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Welcome to the first Unit of Module II. This Unit is a continuation of the topic on Questioning
which was introduced in Module I. In Module I, we looked at the definition of a question. We
also outlined the benefits and purposes of questioning. In this unit, we shall look at classification
of Civic Education questions. As a teacher, it is necessary to ask questions which belong to
different cognitive domains, and not restrict yourself to questions that require learners to merely
memorize and recall information.

1.2. Objectives

By the end of this Unit, you should be able to:

 State different methods of classifying questions in Social Sciences.

 Classify different types of Civic Education questions
 Discuss the importance of classifying and sequencing classroom and Examination


There are many books on classroom questioning techniques. There are also many methods used
by different scholars to classify questions. However, it is important to remember that these
classifications overlap and it is not possible to put a clear cut separating line between them.

Garvey and Krug (1977) have used the following method to classify questions:

1.3.1. Closed and Open Question

 Closed Questions have only one correct answer. They limit the learner to a single
word or phrase. For instance:
a) Who was the first President of the Republic of Zambia?
b) What is corruption?
c) State any four ways through which an adult person may protect himself or herself from
contracting HIV?
d) List down the qualifications for a Parliamentary candidate in Zambia.
 Open Questions have more than one correct answer. For example: What are the
causes of poverty in Zambia? What social and economic development projects would
you like the government to carry out in your District and why?

1.3.2. Factual and Thought Questions
Nacino-Brown et al (1982) classify all questions into two categories. These are factual
and thought questions.
 Factual Questions require a short response such as a “yes” or a “no” answer or a mere
recall of factual knowledge. These questions are also referred to as knowledge questions
or closed questions by other writers. For instance:
a) When was the UN formed?
b) The business run by two people is called ………………..
c) One can contract HIV by sharing a bed and beddings with an infected person. True or
d) What is a Rigid Constitution?
Thought Questions require learners to practice thinking skills such as comprehension,
application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Examples:
a) How will the removal of fuel subsidy affect the standard of living of your family?
b) Differentiate between HIV/AIDS Stigmatization and HIV/AIDS Discrimination.
c) How would you deal with a case of GBV involving your parents at home?
d) Do you think there is peace in Zambia? Give reasons for your answer.

1.3.3. Convergent and Divergent questions

Muzumara (2011) states that questions may be divided into divergent (open-ended) and
convergent (closed-ended) questions.

 Convergent questions are similar to what some scholars call closed questions or factual
questions. They have limited responses and they require learners to give specific answers
that must match with those the teacher expects. The answers given by learners should not
diverge (deviate) from those expected by the teacher. For example:
a) What are the causes of corruption in Zambia?
b) Give examples of grand corruption.
c) How may cannabis affect its abusers?
d) Explain what is meant by the term environmental degradation.
 Divergent Questions are open questions and they encourage learners to give a broad
range of diverse answers. In the words of Muzumara (2011), ‘‘divergent questions help
pupils to cast ‘their nets widely’ in order to come up with a variety of answers which are
useful in learning’’. They are thought-provoking questions and they help learners to
develop problem-solving skills because they encourage them to think differently from
each other as they search for possible answers to the question or problem. These
questions require learners to be creative and organize ideas in a new pattern or find
solutions to problems. Examples:
a) What can we do to end poverty in Zambia?
b) Suggest how we can end “child defilement in Zambia.”

c) ‘The House of Chiefs should be strengthened by giving it legislative powers.’ Do you
agree or disagree with this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
d) Write a poem to discourage substance abuse in your school.


Classroom questions can also be classified according to Bloom’s Taxonomy, which
stresses the type of thinking skills a question demands (Garvey and Krug, 1977:46).
Professor Benjamin Bloom classified questions according to the following Cognitive
a) Knowledge questions
b) Comprehension questions
c) Application questions
d) Analysis questions
e) Synthesis questions
f) Evaluation questions

We shall use a modified version of this method (Garvey and Krug, 1977) and classify civic
education questions as follows:

 Knowledge Questions: Knowledge means the ability to remember or recall previously

learned materials. Therefore, knowledge questions are also referred to as recall
questions. They require learners to reproduce previously learned material from memory.
a) Name the first president of the Republic of Zambia.
b) Describe the elements of a good legal system.
c) Define the constitution.
d) Explain the term separation powers.
e) What is Corruption?
f) Who is the Head of the Judiciary?
g) Outline the characteristics of a good constitution
h) Distinguish between Gender Equity and Gender Equality

According to Sutherland (1997) and Farrant(1980), Knowledge Questions usually use the
following lead verbs for instruction:

- Define - Reproduce
- Describe - Rewrite
- Name - Summarize
- State - Explain
- Distinguish - Identify

- List - Outline

- Match - Select

Recall questions may also begin with interrogatives such as When? Whom? Where? Whose?

 comprehension questions
Comprehension means the ability to understand the meaning of material being studied.
This includes ability to translate material from one form to another, e.g. words to
numbers, symbols on a map to words and interpreting material (by explaining or
summarizing it). Examples of comprehension questions include:
a) What can you see in this picture?
b) Explain the difference between a rigid and flexible constitution.
c) Distinguish between a rigid and flexible constitution.
d) Estimate the height of the wall in this picture
e) Summarize the passage you have read in not more than ten sentences.
f) Describe the Procedure usually followed by a voter at a Polling Station when casting a
vote in a Tripartite Election.

Instructional lead verbs used in comprehension questions include the following (Sutherland
(1997) and Farrant (1980):

- Describe - Give examples

- Explain -Select
- Estimate - Translate
- Interpret - Summarize
- Illustrate - Simply
- Substitute - Compare
- Predict -Contrast
- Classify -Conclude

 Interpretation Questions
These are closely related to comprehension questions. Interpretation questions require
the learner to understand the material and relate the information in the material with
outside knowledge so as to detect its significance. These questions ask the learners to
put the information into contest. For instance learners may be required to interpret
charts, pictures, maps, and graphs. To do this, learners need to relate the Map to their
previous knowledge of Map Symbols such used in a Map Key. To interpret material
such as a proverb or a law or a scripture, a learner needs a thorough understanding of
the material and be able to relate it to outside knowledge.
a) Explain how the public order act affects the Freedom of Association in Zambia.
b) Give examples of how one’s freedom of movement may be violated by the state.

c) Why did the PF promise to introduce the ‘Windfall Tax’ in the mining industry in
during its campaign in 2011, but after coming to power the Party decided not to
do so?
d) How does Child Labour violate the rights of the Child as enshrined in the United
Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1989?

 Extrapolation Questions

These are also known as speculation questions. They are close to comprehension questions.
They require the learner to understand the situation or information available and draw
inferences or suggest a hypothesis (possible solution).

a) What do you think were the intentions of the American Government for invading Iraq?
b) How will the building of a bridge at Kazungula affect the Zambian economy?
c) What would happen if there were no laws and courts in Zambia?
d) What would you do if you stopped were sexually abused by one of your parents?
e) Suggest possible reasons why the man in this story committed suicide after the death of
his wife from an illness?
f) What can be concluded from the defeats of the ruling party in the recent by-elections?
g) What would happen…………………? How would ……………………? What could you
do if,………..?

 Application Questions
Application in this context means the ability to use learned material in new and concrete
situations. These questions require learners to apply (use) such things as rules, laws,
principles, concepts and formulas. Instructional verbs used in application questions
include the following (Sutherland, 1997) and (Farrant, 1980):

- Apply - Operate
- Construct - Solve
- Demonstrate - Show
- Find - Prepare
- Discover - Produce
- Modify - Predict
- Use - Make
- Relate - Transfer


a) Prepare a lesson plan using the passage provided.

b) Demonstrate voting procedure at a polling station.
c) Show why some people argue that there is no real “separation of powers” in Zambia.
d) Make posters for use in an anti-Drug Abuse campaign.
e) Identify groups of people in your area whose human rights need special protection and
draw up a Charter of Rights that you feel they should enjoy and present it to your class.

 Analysis Questions

Analysis is the separation of something into its constituents in order to find out what it contains,
to examine individual parts, or to study the structure of the whole (Encarta Dictionary,2009) It
means the ability to break down material into its component parts so that its organizational
structure may be understood. This may include the ability to identify the parts and explain
relationships between the parts. Analysis also means using factual knowledge and basic concepts
to demonstrate understanding of events or situations (Sutherland, 1997)

According Sutherland (1997) and Farrant (1980), instructional lead verbs used in analysis
questions include the following:

- Analyze - Label
- Associate - Discriminate
- Determine - Distinguish
- Differentiate - Outline
- Give reasons (causes, effects) - Point out


a) Briefly outline the elements of family law in Zambia.

b) Analyze the effects of HIV/AIDS on the Zambian Education sector.
c) Point out the differences between a developed country and a developed country
d) What are the positive and negative effects of a large population on the economy of a
e) Give reasons for the causes of Gender based violence in your community

 Synthesis Questions

Synthesis is a process of combining different ideas, influences, or objects into a new whole
(Encarta Dictionary, 2009). It means the ability to put parts together to form a new whole.
According to Sutherland (1997) synthesis is using factual knowledge and basic subject concepts
to develop new ideas and solutions.

