Spanking is such a tough topic and is one that I have strong personal feelings about.
Of course, in the child care world we have a very firm policy on "behaviour management" and a teacher would be immediately let go if they even suggested a spanking policy. We take this very seriously and provide positive reinforcement and redirect the child if they are having a difficult time.
However, at home, things can be very different and I think this behaviour is connected to how we were raised. I am from the era of the "wooden spoon" and quite honestly, I don't remember anything overly painful or upsetting, nor did I learn anything from any situations involved. How behaviour is managed at home gravely effects how the child functions outside of the home.
After many years of studies, we now know that although children react to spanking, they don't “learn” what we want them to. The study that makes the most sense to me is that the only positive outcome of corporal punishment is immediate compliance. In fact, spanking leads to less long-term compliance. What this means to me is that if children do not understand why they have been spanked they are more likely to be aggressive towards their siblings or friends. They will think it is okay to hit. As parents it is essential to understand how to teach and manage behaviour and consequences and learn to re-direct.