The majority of teachers in Kenya attribute the perceived high incidence of indiscipline among school learners to the proscription of physical punishment as a ‘discipline’ management strategy. The underlying metaphysical assumption is that there exists a causal nexus between punishment and students’ discipline. This paper subjects the supposition to a critical analysis within the Aristotelian conceptual scheme of efficient causality. The paper argues that, in the context of education, the institution and practice of punishment cannot be validated on causal considerations because the supposed causal connection between punishment and students’ discipline is accidental, the logical consequence of mistaking order for discipline, thereby commit the fallacy of false cause. Punishment, at best, is a tool for creating order (or a semblance of it) in schools, not discipline as is held by many a teacher.
KEY TERMS: Efficient cause, Discipline, Order, Punishment.