What makes a response to schoolroom wrongs permissible?

Theory and Research in Education 18 (1):23-39 (2020)
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Howard’s moral fortification theory of criminal punishment lends itself to justifying correction for children in schools that is supportive. There are good reasons to include other students in the learning opportunity occasioned by doing right in response to wrong, which need not exploit the wrongdoing student as a mere means. Care ethics can facilitate restorative and problem-solving approaches to correction. However, there are overriding reasons against doing so when this stigmatises the wrongdoing student, since this inhibits their learning. Responses that avoidably stigmatise students impermissibly undermine both the developmental ethos of education, and students’ recognition and respect for each other as equals.

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Helen Brown Coverdale
University College London


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