Question Detail

I am a sixth form History tutor in my hometown. I teach 17 to 19 year old students (Year 12 & Year 13) but my main problem is that most students I have are usually very quiet and unwilling to partake in discussions or even answering questions directed to the whole class. It's rare for them to volunteer themselves. The environment in my hometown somehow have created a generation of quiet and shy students. I also have to note that some of them (based on the student feedback I got from them) did not like to be put in group tasks too. How do I encourage them to open up and participate in class discussions? Also how do I encourage them to break out of their shells and nurture sportsmanship in students who dislike to work in groups?

Jan 25, 2018 8:27pm

  • Social Studies
  • 12
  • Behavior / Class Culture / Engagement
  • Student Collaboration


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    • Feb 3, 2018 12:16pm

      I do several things:

      I require that each student speak up at least twice during the session. They know I 'keep score' and know they must say something. I tell them to speak up at their easiest and earliest convenience so they don't 'run out of time'.

      I ask prompting questions differentiated for each student. I know their general interests, knowledge level, verbal skills level, etc., so I can create a question they can answer at their ability and comfort level.

      I give the class a voting choice on the topic. Everyone gets to vote for two out of the three choices I propose, and the topic question for discussion with the highest score wins. Typically the choice has the vote by a wide majority, so I get a good level of buy-in. If someone appears very disappointed in the final choice, I give them a chance to explain their preference. One more opp. to speak up!