Presentation on theme: "Speaking Up in Class Jessica Bacal, Director, Center for Work & Life Barbara Brehm-Curtis, Professor, Exercise and Sport Studies Floyd Cheung, Associate."— Presentation transcript:
Speaking Up in Class Jessica Bacal, Director, Center for Work & Life Barbara Brehm-Curtis, Professor, Exercise and Sport Studies Floyd Cheung, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature
First generation students make up 19% of Smith student body; the “speaking up” workshop included 18% first generation students.
International students make up 11% of Smith student body; the “speaking up” workshop included 18% international students.
Students from under-represented minority groups make up 16% of Smith student body; the “speaking up” workshop included 22% under-represented minority students.
We’ll keep collecting data to see if there’s a pattern in who attends. For now, it’s just something to think about as we consider this issue and share strategies for engaging quiet students.
The Center for Work & Life, Clark Hall 3rd Floor
“I want to participate in class without doubting what I have to say. I want to avoid rehearsing what I’m going to say in my mind over and over again.”
“I want to feel comfortable and confident contributing ideas to classes and proposing questions.”
“(I want to) voluntarily raise my hand and speak in class at least once every day. I need to be assertive about my opinions and must work on projecting my voice so a room full of people can hear me.”
“Speak UP in every discussion class (remembering that I shouldn’t censor my speech so I have the correct answer, but just say what comes to mind.)”
“Ask more questions in class. Be brave enough to share my opinions and interpretations in my literature class.”
What’s wrong with quiet? “The glory of the disposition that stops to consider stimuli rather than rushing to engage with them is its long association with intellectual and artistic achievement. Neither E=mc2 nor Paradise Lost was dashed off by a party animal.” - Winifred Gallagher, science journalist (as quoted in the article, “Shyness: Evolutionary Tactic” by Susan Cain, The New York Times, June 25, 2011)
There’s nothing wrong with quiet and rumination.
Not every class provides a forum for discussion.
But it’s clear that some students want to speak-up more.
Educational research demonstrates that talking helps you learn: “Articulating and learning go hand in hand, in a mutually reinforcing feedback loop. In many cases, learners do not actually learn something until they start to articulate it -- in other words, while thinking out loud, they learn more rapidly and deeply than studying quietly.” - R. Keith Sawyer
“Managers expect that employees have the capacity to confidently bring their ideas, analyses, and recommendations to the table, and to comfortably engage with colleagues in productive debate. Feedback from Praxis supervisors suggests that this is an area Smith students at times struggle with.” - Stacie Hagenbaugh Director, Career Development Office Smith College
In first section of the workshop, Floyd and Barbara shared “a professor’s perspective.”
In the second section of the workshop, students did an exercise adapted from Patty DiBartolo’s work on public speaking anxiety, and the students set specific goals.
I will see my professor and tell her that I have a hard time speaking-up but want to talk more.
Do the reading more carefully and jot down more comments (be able to predict what kinds of questions will come about).
Student feedback: The part where we got to read over professors’ email responses was the most helpful. It felt like I was getting direct responses from my professors regarding my problem of not being able to speak-up in class. I also became more confident after reading that; now I realize that most of the professors are willing to help me overcome the issue and also are willing to provide concrete advice for me.
Discussion: What are your strategies for working with quiet students? “To assist quiet students, and to teach vocal students important new modes of learning, I now make time for occasional silence in my classes by assigning in-class writing and building deliberate pauses for reflection into our discussions.” - “What’s the Problem With Quiet Students? Anyone? Anyone?” Mary M. Reda, The Chronicle of Higher Education, September 5, 2010