Increasing Student Participation

Topic: Increasing Student Participation
Date: August 22, 2008
Time: 11:10-12:05pm
Location: MARB, Room 445
Lecturer: Mark E. Beecher

1. Personal Story: Evaluator marked on chart every 30 seconds when teacher, or student was speaking. Result: 90% teacher speaking, 10% Student.
a. You should aim for a 50/50 split of student and teacher participation.


2. The students should feel the weight of their learning on their shoulders. Shift the responsibility of learning to them.

3. Avoid having your teaching become a “spectator” sport.


4. The more active the student the greater their heart will be penetrated. Elder W. Rolf Kerr

5. Illustration: Teacher is the “STRING” and students are the “PEARLS”


6. Quote: Richard G. Scott, February 4, 2005

Never and I mean never, give a lecture where there is no student participation. A ‘talking head’ is the weakest form of class instruction. … Assure that there is abundant participation because that use of agency by a student authorizes the Holy Ghost to instruct. It also helps the student retain your message. As students verbalize truths they are confirmed in their souls and strengthen their personal testimonies. (Richard G. Scott, To Understand and Live Truth, Address to CES Religious Educators, February 4, 2005)

7. Major Functions of a Teacher
a. Imparting Valuable Information
b. Illustrating-Use Examples
c. Clarifying or explaining a doctrine or principle
d. Bearing Testimony
e. Transitions between various parts of the lesson
f. Summarizing or drawing conclusions
g. Telling stories-applying to real life

8. You must truly believe what you teach and belief or else you’ll find yourself reverting back to “safe mode”.

9. Establish some ground rules you can follow when using questions:

a. NEVER answer your own questions.
b. Don’t be afraid of silence. It takes some time for people to formulate an intelligent comment.
c. Clarify your role as teacher to your students. Let them know that you’ll be asking them questions to help them DISCOVER the answers on their own.
d. If no one answers rephrase or re-frame the question.
e. Find a way to accept every answer (even wrong ones). You want to create an atmosphere of “safety” where students know they won’t get their “head bitten off” if they answer wrong.
f. Avoid closed ended questions. Instead ask “How”, or “What” do you feel…etc…
g. Use techniques to involve the more quiet people and limit the more talkative ones. Invite the talkative students privately to help you in your duty as “teacher”. Ask them to be a “back-up” to answer questions.
h. There are many difficulty levels of questions: Easy, Mid-Range, Hard, Difficult, etc…
i. Direct students to the scriptures as often as possible to get the answers to their questions.

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