Synthesis questions require learners to express their own ideas and put together information
from various sources. They stimulate thinking and require some research and
reflective thinking.

According to Sutherland, (1997) and Farrant (1980), lead verbs used in synthesis
questions include the following:
- Construct - Remake -Produce
- Combine - Create -Integrate
- Compile - Modify -Speculate
- Compose - Plan -Generalize
- Design - Propose
- Develop - Rewrite
- Revise - Recognize
- Re-arrange - Suggest

a) Propose ways of addressing the problem of child abuse in your community.
b) Compile a report on what happened during the trial of a criminal case, which you
observed on your study tour to a magistrate’s court.
c) Design a polling station showing clearly the furniture and voting arrangements
d) Compose or poem for use in an anti substance abuse campaign on your school’s Open
e) Interview beneficiaries of Micro-financial Institutions in your area. Using the information
obtained, compile a report on the role of Micro-financial in uplifting the standards of
living in your area.

 Evaluation Questions

Evaluation means considering or examining something in order to judge its value, quality,
importance, extent or condition (Encarta Dictionary, 2009). Sutherland (1997) defines evaluation
as assessing the value of factual knowledge and basic concepts in making decisions. Evaluation
can also be described as the ability to judge the value of material being studied.

Evaluation questions require learners to assess, examine, appraise, criticize and judge the
material presented to them. These questions require careful examination and critical judgment
of an opinion, an international treaty, an international organization, etc.

According to Sutherland, (1997) and Farrant (1980), common instructional leads verbs
used in evaluation questions include the following:
-Evaluate -Conclude
-Appraise -Defend or Justify
-Compare -Judge
-Contrast -Weigh


a) Criticize the arguments often used to justify the use of corporal punishment in Zambian
schools and homes.
b) Evaluate the impact of HIV/AIDS on the Agricultural sector in you district.
c) ‘The Judiciary is independent Zambia’. Discuss.
d) Which opposition party is a big threat to the PF at present, is it the UPND or the MMD?
Justify your answer.
e) Defend the promotion of condom use in Secondary Schools in an essay of about three
f) Compare the Single Member Plurality System (SMPS) with the Single Member
Majoritarian System (SMMS). Which one of the two electoral systems would you
recommend for Zambia and why?

In addition, all debate motions are actually Evaluation Questions. For instance, let us look at the
following debate motions:

a) ‘ Every Child should be allowed to choose his or her own religion’

b) ‘Child defilers should be castrated’
c) ‘Capital Punishment should be abolished in Zambia’
d) ‘Foreign Aid is doing more harm than good in Zambia’
e) ‘The Republican Presidency in Zambia should rotate from one Province to the other
according to the alphabetical order’
f) ‘An MP who defects to another Party should be disqualified from contesting in the
subsequent by-election’.
g) ‘30% of the Parliamentary Seats in Zambia should be reserved for women in order to
promote balance in Political Power’.

All such debate motions require learners to evaluate or the issue at hand and draw up their own

 Procedural Questions
These are also known as routine questions or rhetoric questions. They are used by
teachers in the classroom to establish good rapport and to recapture the attention of
a) Are you ready?
b) Can you all see the map on the wall?
c) Have you found the page?
d) How are you today?
e) Can we start now?

 Prompting and Prompting Questions
These are known as support questions. They are used to support or expand the original
 Prompting Questions help to stimulate and guide the learner to the desired response. For
instance, in a Picture Study lesson, the teacher may use the following probing questions
(Garvey and Krug,1977):
Main Question: What is the height of the wall in this picture?
Answer: About 2 meters, madam.
Prompting Questions: Look at the woman standing near the wall, what is her
approximate height?
Answer: About 1.6 meters, madam
Prompting Question: Now, compare the height of that woman with the height
of the wall, what could be the height of that wall?
Answer: About six meters, madam

 Probing Questions are investigative questions. They dig deeper for information. The
purpose of probing is:
a) To motivate the learner and encourage him or her to clarify or expand the answer given.
b) To make the learner be precise and eliminate irrelevant or unnecessary material. Let us
look at following interview scenario as an example:


Main Question: What is your occupation?

Response: I am a farmer.

Probing Q: What crops do you grow?

Response: Maize and Cotton

Probing Q: Of the two crops, which crop do you grow on a large scale?

Response: Maize

Probing Q: Then, what type of a farmer are you?

Response: I am a commercial maize farmer.

A teacher should learn how to ask prompting and probing questions in the classroom. Probing is
also very important in Interviewing as demonstrated in the above example.

1.5.The Importance of Classifying and Sequencing Questions

A teacher should be able to classify and sequence his/her questions in the classroom and in a test
question paper.

 This will enable learners to progress from one level of thinking skill to a higher and
more challenging level. This also helps learners to acquire and practice various study
skills such as comprehension skills, application skills interpretation skills, extrapolation
skills, analysis skills, synthesis skills and evaluation skills.
 This will also enable the teacher to avoid the tendency of concentrating on asking
questions which test only type of thinking skill. For instance, it is common for teachers to
ask recall-type or knowledge questions only,
 There can be many ways of sequencing questions. The most common method is to
sequence questions according to Bloom’s taxonomy. For instance, when preparing a
Mock Examination paper, the teacher can start with knowledge questions, and then move
on to comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation questions.

1) Why is it important for teachers to learn how to classify Civic Education questions?
2) Briefly classify Civic Education questions according to Bloom’s Taxonomy and give two
examples of such questions at each level. Do not give examples already given in this


2.1. Introduction

Welcome to Unit Two of Module II. In this Unit, we shall explain the meaning of Classroom
Management. We shall also discuss the importance of Classroom Management and the various
Classroom Management responsibilities of a teacher of Civic Education. The Unit will also
examine different types of Classroom Management styles.

The Encarta Dictionary (2009) defines a manager as somebody who is responsible for directing
and controlling the work and staff of a business, or of a department within it.
It is, therefore, said that every teacher is a manager in the full sense of the word because he or
she is responsible for directing and controlling all activities in the classroom. A teacher whose
classroom is well organized, controlled and purposeful will have better results than a colleague
who neglects his or her management responsibilities. Since as a teacher you are the sole manager
of your classroom, it is important that you polish up your Classroom Management skills

2.2. Objectives

By the end of this Unit you should be to:

 Explain the meaning of Classroom Management

 Identify and outline the main Classroom Management tasks of a teacher of Civic
 Discuss the importance of Classroom Management
 State and evaluate different styles of Classroom Management
 Use different Classroom Management strategies to manage classroom activities.

2.3. The Meaning of Classroom Management

Classroom Management is also referred to as Classroom Control, Classroom Supervision or

Classroom Organization by some writers. According to Nacino-Brown et al, (1982), Classroom
Management is ‘the organization of certain non-academic tasks which are essential for effective
teaching’ and it consists of:

 Checking class attendance registers

 Keeping record of class progress mark sheets
 Controlling the conduct of students (discipline) and their activities
 Manipulation of instructional materials
 The improvement of classroom working conditions

 Elimination of any distractions which may arise in the classroom.

Muzumara,(2011) defines Classroom Management as the planning and organization of the

learning environment of a group of individuals within a classroom setting. Muzumara also
emphasizes that Classroom Management and instruction (teaching) are interwoven and they are
inseparable. Teaching and Classroom Management go hand in hand.

2.4. Classroom Management tasks of a teacher

According to Nacino-Brown, (1982), Farrant, (1980), and Muzumara, (2011), the Classroom
Management responsibilities of teacher may be summarized as follows:

 Planning
 Decision Making
 Organization
 Co-ordination
 Controlling
 Activation(giving guidance)
 Communication
 Behaviour Management(Discpline)
 Evaluation

We shall now discuss these management tasks under two sub-headings, namely, academic and
non-academic management tasks of a teacher.

2.4.1. Academic Management Responsibilities of a Teacher

The academic responsibilities of a teacher of Civic Education include the following (Farrant,

 Planning and Preparing lesson plans, schemes of work, lesson objectives, tests,
assignments and other academic programs and activities.
 Deciding and Selecting learning content. Not everything in the syllabus, the curriculum,
or textbooks can be covered by the class. It is the responsibility of every teacher to decide
on behalf of the class and select what learning content to cover from the syllabus, the
curriculum, or the learners’ textbooks. It is also the responsibility of every teacher to
decide and select on behalf of his or her class what topic and content is to be covered by
the learners each day, week, month or term.

