FROM THE EDITORS
Editors Kathy Carey & Carey Jones
Hitting Is Not for Children
Art Directors Ross Rezac & Martin Skoro, MartinRoss Design
Director of Advertising Michele Eldon
Copy Editor Brenda Modliszewski
Editorial Advisory Board
By Kathy Carey
ELIZABETH BRONSIL, Director, Children’s Home Space,
JOHN CHATTIN-McNICHOLS, PhD, Associate Professor, Edu- There are times when individuals should be quiet and times when they must
cation, Seattle University, Seattle, WA; Founder, Montessori
Teacher Education Institute/Pacific Northwest; Past President, speak. This, for me, is one of the times when I am obligated to speak. At a recent
MACCESS and AMS. conference session, a keynote speaker was asked what he thought about
ELISABETH COE, PhD, Teacher, School of the Woods;
Director, Houston Montessori Center, Houston, TX. spanking, to which he replied something to the effect of, “Sometimes a child
WILLIAM C. CRAIN, PhD, Professor & Chair, Psychology,
City College of New York, New York, NY. needs a slap upside the head.” To my great distress, many Montessorians (I
MARIE M. DUGAN, Former Interim AMS Executive presumed they were Montessorians) applauded.
Director; Chair, AMS Archives Committee, Wilmington, DE; Chair,
AMS Centennial Campaign Committee. First, spanking is usually defined as swatting a child with an open hand
DAVID ELKIND, PhD, Professor, Child Study, Tufts University,
on the fleshy part of the buttocks. Corporal punishment, a category that
ALICE STERLING HONIG, PhD, Professor Emerita, Child includes spanking, is commonly defined as ”. . . the use of physical force, no
Development, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY.
LILIAN KATZ, PhD, Director, Educational Retrieval matter how light, with the intention of causing the child to experience bodily
Information Center (ERIC), Champaign, IL.
MARGARET LOEFFLER, PhD, Director, Montessori Teacher
pain so as to correct or punish the child’s behavior.” This definition, used by
Education, Oklahoma City University, Oklahoma City, OK. Elizabeth Gershoff at the University of Michigan, embodies similar defini-
SYLVIA O. RICHARDSON, MD, Distinguished Professor,
Communication Sciences/Clinical Professor, Pediatrics, University tions put forth by Susan Bitensky, Michigan State University College of Law,
of South Florida, Tampa, FL; Past President, Orton Dyslexia Society.
MARTHA TORRENCE, Past President, AMS; Director,
the Committee on the Rights of the Child, and M. A. Strauss of the Family
Toddler and Primary Programs, Cambridge Montessori School, Research Laboratory, University of New Hampshire.
BRETTA WEISS WOLFF, National Director Emerita, AMS; Those who defend spanking or corporal punishment believe that the act sup-
Consultant, Albuquerque, NM; Past President, Council for
American Private Education (CAPE).
presses unacceptable behavior and contributes to the shaping of future behavior.
Empirical evidence in child development does not support this view. In
Montessori Life (ISSN 1054-0040), published four times a year,
is the official journal-magazine of the AMERICAN MONTESSORI her case against such punishment, Gershoff cites the following points:
SOCIETY (AMS), a nonprofit organization. Through this publica- 1. Empirical evidence suggests that any positive effects may only be short-
tion, AMS hopes to provoke thought, promote professional devel-
opment, and provide a forum for discussion of issues and ideas in term. Others have found no evidence of any connections between punishment
our field. In addition, calendar information and milestone events
keep readers abreast of the latest Society news and opportunities. and short-term compliance.
The opinions expressed in Montessori Life editorials, columns, 2. There are many other ways for parents to exert control.
and features are those of the authors and do not necessarily
represent the position of the magazine or the AMS. Printed by 3. Obedience extracted by corporal punishment (or the threat of it) does
Anderburg Lund, Minneapolis, MN. Mailed at bulk rate in