The Samworth Church Academy in Mansfield, Nottinhamshire has made an announcement that has some parents scratching their heads. The school has banned the practice of calling on children who have raised their hands and now expects teachers to simply call on students to answer questions.
Principal Barry Found thought that it was good idea. He’d noticed a trend after speaking with teachers and found that “the same hands are going up and as such the teaching does not challenge and support the learning of all.”As of the new practice, raising hands signals the need for silence only, but the National Union of Teachers disagrees and thinks that the new rule isn’t respectful to instructors.
We will use a variety of other techniques to ensure that every student is challenged and developed in class through our questioning and that every student has opportunities to contribute and participate,” Found assured parents.
Shy kids don’t want to be called on, and parents think it is okay to be quiet during class and observe. That is how some students learn best, they say, and pushing students to speak up before they are ready will do more harm than good.
It’s going to be awful for kids who are naturally anxious if they spend all their classes scared they will be picked, and if they don’t know the answer they might be ridiculed by other kids,” she wrote.
And above all, parents think that it discourages enthusiasm for learning.
My son told me about this last week and he is disappointed about it as he fears being chosen randomly if he doesn’t know the answer but equally won’t get the opportunity to raise his hand when he does know the answer,” one mother said.
If the issue is simply the same students participating, one mom thinks it might be a problem with the teachers and not the students.
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