Participation and Observation; What It Is and How to Carry It Into Other Classes.


From the moment the scholar enters Dr. Mangrum’s Composition 250 class, they are expected to participate and observe. What that means is that you still have to contribute to class discussion, but you are constantly recording others behavior around you, all the while noting its affect on you. Balancing your thoughts, the actions of others, and adding to the conversation is something that takes a lot of practice. On Thursday I was assigned to participate and observe in another class. I chose my Economics 272 class, partly because of how convenient it was, being my next class, but also because for such a big class (around 33 scholars) very few speak up when the Professor asks for discussion. I’m not sure if this is because of the average age of the scholars in the class, the traditional seating arrangement, or how big the class is. On Thursday I took note on these three theories as well as who spoke up. From my observations I counted around three older scholars like myself, one scholar is from Japan, and from my best guess the rest are between the ages of 18-20. . The seating arrangement is in seven rows all facing forward. This gives the impression of a hierarchy. With that being said, the Professor puts a lot of effort into engaging the class into discussions. She asks us questions every five to ten minutes. Only three scholars responded, the same three that normally do. One is an older scholar, the other two are probably 18 or 19 years old. Most of the classes I’ve had that have 30+ scholars are usually more of a lecture style, with very little class participation. This is probably to save time. If each scholar was expected to join in, very little could get done. Maybe the scholars feel it would be counterproductive to all speak up. (Word 301)

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