London Branch Seminar
In many schools, when a pupil breaks a school rule or fails to follow a reasonable instruction, teachers can impose a punishment on that pupil. While some prefer not to use the word ‘punishment’, others object to punishment in substance as well as name. Recent research casts doubt on the efficacy of punishments with restorative justice generating interest. While such practices retain punitive elements, defenders may say that such features are excusable by the doctrine of double effect rather than being positively desirable. However, such endeavours are perhaps too costly in time and resources to replace punishments completely.
John Tillson is Lecturer in philosophy of education at Liverpool Hope University, Department of Education Studies. He is the author of Children, Religion and the Ethics of Influence (Bloomsbury). His publications to date have addressed a cluster of questions about curricula contents and aims, and due and undue influence in teaching, especially over pupils’ religious, political and ethical beliefs and attitudes. His research interests can be captured under the expression 'the ethics of influence'. He is Principal Investigator on the Centre for Ethics and Education funded project, ‘Pedagogies of Punishment: How and Why Should Schools Punish Students (If At All)?'