Dotty Andragogy

The amusing musings of an adult educator in the corporate training world.

W.A.I.T. = Why Am I Talking?

on October 22, 2014

The dead silence that follows after we pose an open question to the class is every teacher’s dilemma. How long should we wait for an answer? How long is too long? We all fight the urge to answer our own questions as the silence stretches like a mysterious abyss before us. Are they silent because they don’t know the answer? Or they just need more time? Is it because of the personalities in the room? Maybe they know the answer and just don’t want to speak up?

Studies indicate that teachers only wait an average of 1-2 seconds for a response. By increasing the amount to 3 seconds and over students “become more engaged and perform better.” But “waiting more than 20-30 seconds is perceived as punishing by students”. So it looks like somewhere between 3 and 20 is the magic number. Better start practicing my mississippi’s. When is too fast? When is too slow? Arrghh.

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