School Forbids Students from Raising Hands in Class

February 3, 2017

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. reinforce /ˌri ɪnˈfɔrs / (v.) – to strengthen or support something or someone
Example: We need to reinforce our gaming strategy.

2. skepticism / ˈskɛp təˌsɪz əm / (n.) – the act of doubting or not believing something
Example: His skepticism about the method made him hesitate to try it.

3. hinder / ˈhɪn dər / (v.) – to stop or prevent something from happening
Example: Her doubts hindered her from joining the contest.

4. engaged / ɛnˈgeɪdʒd / (adj.) – busy or occupied with something
Example: He was so engaged with his book that he did not notice my call.

5. introverted / ˈɪn trəˌvɜrt əd / (adj.) – shy or reserved
Example: The introverted girl prefers a small group of friends.


Read the text below.
A secondary school in the United Kingdom now prohibits its students from raising their hands to answer questions in class.

Officials at the Samworth Church Academy decided to put an end to this traditional classroom practice because it supposedly does not test nor reinforce the learning of all students. Principal Barry Found explained that the practice gives chance to only a select few because only the same students raise their hands in class.

Found further said that this bold move aims to give all students equal chances to take part in class. However, others view the new policy with skepticism. Some teachers said that such policy does not show respect for the school’s staff and teachers.

A former head teacher from another UK school also said that students should not be hindered from raising their hands because it shows their eagerness in class. He added that, rather than preventing students who wish to participate, teachers should change their methods to encourage all students to be engaged in class.

According to Dr. Kenneth Shore, a psychologist and child education expert, class participation helps teach students how to share their ideas to others. However, one of the main concerns of some teachers is students who are uncomfortable speaking in public.

Quiet Revolution, a website established to encourage introverted people, suggested ways to combat troubles with public speaking. Quiet Revolution writer John Spencer, who is also a teacher, said that students who are not comfortable with talking in large groups should be allowed to prepare and rehearse their answers before speaking. Dividing the class into small groups where students can express their ideas to a smaller audience can also help. The goal of these methods is to make the classroom a safe space where even the shyest students can feel comfortable in sharing their ideas.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your country, who speaks more in class: the teacher or the students? Why?
·         If you were a teacher, would you like your students to raise their hands when answering questions? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think class participation is important? Why or why not?
·         What do you think is the most effective way in helping students participate in class? Why?

February 3, 2017