 Organization and Selection of teaching aids and other teaching and learning resources. It
is another important responsibility of every teacher is to organize, select, prepare and
present to the class teaching and learning resources such as textbooks, maps, charts,
models, projectors and films.
 Instructing learners and Guiding and coordinating learning activities such as small-
group discussions, panel discussions, debates, dramatization, picture study, map study,
chart study and other classroom tasks.
 Managing Group and Individual activities. Learners spend their time in school working
as individuals or groups. Whether working in groups or as individual, the teacher has to
monitor and guide the learners. Sometimes the teacher has to delegate some his powers to
group leaders and secretaries.
 Controlling and guiding the behaviour (discipline) of learners in the classroom and
outside lesson time. This is both an academic and non-academic responsibility of every
teacher. We shall discuss this important Classroom Management responsibility in detail
in a separate unit in this Module.
 Communicating with learners. Teaching and learning cannot actually take place in the
classroom unless the teacher is able to effectively manage the flow of information during
question and answer, small group discussions, debates, chart study and other classroom
 Motivation of learners is another important academic task of a teacher as this a key to the
academic success of pupils (Muzumara, 2011:124). The teacher can use a number of
ways in order to motivate learns. For instance, by;
- Relating the material being learned to their own life experiences
- Demonstrating an active interest in the learner
- Showing interest in the activity and of the learner
- Using praise where it is worthy verbally or by other means
 Evaluation of the effectiveness of the teacher’s work and the learner’s progress. It is the
responsibility of every teacher to carry self-evaluation of the effectiveness of his or her
own work and the progress of the learners. Teachers usually evaluate the progress of the
learners giving and marking assignments, tests, classroom exercises and examinations.
Evaluation also requires the teacher to plan and organize resources such as examination
papers and to supervise (invigilation) various activities.

2.4.2. Non-academic Management Responsibilities of a Teacher

Nacino-Brown (1982) and Muzumara (2011) have identified the following as some of Non-
academic responsibilities of a teacher

 Checking class attendance registers is usually the responsibility of a class teacher.

However, it also important as a subject teacher to keep a form of attendance record for

their lessons as some learners have the tendency to cut classes and return to the hostels
or go elsewhere especially of after mid-morning break or after lunch break.
 Keeping record of class progress mark sheets is on another important management
responsibility of a teacher. It is important for teacher to keep an up-to-date record of
learners’ assignments and tests mark sheets. In case of a change of teachers in the course
of the academic year, this becomes an important part of a handover.
 Controlling and managing conduct of learners (discipline). As stated above, we shall
discuss this importance Classroom Management responsibility of a teacher in detail in a
separate unit in this Module.
 Management of teacher-pupil relations is also essential in order to promote a peaceful
and enjoyable learning environment within the school and in the classroom. A good
teacher is friendly, sympathetic and helpful. He or she does not abuse learners, but
protects them from all forms of child abuse. Such a teacher stands in the place of
parents at school. ‘In loco parentis’ is a Latin phrase meaning ‘in place of parents’. This
role is played by friendly, sympathetic and helpful teachers as children spend most of
their time in the school premises during a school term. A good teacher exercises authority
over learners not by relying on the use of force and threats, but by winning the respect of
learners (Farrant, 1980:210).
 Management of teacher-parent relations is another important responsibility of every
teacher. Every teacher has to manage his or her relations and communication with
parents, other teachers and school administration as well as with all other stake-holders
interested in the education of the learners.
 Taking care of instructional materials such as textbooks, bulletin boards (notice boards),
chalk boards and furniture in the classroom.
 Improvement and Regulation of classroom working conditions such as classroom
cleanliness, tidiness and room repairs to ensure that the learning environment is neat and
conducive. It is the responsibility of the teacher to prepare cleaning rota and report
necessary classroom repair to authorities.
 Delegation of duties. Like any other manager, the teacher may delegate some of his or
her responsibilities to other people. For instance, teachers usually delegate some of their
management responsibilities to prefects or class monitors. A class monitor can be asked
to assist the teacher to collect and return written assignments and supervise classroom
cleaning activities, although it is usually better for the teacher to do that work personally.

2.5. Styles of classroom management

Classroom Management, like all other management activities, takes place within a particular
physical and social environment. Therefore, it is not possible to recommend any management
style that can be acceptable or successful in all classroom situations. The teacher’s management
style is usually determined by various factors such as the following:

 The teacher’s personal attributes and experience.
 The level of the class being taught at that particular time. E.g. is it a Grade 8 or Grade 12
 The subject, lesson topic and topic content being taught
 The past experience and abilities of the class being taught, is it a ‘lively,’ ‘intelligent’
‘docile’ or ‘naughty’ class?
 The particular time of the day or week
 Physical and social environment in the classroom and the school. it raining, hot or
cold? Is furniture and teaching resources enough for all learners in the class?
 The management style of the teacher who was in the class in the previous lesson.

As a teacher you should be flexible and adapt your management style according to prevailing
circumstances. The following are some of the classroom management styles often used by

2.5.1. Democratic Management Style

The main characteristic of this Classroom Management Style is participation of learners in

decision making, organization and implementation of classroom activities and in determining
classroom policies. Democratic Classroom Managers involve learners in decision making and
encourage them to participate in most of the classroom activities. Such teachers are usually
friendly, helpful, tolerant and open-minded. Some of the advantages of this management style
are outlined below:

 Learners are able to participate freely in a variety of classroom activities without fear of
any harsh reprimands or other negative consequences for making any mistakes.
 Teacher provides sympathetic guidance to learners and this creates a relaxed classroom
atmosphere. This in turn encourages critical thinking and creativity among the learners.
 Learners are usually involved in learner-centred classroom activities without competing
with each other.
 Since this Classroom management style encourages learner-participation in classroom
activities, it promotes exchange of ideas and learners acquire the ability to express and
defend their own opinions freely
 As learners discuss and exchange views in the classroom, they learn from each other and
acquire problem-solving skills.
 Learners also develop tolerance of divergent views. Therefore, this management style is
encouraged, especially in Civic Education lessons, because it promotes democratic

2.5.2. Autocratic Management Style

Autocratic classroom managers usually use teacher-centred teaching methods and impose
everything on learners from above. The teacher is at the centre of all activities in the classroom
and he or she is literally ‘the commander-in-chief’ in the classroom. The main characteristics
usually associated with this Classroom management style are as follows:

 One way communication

 Teacher imposes everything on the learners from above without any allowance for
discussion or learner participation.
 Rigid discipline and harsh disciplinary sanctions.
 Teacher is very reserved and unfriendly to learners. He or she dislikes questions and
inquiries from learners.

This Classroom Management style has the following disadvantages:

 Lack of learner-participation in decision making and classroom activities.

 It encourages learners to depend on the teacher to make decisions for them as they fear to
make mistakes.
 Learners do not acquire creative thinking skills.
 Learners are uncertain of what is expected of them.
 Learners may dislike the teacher’s rigid discipline and lose interest in the subject.
 Learners are repressed and become passive because they are not permitted to express
their views freely.

Therefore, this management style does not bring desired ‘good order’, but it prevents learner-
participation and creates an atmosphere of tension, fear and suspense in the classroom

2.5.3. Laissez-faire Management Style

Laissez-faire is a French word meaning ‘allow to do’ or ‘let things be as they wish to be’. Some
people call this’ the ‘I don’t care attitude.’
Teachers who use laissez-faire management style allow learners to do whatever they wish with
little or no control. This Classroom Management style is in many ways a direct opposite of the
autocratic management style.

In laissez-faire classroom management style:

 The main concern of the teacher is to win popularity from learners

 The teacher allows learners too much freedom
 The teacher has little or no ambition for promotion. (Such teachers are usually frustrated
and lack personal vision and discipline. They justify their weaknesses by saying: ‘all is
fine as long as I get my monthly salary’).
 Teacher has little or no real interest in the progress and success of the learners.
 This management style creates anarchy and the class experiences serious disciplinary
problems and hence the learners’ academic performance usually suffers.

2.5.4. Chameleon Management Style

Chameleon Management Style is characterized by fluctuations and changes in the behaviour of

the teacher. Such teachers usually change their Classroom Management style almost every day as
a chameleon changes its colour all the time.

This Classroom Management style is usually applied by beginner teachers as a result of their
lack of experience, absence of well established classroom routine, and other external factors. The
teacher feels uncertain and undecided on how to manage the class without abusing his or her
newly acquired authority. This management style confuses the learners because the teacher is
inconsistent and unpredictable and they do not know what the teacher’s expectations or reaction
would be in class.

2.5.4. Crisis Management Style

Crisis Management Style is characterized by running late and failure to complete tasks on time.
Such teachers are usually forgetful or wait until the eleventh hour before taking action to
complete tasks or rectify a problem. Some people refer to this as ‘Fire Fighting Management
Style’ because the teacher has usually to work under great panic and pressure at the last minute.
For instance, they usually have to rush at the last hour to complete tasks such as setting or
marking tests and preparation of school reports, schemes and records of work. This management
style creates inefficiency and leads to conflicts with school authorities. Most of such teachers can
be good subject teachers, but they are not good administrators.


