Raise Your Hand!

At least, if you’re not in England.

Teachers should not ask pupils to put their hands up if they can answer a question in class to stop quiet children falling behind, according to government advice.

Education Secretary Alan Johnson said: “We need to make sure that no-one is left behind at any point – from the most gifted and talented children at the top of the class, to the quiet child who is well-practised at hiding from the teacher’s gaze at the back of the class.”

Bzzzt. Wrong. This again reflects what’s wrong with public schools — the notion that everyone needs to move at the same pace and respond in the same fashion. If only they could march down the halls in lockstep…

I was a shy kid. I never raised my hand. And my education turned out just fine, thank you.

The report found that it is often boys who fall behind in English at primary school, while girls were more likely to be found among those struggling to make progress in maths.

Teachers felt that children suffered because parents stopped helping with homework when maths, in particular, was becoming too complicated.

Notice no excuse is given for the boys’ struggles in English. This, of course, could never mean that there might be genetic sex-based difference in verbal and mathematical ability.

The methods included choosing which child to question in class instead of inviting all the pupils to put up their hands if they know the answer.

Children could also be given 30 seconds “thinking time” before being asked to answer or told to discuss questions in pairs before answering, the Department for Education said.

Drawing on my four semesters as a college teacher . . . which is four more that most of the idiots opining on this . . . I actually would always use that first method, but in a way that any educator would flinch over. I would choose a student and if they didn’t know the answer, I’d throw it open. Kept them on their toes. It also made them speculate a little bit at times, which was cool.

As for the 30 seconds of thinking time, I never had 30 seconds to spare — even in a three-hour lecture.

A three hour lecture.

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