(NC)-Even though extra marks can be earned through classroom participation, for some students raising their hand to answer a question is a challenge.
Participation is a risky business for some-it attracts attention and there's the risk of being wrong, or being ridiculed in front of everyone.
"Many students lack confidence in their learning abilities and don't want to draw attention to themselves in the classroom," says Dr. Nick Whitehead, founder and CEO of Oxford Learning Centres, Inc.
Still, for shy students especially, it's a risk worth taking. With 30 plus students in a classroom, it can be easy to be overlooked by teachers.
"Just by raising their hands, students let teachers know that they are engaged in the classroom…even if they don't have the right answer," he says. "They are letting the teacher know that they are paying attention and thinking about the lesson."
According to Dr. Whitehead, increased classroom participation leads to active thinking. This helps improve confidence, which in turn helps students overcome classroom shyness.
"Whether students are called on or not, or if they know the answer or not, they should be raising their hand in class," Dr. Whitehead advises. "This helps even the shyest student engage his or her brain and gain a better understanding of the subject matter."
When students are confident about their learning, he adds, what is there to be shy about?