1) ‘Every teacher is a manager in the true sense of the word’. Briefly discuss the
management responsibilities of a teacher of Civic Education.
2) Think about your previous School Teaching Practice. Which one of the Classroom
Management styles discussed in this Unit do you think you were applying? Give reasons
for your answer.
3) Do you think that there are other management styles which have not been captured in the
classification used in this Unit? If so, mention them and state their advantages and



3.1. Introduction

In Unit Two, we looked at the Classroom Management responsibilities of a teacher. We also

looked at different styles of Classroom Management. In this Unit, we shall discuss one of the
most important management responsibilities of a teacher- discipline (behaviour management).

We shall explain the meaning of discipline and outline the causes and forms of indiscipline in
secondary schools. We shall also discuss various disciplinary sanctions usually applied by
teachers. In the last part of this Unit, we shall discuss the ‘corporal punishment debate.’ We
shall finally examine the value of Positive Discipline as an alternatives disciplinary measure.

3.2. Objectives

By the end of this Unit you should be able to:

 Define the concept ‘discipline’.

 Identify common causes and forms of indiscipline in Zambian Secondary Schools
 Explain the concepts Corporal Punishment, Physical Punishment and Humiliating
 Discuss the importance of discipline in schools and the community.
 Evaluate Corporal Punishment and other disciplinary sanctions usually applied in
 Apply appropriate disciplinary measures to manage learner behaviour in the classroom
and the school.

3.3. Meaning of discipline

Discipline is not an easy term to define. The concept is highly subjective and it has many shades
of meaning. What is considered and accepted as ‘discipline’ or ‘good conduct’ by one institution
or community may be regarded as indiscipline in another. For instance, dressing fashions
acceptable in Western Europe are condemned as indiscipline in most Islamic countries (are you
aware, for instance, that women are forbidden to drive a vehicle in Saud Arabia? Therefore, any
woman driving a car in Saud Arabia lacks disciplined). Similarly, dressing and hair styles
acceptable in a private school may be rejected in a nearby mission school. The meaning of
discipline also changes with historical time. Behavior which was condemned as indiscipline in
the past may be acceptable today. Can you give examples?

The Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines discipline as:

 A way of training someone so that they learn to control their behavior and obey rules.

 The ability to control your own behavior, so that you do what you are expected to do.
 To punish someone in order to keep order and control.

The Encarta Dictionary gives the following definitions of discipline:

 A controlled orderly state, especially in a class of school

 The ability to behave in a controlled and calm way even in a
difficult or stressful situation.
 Punishment designed to teach somebody obedience.

Critically, examine the above dictionary definitions and identify their

inadequacies. Draft your own definition of discipline and discuss it with
a friend.

3.4. Importance of Discipline in Schools

It is generally recognized that discipline is one of the most important characteristics of an

effective school. According to Nacino-Brown et al, (1982:155-156) discipline is
necessary in schools:
o To Create Peace and Order

Discipline creates a peaceful and orderly learning environment in a school. Disruptive, anti-
social behavior is unacceptable in any community. Without discipline, there would be chaos,
confusion and anarchy in the school and in the classrooms.

o For Good Time Management

Discipline saves time. It ensures that teachers and learners observe school timetable and other
school routine. Without discipline, time would be wasted by absenteeism, late coming, late
reporting, arguments, riots, punishments and pre-mature closures of a school.

o To Ensure Fairness

Discipline ensures fair and impartial treatment of all learners in the school regardless of one’s
physical, social or political strength or weakness. This promotes justice for all.

o To Protect the Child

Discipline protects the child from the unruly behavior of his or her peers. For instance, discipline
protects the child from violence, mockery and abusive language. Discipline also protects the
child from accidents, injuries and other dangers which may result from the child’s own
misconduct. Discipline creates a safe and orderly environment for the child.

o To ensure Respect for Authority

Children must learn to obey and respect rules and people in authority such as monitors, prefects,
teachers and school managers. Discipline teaches children to follow rules and instructions and to
know that every society has laws and people in authority should be obeyed.

o For Doing Even the Undesirable Work

Discipline ensures that learners will do even the unpleasant, but essential work in school and
society. For instance, cleaning toilets or the piggery, weekend manual work, or writing a test at
awkward time such as lunch time or weekend. Without discipline learners would resist doing
such type of unpleasant work.

o For Doing Cooperative Work

Team work and close cooperation among people in the school or any other community cannot be
obtained without discipline. For instance, without discipline learners cannot cooperate effectively
in classroom group work activities, sports, clubs or doing work in the Production Unit Garden
and the cleaning of Hostels and classrooms.

o To Respect Human Rights of Other People

Discipline trains the child to respect the human rights of other people. For instance, children
learn to respect the privacy and property of other people.

o For Future Adult Roles

Disciplinary sanctions are aimed at preparing the child for adult life and responsibility in society.
As future community and national leaders, children need to be brought up as disciplined and
responsible citizens.

o For Correcting and Educating the Child

Disciplinary action is aimed at correcting the child, and it is not a form of a revenge for the
offence committed by the child. Discipline is educative and it trains the child for his or her own
spiritual and social development.

3.5. Causes of Indiscipline in Schools

Indiscipline or any form of misconduct has a reason behind it. Below are some of the common
causes of indiscipline in schools (Nacino-Brown et al (1982:157-160) and Save the Children
Sweden (2008:32-37):

 Teacher-Caused

Teachers can cause indiscipline in the classroom or in the school. For instance, teachers who
misconduct themselves in the following ways can cause learners to misbehave;

- Using of boring, uninteresting teaching methodologies.

- Slowness in covering the syllabus.
- Failing to prepare lessons effectively.
- Failing to mark tests on time hence making learners lose patience.
- Cruel, unsympathetic teachers who often use abusive language and harsh, unfair
punishments can cause learners to demonstrate or riot.
- Lazy teachers who often abscond from lessons.
- Undisciplined teachers who drink and smoke with pupils, sexually abuse school girls
or fraudulently obtain money from learners
- Favoritism by some teachers

 School Caused

Indiscipline can also be caused by the school management. For instance:

- Poor diet in boarding school may cause demonstrations, food boycotts and food
- Embezzlement (plunder) of public funds and other forms of abuse of office by the
school management may cause riots and demonstrations
- Unfair school rules and harsh punishment may also cause resistance from the
- Denying learners access to some facilities which they rightfully deserve to enjoy .
- School Management refusing to take the views of the pupils into consderation
 Curriculum Caused
Unpopular school curriculum may also cause resistance and indiscipline among learners.
Making some subjects like metalwork and woodwork compulsory for all sexes or forcing
all pupils to attend extracurricular activities like sports and weekend entertainment may
cause disobedience among learners.
 Student Caused

Indiscipline can also be blamed on the behavior of the individual pupils. For instance:

- Need to break boredom and burn up some energy. Adolescents find sitting in a
classroom for long hours every day boring and difficult since they are naturally
energetic and playful. They usually run anywhere and everywhere once they find
an opportunity to do so (Nacino-Brown et al, 1982:159).
- Peer pressure may cause children to engage in drug abuse and sexual immorality.

- Mental immaturity, emotional upsets, and other psychological pressures may
cause a child to misbehave in class.
- Violent family background. Children learn by observing. Those brought up in
homes where family members often use insults, abusive language will usually
resort to violence and insults to resolve conflicts.
 Parent Caused

Indiscipline of certain children can also be blamed on their parents. For instance:

Family background and upbringing of the child. E.g. some children do not clean
toilets or rooms because that is done by house maids at home. At school, such
children may disobey or resist instructions to clean their rooms or toilets.
- Parents failing to buy school uniform and books. This may cause the child to
dress improperly and fail to write class exercises.
- Parents sending children to sell at the market, look after cattle, go fishing, collect
caterpillars or work on the farm during lesson time may lead to child truancy or
absenteeism from school.
- Parents defending and justifying the indiscipline of their child. This encourages
the child to disobey school authorities.
- Parents buying for their children cigarettes, beer, clothes and other items which
are disallowed in school.
- Violent family background. Children learn by observing. Those brought up in
homes where parents and other family members often use violence insults, and
abusive language will usually resort to violence and insults to resolve conflicts.
 Community Caused

The community can also cause indiscipline in a school. For instance:-

- Community members trespassing into school premises to attend school functions

like weekend entertainment may quarrel and fight with learners.
- Community taking school-going children into circumcision camps and other
traditional initiation ceremonies during the school term.
- Community encouraging dressing and hair fashions condemned by the school.
- Members of the community having sexual relations or drinking with learners.
 Religion Caused
Religion can also cause ‘disobedience’ of the school regulations. For instance:
- Jehovah’s Witness children may refuse to sing the National Anthem at school
assembly. The school may regard this as indiscipline, but such children believe it
is a violation of their religious faith.
- Similarly, Seventh Day Adventists may refuse to clean hostels on Saturday.
- Moslems may also refuse to cut beards and remove their head-dress in class.
- Rastafarians may refuse to cut their dreadlocks at school.

