Study: Louder Students More Successful!
A new ADHD study completely dismisses the old notion of “ideal student behavior” and the old adage that children should be “seen and not heard.” In FACT, as this Durham University study shows – it’s those loud, "misbehaving" student that do best!
In a large scale study published just days ago, experts from Durham University England analyzed the PIPS (Performance Indicators in Primary Schools) placement test results of 12,251 four and five year old students from over 500 schools at the end of their first year.
As part of this placement test, teachers not only rated the children’s academic performance, but their behavior as well. Frequency of “problem” areas like blurting out answers, not waiting for their turn and interrupting were recorded.
In the end, as one might expect, they found behaviors indicative of inattention were strongly linked with under-achievement. HOWEVER, among student of similar attention span – both the most attentive student AND the least attentive (read: ADHD) – the more impulsive, the ones that were shouting out answers and interrupting their classmates, rated much higher!
Said lead author on this study and renowned education expert, Professor Peter Tymms, “Children with ADHD symptoms who get excited and shout out answers in class seem to be cognitively engaged and, as a result, learn more. Perhaps those children also benefit from receiving additional feedback and attention from their teacher.”
“Although it may seem disruptive, blurting out answers clearly helps these pupils to learn. We need to look more closely at this behaviour and how the interaction can be managed in the classroom.” added study co-author Dr. Christine Merrell.
Certainly this challenges the way many classrooms are structured now – teacher at the front of the classroom lecturing, students listening, then finally, at an allotted time, allowed to raise their hands one by one to comment or answer a question. Rather, it seems a less formal, more conversational approach, one that mirror the way the REST of our lives happen, is actually much more conducive to learning!
Adds Tymms “Managing and responding to pupils’ different needs and abilities within a class is a challenge for teachers. We’re not suggesting that classrooms become free-for-all shouting matches but if this positive learning relationship can be harnessed, it could help teachers and learners.”
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