School bans hand-raising

by Adil | 10:48 AM in |

School bans hand-raising
School bans hand-raising. Put your hand down, kid: UK school bans hand-raising. Thumbs up, everyone who hated to raise their hand in class.

That’s the intent of a British school which has banned hand-raising from its classrooms, hoping to settle down those overly enthusiastic Hermione types whose arms shoot constantly skyward in frantic “pick-me” oscillation.

Now, it’s all about the thumbs, Fonzie-style.

Teachers at the elementary school in Bridlington, a coastal town about 400 kilometres north east of London, met at the beginning of the school year and came up with the solution, hoping to get more students offering up answers. The school has even posted helpful signs in the hallways demonstrating the new technique, which requires students to placing their thumbs-up in the palm of their other hand and wait to be called upon.

Some parents, as the Telegraph reports, are rolling their eyes, but head teacher Cheryle Adams told the newspaper, “It has calmed the students down. Staff have noticed a positive difference in the amount of people answering questions.”

It’s worked so well, she claims, they plan to start introducing it to students as young as four. (Currently it’s in practice for eight and nine-year olds.)

“It sounds silly,” said Michael Corbett, an education professor at Acadia University, when told about the new “thumbs-up” approach. After all, he points out, if teachers are worried about kids being too exuberant with their hand-raising they could just tell them to behave better. “You aren’t going fix the problem of overly exuberant students by telling them to raise their hand in a certain way.” school children The fonz, just daft pupils, hand raising ban calmer classrooms

Retired Toronto school teacher Susan Roy has a better suggestion for teachers (and even parents): in a classroom experiment, she found that getting the teacher to wait five seconds after answering the question saw more hands raised. She’s used the thumbs up herself - so a student could indicate whether they were getting the lesson to that point.

But research has suggested that students may even learn faster when their hands stay down. A British experiment, conducted as part of a BBC documentary, found that students learned twice as fast when they were asked to write their answers on a white board and then lift them up to the teacher as a group.

The British school isn’t alone in trying an alternative. In lieu of hand-raising, there are some U.S. schools using computer technology so students can buzz in their answers without anyone else knowing if they got it wrong. Smart boards allow students to throw soft balls at a target to demonstrate their knowledge. In some Christian schools, students have been required to raise flags at their cubicles when they want to get the teacher’s attention.

The ubiquitous thumbs up, at least, has an optimistic quality to it. And isn’t The Fonz due for a comeback?


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