 Government Caused
Sometimes, indiscipline in schools can be blamed on the policies of the government. For
- Withdrawal of, or failure to pay allowances to College and University students
may cause demonstrations and riots.
- Poor working conditions for teachers may lead to prolonged teacher-strikes and
this may in turn precipitate learner demonstrations and riots.
- The school re-entry policy (right of pregnant girls to re-enter school after
delivery) may encourage sexual immorality in schools.
- Increasing school fees may also lead to opposition and resistance from pupils and
- Failure of the government to provide enough furniture and learning materials may
also cause indiscipline in the classroom. Explain how this may come about.

3.6. Common Forms of Misconduct

What are the common forms of misconduct found in Zambian schools? Here are a few

 Violence
 Insolence (rudeness)
 Insubordination to monitors and prefects
 Vandalism
 Improper dressing
 Sexual offences
 Late coming
 Noise making
 Theft
 Mockery
 Use of abusive language
 Drug abuse
 Drunkenness
 Absenteeism
 Leaving school premises without permission
 Examination malpractices

Can you extend the list?

3.7. Classroom Control and Disciplinary Sanctions

What can a teacher do to control indiscipline in the classroom and in the school premises? Here
are some of the disciplinary actions often used by teachers in schools:

3.7.1. Verbal Sanctions for Handling Minor Cases

 Changing Voice tone: Using a changing tone of voice or tempo of speech. For instance,
lowering your voice suddenly may draw the attention of noise makers and they may
realize that you are not pleased with their conduct. Raising the voice may also help to
correct a case of misconduct in a similar manner.
 Short Interjections: Using short interjections like keep quite! Attention please! Noise
out! However, if such interjections are over-used learners may take this as a sign of
weakness on the part of the teacher.
 Reporting to other authorities: Reporting the offender to the Head teacher, parent, or
someone who has authority over the child.
 Verbal Warnings and Counseling: Verbal warning and counseling of the child in the
presence of the Head teacher, the class teacher, the parent or guardian.
 Call Parents: Sending the child home to call parents or guardian to discuss his or her
behaviour and counsel the child together. However, the teacher should ensure that the
learner calls genuine parent whose name appears in the school registration records as
some cunning learners may arrange with anyone from the community to impersonate the
parent or guardian.

3.7.3. Non-verbal Disciplinary Sanctions for Handling Minor Cases

A teacher may also employ the following non-verbal actions in the classroom situation to
correct misconduct:

 Eye-contact. Making a quick, but brief eye-contact with the offender without
interrupting your teaching activity. Once the offender takes note that you have seen him
or her that may cause them to stop the mischief.
 Closing-in, that is, moving closer and closer to the offender without talking to him or
her or interrupting your teaching. Your close presence may compel the offender to stop
 Pausing briefly in the midst of a sentence while teaching may also recapture the
attention of the learners and correct misconduct.
 Isolating the offender from his or her playmates. For instance, shift the noise maker to a
front seat or any other seat far from his or her playmate.
 Send out the offender briefly and explain to him or her privately what is wrong with his
or her conduct.
 Written apology. Ask the offender to write an apology for his or her misconduct.
 Written warning to the offender and send copy to parents and school management,
especially if the misconduct is getting out of hand.

3.7.4. Non-verbal Disciplinary Sanctions for Handling Serious Cases

The teacher may take some of the following disciplinary actions to deal with serious cases of
misconduct in the school (Nacino-Brown et al, 1982):

 Restraining: restraining a child from committing an offence. If learners fight in the class,
the teacher may have to physically intervene, with assistance from other learners, and
restrain one pupil from hitting or stabbing another pupil. Give examples of other
situations where the teacher may have to physically intervene to keep discipline by
restraining a learner from committing an offence.
 Blacklisting: some schools have a blacklist book. The child’s name, date and offence are
recorded in the book and the child has to sign in the book to admit the offence. If the
name appears three times in the book, then the child may face serious consequences. E.g.
the child may be sent home to call parents, or be suspended from boarding or school.
Most children improve on their behavior once their names are recorded in the book.
 Forfeiture of Privileges: teachers may withdraw privileges from offenders. For instance,
a child may not be allowed to accompany the school team on a trip to another school or to
go out of school bounds on the weekend.
 Confiscation of Abused Property: the teacher may confiscate a weapon, a musical
instrument, a phone, a cap, a coat or a bicycle from the offender. However, such property
should be well documented, kept safely and returned to the lawful owners at the end of
the term.
 Replacement of Property and Payment of a Fine: the offender may be fined or asked to
replace lost or damaged property such as furniture, window panes, school books and
other equipment.
 Demotion: the offender may be demoted. For instance, a monitor, prefect, club
chairperson, sports captain and other holders of positions of responsibility in the school.
A pupil who missed lessons for the whole term may also be demoted, for instance, from
grade 9 to grade 8 after consulting parent or guardian.
 Forced transfer: forced transfer of a problematic child from one class to another class,
from one hostel to another hostel, from one club to another club, or from one school to
another school may compel the offender to re-examine themselves and change for the
better. What are the demerits of this disciplinary sanction?
 Public Apology: some schools may force an offender to apologize verbally or in writing
to the offended teacher, pupil, and visitor or to the school management. Sometimes, the
offender may have to apologize to the whole school at the school assembly. Would you
support a suggestion that a boy or girl who insulted a teacher should apologize to that
teacher in the presence of the head teacher? What other alternative measures would you
take in such a case? Explain your answers.
 Manual work: most schools resort to forced manual work as a form of punishment to
correct indiscipline. This may take the form of slashing grass, digging a rubbish pit,
working in the Production Unit Garden, Poultry or Piggery and cleaning the ablution

blocks. However, manual work should be used with a lot of care. If not properly used,
pupils may develop a negative work culture by associating all types of work with
punishment. It should also not be too heavy for the child; otherwise it will become a form
of child labour which is a violation of Human Rights. The work should also be
productive and contribute to the welfare of the school. Forcing a child to dig a pit and
then bury it is senseless and unproductive; whereas slashing grass around the classroom
is productive.
 Suspension: the offender may be suspended from a club, school team, or boarding
depending on the case. After sometime, the child should be re-instated.
 Suspension Pending Exclusion: pupils who commit criminal offences such as rape, child
defilement, drug abuse, armed robbery, arson (deliberately burning property or person
with fire), assault and rioting may have to be suspended from school immediately
pending exclusion. In addition, the school may have to report such criminal offences to
the Police or the Drug Enforcement Commission.

3.8. Corporal Punishment (CP)

3.9. Definition of Corporal Punishment

 The Encarta Dictionary (2009) defines Corporal Punishment as ‘striking a somebody’s

body as punishment’.
 The Longman Dictionary of contemporary English defines Corporal Punishment as
punishment that involves hitting someone, especially in schools and prisons
 The Advance Learner’s Oxford Dictionary defines Corporal Punishment as, ‘Physical
punishment of people, especially by hitting or beating them.
 Save the Children Sweden (2005 and 2008) differentiates between Corporal Punishment,
Physical Punishment and Humiliating Punishment and provides the following

Corporal Punishment (CP) is defined as: Corporal Punishment comes from two Latin words

Any deliberate act against a child that inflicts pain or physical discomfort in order to punish or
contain him or her. This includes, but is not limited to, spanking, slapping, pinching or hitting a
child with a hand or with an object; denying or restricting a child’s use of the toilets, denying
meals, drinking, heat and shelter; pushing or pulling a child with force; forcing a child to do an

“Corpus” which means body and ‘punier’ which means pain. Therefore, CP includes any form
of punishment that inflicts physical pain on the body of the offender by using various means
such hitting, slapping, pinching, kicking, pulling body parts of the offender. (Save the Child
Sweden, 2008).

 Physical Punishment (PP) is defined as:
Subjecting someone to excessive physical work or exercise as a way of correcting
misconduct. For instance, making a person to level a big ant-hill, squat, sit or stand in an
uncomfortable manner, dig a deep pit and then bury it, chop logs, uproot a tree or stand
on one leg, lift hands or an object such as a chair for a long time.

 Humiliating Punishment (HP) is defined as:

Any deliberate act that harms a child’s dignity and self respect and makes him or her feel
stupid, small or worthless. This includes, but is not limited to, verbal abuse, name-calling,
ridicule, isolation or simply ignoring and sidelining him or her (Save the Child Sweden, 2005)

3.9. The corporal Punishment Debate

There is an international debate on the abolition of Corporal Punishment in homes, schools,

prisons, orphanages and other institutions. Some countries have abolished Corporal Punishment,
but other countries are still debating the issue. Corporal Punishment was abolished in Britain in
1986. In Zambia, Corporal Punishment and Humiliating Punishment has been prohibited since
2003 when relevant sections in the Education Act which had permitted CP were repealed.

