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Why Participation is Essential to Learning

Updated: Jun 27, 2021

We can all remember a time in class when we hoped the teacher or professor wouldn’t call on us. The fear of saying the wrong thing and sounding uneducated in front of our classmates is a strong deterrent from raising our hands and volunteering to speak in front of others. In fact, when given the choice most students choose to sit in the back and fly under the radar to avoid the embarrassment of speaking in front of their peers. This is both human and unfortunate because class participation, while sometimes scary, is necessary for getting the most out of an education. Participation actively engages students with the subject matter, pushes them to create concepts, and forces them to show evidence for their claims and of learning. Put simply, it makes students work harder and retain the information longer. Today’s education is expensive. Why not get the most out of it?

Students that regularly participate in class are constantly involved with the material and are more likely to remember a greater portion of the information. Active class participation also improves critical and higher-level thinking skills. Students who participate in class have studied the material well enough to introduce new concepts to their peers, driving them to be innovative! This level of thinking goes beyond simple comprehension of text and can also improve memory. Participation can also help students learn from each other, increasing comprehension through cooperation and bonding. This can in turn improve relationships between students and between the student and instructor.

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