Classroom Participation. Factors Affecting Student Participation in Discussion and Why it Matters. Cheryl L. Gaines Eighth Grade Allen Jay Middle School. Background. I chose this the topic because I am concerned with the trend I have noticed in my classroom.
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Factors Affecting Student Participation
in Discussion and Why it Matters
Cheryl L. Gaines
Allen Jay Middle School
“A thoughtful classroom discussion helps students develop critical thinking. Talking in a group helps them learn to organize their thoughts and present them coherently. They also learn to be active listeners, holding other peoples’ ideas up to critical analysis. Through this they realize there are alternative ways of looking at a difficult problem.”
David Elkin & Freddy Sweet
Schools in the Middle, 1998
Whole Group vs. Small Group Participation
Small groups resulted in greater frequency of participation among students who never participated in whole group and little or no decline among those who participated regularly in whole group.
What about AIG and EC students?
Both groups participated more in small groups.
In general, the boys participated more in class discussion than the girls.
Neither group correctly perceived their participation rates.
Personality rather than interest in a subject area played a bigger role in whether students participated in class.