However, although CP has been prohibited in schools, the Education Act does not include an
explicit provision stating that CP in schools is prohibited. The government has not taken
measures to ensure that the law is implemented, and that the behaviour of adults is changed. For
this reason, CP, HP and PP are still widely practiced by different groups in society such as
parents, teachers and law enforcement officials (Police and Prisons Officers). The following are
some of the arguments commonly used by people in favour of, or against CP (Save the Children
Sweden, 2005 and 2008).

3.9.1. Argument in favour of Corporal Punishment

a) It saves time
Corporal Punishment is the quickest way of correcting a misbehaving child. It saves time
for the teacher and the child, unlike other types of punishment, such as manual work,
which may consume the child’s essential learning time.

b) It is a necessary part of child upbringing

Corporal Punishment is a necessary part of child upbringing and education; without
Corporal Punishment, children shall not respect their parents and teachers. Children learn
from a smacking or a beating to distinguish right from wrong, to obey rules and work
hard. Children shall be spoiled, unless they are beaten when they misbehave.

c) It strengthens the teacher’s authority
Abolishing Corporal Punishment shall undermine and weaken the authority teachers have
over the children in schools. Children shall despise and disobey their teachers, and this
shall lead to widespread indiscipline in schools.
d) It is harmless if done in a controlled way
There is a big difference between vicious beating and Corporal Punishment administered
by parents and teachers. Teachers and parents do not beat children out of cruelty or
hatred. On the contrary, parents and teachers beat children because they love them and
they do not want the children to get spoiled. Parents and teachers administer Corporal
Punishment in a controlled way and it causes little pain. This cannot be called child
e) It is part of African Culture
Corporal Punishment is part of our African culture and traditions, and attempts to abolish
it are as a result of European attempts to impose the Whiteman’s culture on Africans.
Prohibition of Corporal Punishment shall undermine our African culture and way of life.
f) I was hit as a child, why shouldn’t I beat my own children?
Some adults say they hit children because they were also hit as children. They argue that
beating did not cause any harm to them, on the contrary, they owe their success in life to
their parents and teachers’ beatings.
g) My religion requires Corporal Punishment
Corporal Punishment is supported by most of the religions such as Islam (in the Sharia
Law) and Christianity (in the Holy Bible scriptures like proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14;
29:15). Prohibition of Corporal Punishment is a violation of our Freedom of Worship.
would rather obey God, than man’s laws.
h) It is a deterrent against bad behaviour
Corporal Punishment acts as a deterrent to discourage bad behaviour and encourage good
work. Its mere existence in schools promotes good conduct and hard work. It should be
retained in schools as a last resort.
i) Parents’ right to bring up children as they see fit should be respected
Parents have the right to bring up children as they see fit. The government and Civil
Society should not interfere in family affairs, except in extreme cases. Prohibition of
Corporal Punishment in homes shall lead to unnecessary interference in family affairs by
the government and civil society organizations.
j) Prohibiting Corporal Punishment at home would encourage children to report parents
to police and breakup families
If Corporal Punishment is declared unlawful or criminalized, it will result in outrageous
judicial interventions. Children will be encouraged to report their parents and guardians
to the police. This will encourage children to misbehave and, on the other hand, parents
may not be prepared to continue taking care of the children who had made them serve a
prison sentence. This may lead to more street children.

k) Poverty and harsh social conditions make Corporal Punishment still necessary
especially in Africa
Many parents in Africa and other developing countries are raising their children in
desperate conditions. Teachers and parents are under stress from overcrowding and lack
of resources. Corporal Punishment is still necessary until these conditions improve. In
rural areas, under staffing and over enrollment in schools makes it impossible to maintain
discipline without resorting to Corporal Punishment.
l) Banning Corporal Punishment shall just lead to more abuse of children
What will replace Corporal Punishment if you prohibit it? Banning Corporal Punishment
will encourage teachers to resort to more horrible ways of punishing children-heavy
manual work, locking them up, excessive physical exercises and emotional abuse.
m) We smack children for their own safety
Smacking children protects them from danger; it is done for their safety. If my child is
playing with fire or running into a dangerous road, or comes home late, I smack him for
his or her own safety.
n) There is no democratic support for ending Corporal Punishment
This country is a democracy and there is no democratic support for ending Corporal
Punishment. If there was a poll on this issue, a huge majority would vote for retaining
Corporal Punishment.

3.9.2 .Arguments Against Corporal Punishment

a) It is a violation of Human Rights

Human Rights are inherent and universal. This means that every human being is born with them
and they apply to all people everywhere in the world, including children. Corporal Punishment is
a violation of children’s Human Rights and Constitutional Rights. Part III, article 15 of the
Constitution of Zambia says “No person shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or
degrading treatment or other like treatment.” In 1999, the High Court of Zambia ruled that
Corporal Punishment was in direct conflict with Article 15 of the Zambian Constitution. All
forms of corporal and humiliating punishment are therefore a violation of Human Rights and the
Constitution of Zambia.

b) It is a violation of International Law

Zambia is a signatory to several International Human Rights Conventions and
Instruments which promote and protect the rights of all human beings, including children.
These include:-
 The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) of 1948.
 The convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading
Treatment or Punishment (CAT) of 1987.
 The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) of 1989.

These international agreements prohibit the use of Corporal Punishment and other forms
of inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Corporal Punishment is a violation of
International Law.

c) It is a form of child abuse

Corporal Punishment is child abuse and often becomes child battering as it is usually
done by people who have lost their temper.
d) It can cause serious injury
Children are small and fragile. Quite often, so-called “minor smacks” cause unexpected
injury and may leave the victim permanently disabled.
e) It can cause death
Corporal Punishment may even lead to the death of the child. This may lead to more
problems like the imprisonment of a parent or teacher. Is it really worth taking such a
f) It can cause trauma and truancy
Corporal Punishment is a form of physical and psychological torture for the child. It
causes humiliation, trauma (great fear and shock) and truancy. Children may hate the
teacher or parent who often resorts to violence to solve misunderstandings. This destroys
teacher-pupil and parent-child relations. Which is better, to be feared or to be loved and
respected by your children? Teachers and parents should create a loving and friendly
environment for children. Violence terrorizes children and they may run away from
home or school to look for safety elsewhere. It may even push rebellious and difficult
children into a downward spiral of truancy, violence and gangsterism.
g) It promotes violence in society
Hitting can teach children that it is okay to use violence and anger to get what you want.
Children learn what they live. If a child lives with hostility he/she learns to fight. If a
child lives with fairness, he/she learns justice. Corporal Punishment teaches children to
use violence to get what they want in society when they grow up into adults. Corporal
Punishment promotes a cycle of violence in society.
h) It is ineffective
Corporal Punishment is often ineffective and it does not stop children behaving badly.
Many children have been beaten at home and throughout their primary and secondary
school life. If hitting works, why do we have to keep on doing it, usually on the same
i) It undermines the child’s self confidence
There is a Bemba proverb saying “imbwa yamukali taicenjela” literally meaning harshness
makes a dog stupid. Corporal Punishment undermines the child’s self-esteem and
confidence. Many children are so scared of doing something wrong or making a mistake that
they give up trying and never learn ‘to get it right’.

j) It destroys love and trust
Parents and teachers’ duty is to love and care for the children, not to inflict pain and
suffering on the children. Corporal Punishment destroys love and trust. Hitting a child
inflicts pain and a child cannot trust the adults to take care of him, and as a result the
child will also not learn to take care of others.
k) It teaches children injustice
Corporal Punishment teaches children injustice. It teaches children that it is okay for
adults to beat a child, but it is not okay for a child to beat an adult, or for an adult to beat
another adult. Surely, is this injustice?
l) It focuses on the punishment not the wrongdoing
Corporal Punishment focuses on the punishment, not the wrongdoing or the mistake by
the child. This means children only worry about being caught, rather than understanding
why and what they did wrong and how to do it better next time.
m) Children are not parents’ property
Parents have the right to bring up children as they see fit, but children are not parents’
possessions which they can handle in any way they want to. Children are human beings
and their human rights must be recognized, respected and protected by everyone.
Parents, teachers and other child care-givers have the responsibility to protect the human
rights of children as enshrined in the Constitution of Zambia and International
Conventions like the CRC and the CAT.
n) No culture can claim to ‘own’ violence
No culture can claim to ‘own’ Corporal Punishment and other forms of violence. All
societies have used Corporal Punishment in the past, and all societies have the
responsibility to condemn and disown it, just as they have disowned other violations of
human rights that were part of their traditions. Culture is dynamic and we cannot retain
retrogressive practices on the grounds that it is part of our culture as Africans.
o) The message of the gospel is love not violence
It is unfair to use the Bible to justify violence against children or any other person. The
scriptures in proverbs which are often cited to justify violence against children were
written under the Dispensation of the law. Under the Law, caning and stoning of both
children and adults were permitted. For instance, Deut 21:18- 21; Deut 22:22- 25 and
Deut 25:1 – 3. Today, we are under the Grace Dispensation and the key message of the
gospel of Christ is Love, Mercy and Forgiveness: Do unto others as you would like them
to do unto you (Matt 7:12); love thy neighbour as thyself (MK 12:31) and forgive
whosoever offends you seventy times seven. (Matt18:21-22; Lk 6:27- 37).
If we use the Old Testament scriptures like Proverbs 23:13-14 to justify caning of
children, then we should also use Old Testament scriptures like Deut.25:1-3 and cane
adults as well.

p) Most children dislike Corporal Punishment and humiliating punishment
The assertion that most people are in support of Corporal Punishment and Humiliating
Punishment is based on adult perception of the issue. If children are allowed to vote on
the issue, there would be a strong support for the Prohibition of Corporal Punishment
and all forms of Humiliating Punishment.

