Remember the days when we hoped the teacher wouldn’t call on us? The fear of saying something wrong and being embarrassed in front of classmates can be a powerful barrier to raising your hand and volunteering to speak. In fact, when selected, many students tend to blend in and shy away from speaking in front of their peers. Despite the fear, participating in class is essential to getting the most out of the learning experience. Active involvement engages students with the subject matter, encourages them to form their own concepts, and prompts them to support their ideas with evidence. This leads to students putting in more effort.
Following are the reasons why children should participate and contribute in the classroom:
1. Helps kids in active learning
Many studies have shown that students who actively participate in class tend to retain more of what they learn. Students sometimes believe that they are passive learners, just sitting and letting the teacher impart knowledge. However, learning is more complex and works best when it involves more than just listening. As Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” When students interact with the teacher and their peers, they gain that experience.
2. Enables classroom activities
Participating in class is a cure for boredom. Imagine a classroom where students are constantly looking out the window or getting easily distracted. Sitting idly leads to boredom, but speaking up and participating keeps the mind engaged. Collaboration and participation can make the classroom experience more enjoyable and interactive.
3. Enhances critical thinking skill
When students actively participate in the classroom, they contribute to making the learning environment more engaging and dynamic. Their questions can also serve as a learning opportunity for their peers, as they may shed light on a topic that was previously unclear. Additionally, their participation can encourage their shy classmates to voice their own questions.
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4. Improves grades
Educators aim to foster a passion for learning in their students and encourage them to strive for academic excellence. Although participation does not have a direct impact on grades, it can certainly help students perform better. Active participation reinforces important concepts that will likely be covered in future assessments and exams, leading to improved grades.
5. Fosters engagement
Keeping students’ attention during lectures can be a challenge. However, allowing them to participate in discussions, ask questions, and provide different perspectives helps to maintain their focus and interest.
6. Provides feedback
Student participation allows educators to gauge their level of understanding and provide guidance where necessary. As students respond or explain their thoughts, educators can identify areas that need clarification and help students gain a deeper understanding of the material. By inviting student opinions and asking questions, educators can also demonstrate the significance of the information being taught.
7. Improves speaking skills
People in most professions must be able to communicate effectively in group settings. They may need to present information, ask questions, or offer solutions. Reading about how to speak in groups is not enough; this skill is primarily developed through experience and practice. Feedback is a crucial aspect in developing speaking skills as it helps in refining the skills through active participation.
8. Balances contributions
The educator plays a crucial role in deciding who contributes and how much. By observing carefully, waiting patiently, and confirming contributions from a variety of students, the educator can influence the participation and contribution level. Moreover, active participation also helps the educator monitor their own talking time.
Students who actively participate and contribute to class discussions are more likely to remember important information. This also helps in developing critical and higher-level thinking skills, beyond simple text comprehension, which in turn can improve memory. Active participation and contribution among students can lead to better understanding and collaboration, thereby enhancing the relationship between students and educators.