Thursday, February 16, 2012

Teachers' Wait-time

Question: Does teachers’ wait- time before students answer questions affect achievement?

Answer/Quote: “One reflection of teacher expectations is wait- time, the length of time a teacher waits for a child to begin responding to a question. Teacher expectations sometimes lead teachers to behave differently toward different groups of students. For example, teachers tend to give more wait- time to high achievers. This is significant, because giving more wait time has been found actually to produce higher achievement.”

Quote: “During math instruction, American teachers give more wait-time to boys than to girls, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Educational Research (May/June 1983). Done year after  year, this difference in wait-time could have a cumulative effect on boys’ and girls’ math performance, perhaps being one reason girls gradually withdraw from math.”

Quote: “One way to counter this tendency is for teachers to mentally count off the seconds of wait-time, as by silently counting ‘A thousand and one, a thousand and two,….’ And so on. Try it—you may be surprised how few seconds of wait-time you give your students, and to whom you give the most or the least.”

Comment: One of those things you never think of. This research opened my eyes. RayS.

Title: “Wait for an Answer.” The Reading Teacher (May 1984), 908.

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