Michael Ribotta – “Tough love is not the answer – Don Bosco’s views on punishment” in “Journal of Salesian Studies”

In our essay we shall examine the meaning and application of “punishment” and “discipline” as found in Don Bosco’s educational writings. It was a subject to which he returned time and time again-and for good reason.

If the hickory switch and the rod have virtually disappeared from the modern-day classroom, they were a constant in the educational formula of 19th century schoolroom management and instruction. Schoolmasters in Don Bosco’s days were universally severe in ruling over their brood of little scholars. Corporal punishment was not only expected, but demanded of the teacher. Children were constantly the subjects of a reign of terror presided over by pitiless pedagogues.


  • Introduction
    • The Way Things Were “A boy bas a back; when you bit it, he understands.”
    • If punish you must…

Reference time period: 1843 – 1883

M. Ribotta, “Tough love is not the answer- Don Bosco’s views on punishment” in «Journal of Salesian Studies», 6 (1995), 1, 81-108.

Reference institution:
Institute of Salesian Studies
Institute of Salesian Studies

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