3.10. Positive Discipline

“Discipline” comes from the Latin word disciplinare which means “to teach.”

Positive discipline is an ongoing educative and corrective process that encourages children to
develop self-control and respect for others. Positive discipline requires school managers and
teachers to use a number of child-friendly measures as alternatives to Corporal Punishment,
Physical Punishment and Humiliating Punishment. Positive Discipline is aimed at achieving the

 To build a culture of respect, not fear.

 To enhance cooperation, rather than authority.
 To separate the child (the child is good) from behaviour (focus on correcting bad
 To encourage adults to listen and understand why children do what they do (listen to the
child and understand him or her).
 To promote Human Rights and respect for the child’s dignity and tolerance of child’s
behaviour. Advocates of Positive Discipline recognize the fact that children are more
fragile and less experienced than adults. Therefore, children are likely to make more
mistakes than adults and they require more guidance, protection and care than adults, not

3.10.1. Positive Discipline Techniques

Below are some general techniques which can be used as alternatives to Corporal and
Humiliating Punishment (Muzumara, 2011 and Save the Children Sweden, 2008):

 Praise
Give praise when the child obeys or does things well. This encourages the child to model
his/her behaviour on positive reinforcement and to learn self discipline.
 Merit Awards
Handout specially designed Merit Cards that congratulate children for academic, sport or
social achievement.
 Pass on the Good Behaviour News

Let teachers make a positive comment on the child’s good behaviour and achievement “Mary, I
hear that you did well in your English test.” “Peter, I hear you played very well in the soccer
march against St. Marks Team,” “Makani, I hear you came early for school today, keep it up.

 Comments in books

Write positive comments when marking learners’ books. “You made fewer mistakes than
yesterday.” “Good work.” “I really appreciated the way you helped Martha with her mathematics
today.” Never write negative and humiliating comments in children’s books e.g. “Hopeless,”
“You are too playful, you will fail.”

 Report good news to parents

Phone or write to tell the parents what their child has done right, instead of only what the
child has done wrong.
 Suggestion Box
Let learners have a say and pass comments on matters affecting them. You may ask them
weekly questions and place answers in a suggestion box. For instance:
 Which lesson did you enjoy this week? Why?
 Which lesson did you not enjoy? Why?
 Sympathy Cards
Show the child you care by sending messages of “quick recoveries,” condolences in time
of problems like sickness and death in the child’s family.
 Speaking Out Forums

Create a forum for learners to talk about their interests and express their views openly.
Issues could be:-

 What can we do to improve diet in the boarding?

 How should prefects be chosen?
 What would you change at school?
 Special treat
Children who do something right may be given special rewards like:-
 Pens and pencils
 Going home 30 minutes earlier
 Announcing their names and invite them to receive congratulations cards from the
school manager at the school assembly.
 End of term gift giving and parties
 Learner Centred Teaching
Use an active learning approach with activities like group work, debates, role-play and
demonstrations to keep children busy and involved. They say “an idle mind is the devils’
workshop.” Busy children rarely misbehave in class.

 Be a Role Model and lead by Example
Practice what you preach. If children are not allowed to; come late, use dirty language or
violence, neither should you.
 Be realistic
Be realistic and understand the child’s problems. There is no point in punishing a child
for improper dressing if the parent has failed to buy him school uniform. Rather, talk to
the parent and find out how the problem can be solved.
 Involve the child in solving their problem
Encouraging children to solve their own problems and get suggestions from the child on
how his problem could be solved. For instance, late coming child: the problem could be
caused by morning chores assigned to the child by a parent.
 Use Positive Instructions, not Negatives
Avoid using negative instructions such as: do not come late next time, do not mess up the
floor, do not make noise, never do that again. Train yourself to use positive statements
like please, come on time next time, keep the floor clean, we need silence to do this
exercise, do it correctly next time.
 Do not use Threats or Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Do not use threats or shout at children. Do you like your seniors to threaten or shout at
you when you make a mistake? Then why do that to children? Shouting name-calling and
other forms of verbal abuse lead to loss of self confidence and self fulfilling prophecies.
E.g. you are just a lazy/stupid/bad/failure.
 Let the child learn by practicing
Children learn by doing, therefore, ask the child to do the task again if he has not done it
well at first attempt. A child who has to fix or tidy what she has broken or messed up will
be less likely to repeat the behaviour in future.

3.10.2. Benefits of Positive Discipline

Positive discipline has many benefits:-

 It encourages child participation in all matters that affect them.

 It develops the child’s self-esteem and confidence.
 It builds a relationship of care and respect between the adult (teacher) and the child.
 It contributes to love for learning at school as the child enjoys every minute of his/her
stay at school.
 It strengthens the teaching and learning bond between the teacher and the child.
 It builds sensitivity and compassion for other.
 It teaches children that violence is wrong and it is not a way to solve differences.
 It recognizes and respects the human rights of children as being equal to adult rights

3.10.3. Negative Effects of Corporal Punishment

Children learn what they live. The child you beat:-

 Learns to use violence to solve problems.

 Lives in constant fear and hates you.
 Hides the truth because he is afraid and ashamed.
 Feels guilty and thinks it is his or her fault.
 Loses confidence and self-esteem and feels worthless.
 Cannot concentrate at school.


1. Define discipline and show why it is very important for effective schooling.
2. What is Corporal Punishment? Critically examine the arguments for and against the use
of Corporal Punishment in Zambian schools.
3. Why was Corporal Punishment prohibited in Zambian schools in 2003? Briefly discuss
positive discipline techniques and show their benefits.
4. Briefly examine the main causes of indiscipline in Zambian schools and suggest how
they could be solved.
5. ‘Corporal Punishment should be permitted, but be resorted to only as a last resort’.
Discuss this statement.



3.1. Introduction

I am sure that when you were a pupil, you came across teachers whose lessons were well
organized, interesting, enjoyable and memorable. What you witnessed was an example of a good
teacher or an effective teacher. Similarly you might have been taught by an unfriendly teacher
whose lessons were boring and difficult to understand. That person was an example of a bad
teacher or an ineffective a teacher.

In this Unit we shall discuss the Personal and Professional qualities of an effective teacher. We
shall also outline the roles served by teachers in schools.

3.2. Objectives

By the end of this Unit you should be to:

 Identify main personal and professional qualities of a teacher

 Outline the roles of a teacher of Civic Education in a secondary School
 Apply appropriate knowledge and skills in order to become an effective teacher.

3.3. Professional Qualities of an Effective Teacher

There is a common acronym often used by Teachers’ Trade Unions in Zambia to summarize
the qualities of an effective teacher. It is said that the letters in the word ‘TEACHER’ stand for
the following qualities:

 T- for Tolerance
 E-for Educative or Educated
 A-for Active
 C-for Creative
 H-for Helpful
 E-for Efficient
 R-for Resourceful

Although this may be true in many aspects, teaching is a practical matter and it is impossible to
be dogmatic about the way teachers should behave towards their pupils.

Some scholars have cited the following as the generally accepted Personal and Professional
qualities of an effective teacher (Farrant, 1980:210-212 and Nacino-Brown, 1982:06-08):

3.3.1. Personal Characteristics of an Effective Teacher

The teacher is the greatest single factor in the whole process of teaching and learning in the
classroom (Kochhar, 2005:236 and Nacino-Brown,, 1982:6). No technique, no method, no
teaching aid, no gadget, can make a lesson successful. It is only the teacher who can do so.

