preventing friends from sitting together and flogging were most frequently used by teachers to address misdemeanours. Teachers rated their schools as being excessive in verbally rebuking or chastising students, followed by flogging, despite there being no relationship between the use of these punitive measures and perceived effectiveness. Having a vibrant home school association, however, seemed to reduce how frequently teachers used punitive techniques (p < .05).