An Examination of What Affects Participation Levels Within a Fifth Grade Classroom
Winter, Katie M.
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What makes a fifth grader want to participate in classroom discussion and activities? Previous research points to a variety of elements ranging from student characteristics, classroom environmental factors, and peer and teacher interactions. These reasons paint a broad picture and attempt to pinpoint the motivations behind why one chooses to participate in classroom discussions and activities. This research broadens the perspective of these motivations to participate, and examines participation levels through a qualitative case study of a suburban fifth grade elementary class. Through surveys and interviews, both the instructor and a sample set of students participated in this study. The findings support past research findings, and also identify other factors such as technology and rewards that drive students to share out their thoughts in classroom discussions and activities. Results from this study point to a number of factors that should be considered by educators in fostering a classroom environment that encourages participation. Some suggestions for increasing participations levels based on the results from this study include holding multiple classroom discussions to encourage open communication, praising and recognizing a student for an area that he or she is gifted in, and varying classroom activities so that students view participation as "fun."
Original item type
iv, 41 pages
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