The characteristics of an effective teacher can be put in two categories. These are Personal and
Professional qualities. The personal qualities which can make a teacher effective are outlined
below(Kochhar, 2005 and Nacino-Brown,, 1982):

 Leadership and Authority: The teacher is a leader and manager in the classroom. He or
she is given authority over learners by virtue of his or her position. An effective teacher
has good leadership qualities and exercises authority over learners by earning the
respect of pupils rather than by relying on the use of force to secure obedience.
 Competence and Efficiency: Leaders may not have the ability to excel in everything they
do. However, the teacher as the leader and class manager should be competent and
efficient enough to avoid embarrassing failure in the presence of their pupils. An
effective teacher is one who thoroughly knows what he or she is teaching and is able to
do it competently and efficiently.
 Decisiveness and Confidence: The teacher as a leader and manager needs an ability to
make wise decisions on behalf of the pupils and act upon them without hesitation.
Therefore, the teacher requires self-confidence and sound judgment.
 Active and Energetic: An effective teacher is active and energetic. He or she has the
capacity to work tirelessly and to dramatize and demonstrate scenes in order to grip the
attention and inspire the imagination of learners. Where necessary, the teacher should use
gestures, demonstrations and act out a role play with pupils.
 Enthusiasm and Self-Motivation: An effective teacher is enthusiastic and passionate
about work. He or she has personal interest in work and is self-motivated.
 Loyal and Dedication to Duty: A good teacher is loyal and dedicated to duty. He or she
is prepared to carry out work even under difficult conditions and at a considerable
sacrifice to his or her own personal interests.
 Humility and Respect for Others: A good teacher is humble and respects other teachers.
He or she readily acknowledges the contribution of others in any successes achieved by
the class or the school. A good teacher likes the recognition of others, but does not
indulge in self-praise.
 Helpfulness and Humour: A good teacher is helpful and friendly to learners and other
teachers. He or she is also cheerful and has a sense of humour. A good teacher is
accommodative and approachable, not hostile, gloomy or repellent.
 Creative and Imaginative: An effective teacher is inspiring and fascinating because he or
she overflows with fresh ideas. He or she does not teach the same lessons in the same
way year after year, but finds new ways of making lessons more interesting and effective.

 Resourcefulness and Initiative: An effective teacher has initiative and is resourceful. He
or she recognizes when action is required and looks for solutions without hesitation. An
effective teacher is resourceful and improvises teaching and learning materials where
need arises.
 Integrity and Honesty: A good teacher is trustworthy and truthful. He or she does not
pretend or conceal his or her true nature and activities. A good teacher is honest and
always tries to do the best whether or not people are watching.
 Responsible and Caring: A good teacher is conscious of the responsibility entrusted to
him or her by society. He or she takes care of the materials and the pupils entrusted to
him or her. He or she knows kindness, care, generosity and compassion.
 Tolerance and Patience: A good leader has patience and tolerates other people’s
mistakes and weakness. A good teacher has emotional stability and does not loose temper
or give up easily in the classroom. He or she accepts divergent views and tolerates other
peoples’ failures without feeling frustrated or accepting defeat.
 Fairness and Impartiality: A good teacher is consistent, fair and impartial. He or she
treats pupils equally and in the same way without practicing segregation or favoritism.
 Self-Control and Self-Discipline: A person who lacks self-control and self-discipline is
not fit for leadership of other people. This is a quality every teacher must acquire until it
becomes a habit. Secondary school teachers in particular are given responsibility to lead
teenage youths. Without self-discipline and self-control, teachers may indulge themselves
in vices such as sexual scandals, fights and drunkenness with learners and may lose their
employment in the end.
 Leading by Example as a Role Model: An effective teacher leads by example and does
what he or she says or believes in. If the teacher insists on punctuality, he or she comes
punctually. A good teacher has also a pleasing personal appearance and manner. He or
she is aware that learners usually take their teachers as role model. A good teacher
should dress decently and smartly and have a pleasing personal reputation in the school
and the community.

3.3.2. Professional Qualities of an Effective Teacher

A professional teacher should have the following qualities:

i. Mastery of the subject to be taught: the teacher should acquire a wide knowledge and
understanding of the subject.
 There is wise adage which says that ‘those who dare to teach others should cease not to
 Every teacher should have a sound knowledge and understanding of the subject and
specific topics before daring to each others.
ii. General Knowledge of latest developments: Today, the explosion of knowledge has
made it extremely necessary for teachers, especially those who handle a dynamic living

subject like Civic Education to constantly improve and widen their horizons of
knowledge and bring it up to date. They can do this through private study, discussion
with others on national and international topics that exercise the intellect and by
developing habits of reading and listening to the latest issues in the Print and Electronic
 A good Civic Education teacher requires general knowledge of latest developments in
political, economic, social and scientific fields at national and international levels. This is
particularly important in order to avoid teaching false or outdated information to learners.
 An effective teacher should also be able to use scientific knowledge and wide
understanding of various issues to get rid of out dated false traditional beliefs, prejudice
and practice (Farrant, 1980)
iii. Planning and preparedness: No teacher can deliver an effective lesson unless he or she
has prepared for it.
 The teacher has to identify and mobilize teaching and learning resources such as books
and audio-visual aids in advance.
 Prepare and plan lessons with well defined and structured objectives.
 Organize suitable teaching and learning classroom activities which can capture pupil’s
interest and imagination.
iv. Knowledge of various teaching methods: The teacher should have good knowledge of a
variety ofteaching methods and techniques.
 He or she should be able to apply various learner-centered teaching methods and adapt
them to pupils’ experiences and the local environment.
 An effective teacher should use teaching methods which make the classroom a place of
hard work and high standards.
v. Conversant with new Teaching and Learning Technology: An effective teacher should
also be familiar with the use and operation of new teaching aids and learning resources
such as Internet, computers and VCRs (Video Cassette Recorders).
vi. An Understanding of the Principles of Child Development: A professional teacher
should have a basic understanding of the principles of children’s growth and
development. This would enable the teacher to relate teaching methods and learning
activities to the age and development stage of the pupils.
vii. Good Classroom Management: A teacher should be able to have an effective class
control and discipline. In order to:
 To capture the attention of the pupils and get ready for the lesson.
 Maintain the attention gained and guide pupil’s activities.
 Provide a well-structured and orderly learning environment.

viii. Good Teacher-Pupil Interaction: A good teacher is expected to promote good

interactions with the pupils in order to create conducive learning environment. An
effective teacher:

 Knows and calls pupils by name and greets them out of class.
 Encourages class discussion and sharing of knowledge and experiences.
 Has interest and concern in the quality of his or her teaching.
 Knows whether the class understands his or her lesson.
 Tolerates criticism of his or her ideas.
 Relates to pupils as individuals and respects them as persons

ix. Good Communication Skills: It is common to find well qualified and knowledgeable
teachers who cannot communicate subject content effectively to pupils. An effective
teacher should be able to communicate by:
 Explaining concepts, theories, procedures and events clearly. Learn to simplify difficult
concepts by checking for synonyms or alternative words in a good Dictionary or a
 Giving instructions clearly and precisely in straight forward and simple language.
 Maintaining good rapport with pupils and use a variety of questioning techniques to
encourage full participation of pupils.
 Making full use of pupil’s ideas and building on them to promote effective learning.

It is said that a the mark of a brilliant teacher is not that he makes a lesson topic simple, but that
he makes it seem simple to the learners. It is also said that a lesson is not taught, until it has been
learned, and it cannot be learned, until it is understood (Farrant, 1980:216). In order to
communicate effectively, the teacher should avoid using so called bombastic words which are
meant to show off his or her knowledge and grammar before the learners. An effective teacher
uses simple straight forward language in order to communicate information clearly.

x. Assessment and Evaluation: To be effective, the teacher should be able to:

 Evaluate every lesson taught sincerely and reflect on how to improve on it.
 Make follow-ups on lesson evaluation outcomes.
 Adjust teaching methods in line with lesson evaluation outcomes.
 Closely monitor pupil’s progress.
 Keep record of pupil’s assessment and evaluation reports.


1. Crockall, R.E. (1972). Handbook for History Teachers in Africa. London: Evans
Brothers Limited.
2. Farrant.J.S. (1980). Principles and Practice of Education. London: Longman
3. Garvey, B and Krug, M. (1977). Models of Teaching History in the Secondary School.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
4. Kochhar, S.K. (2005). Teaching of History. New Delhi: Sterling Publishers Private
5. Muzumara, P.M. (2011). Teacher Competencies Improved Teaching and Learning.
Lusaka: Bhuta Publishers.
6. Nacino.-Brown. Oke, F.E and Brown D.P.(1982). Curriculum and Instruction. An
Introduction to Methods of Teaching. London and Oxford: Longman.
7. Save the Children Sweden. (2005). Ending Corporal Punishment in Zambia. Pretoria
and Cape Town.
8. Save the Children Sweden. (2008). Positive Discipline Module For Zambian Teacher
Trainers. Zambia Civic Education Association: Lusaka
9. Sutherland, A. (1997). Checklist For Setting Examination Papers. Unpublished Paper
Presented at the Grade 12 History Setters’ Training Workshop held at Lake Kariba Inns
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