The negative and passive attitude of a few students can affect the behaviour of others. What they observe is whether some students do or do not care about the discussion, the others make up for their silence. The discussion takes place, howsoever, and some solution is reached. Then why waste energy? It is more comfortable to sit back and listen. Of course, there can be several reasons why these students are reluctant to participate in discussions. They may lack knowledge about the subject. They may be suffering from pain or illness. They may be worried or mentally disturbed. They are diffident by nature and do not like to be the centre of attraction. They know the answers to the questions, they have opinions or worthy contributions to make, but they lack the power of expression. They feel nervous and have little or no confidence. They have a low comprehension level and cannot keep pace with the discussion. They may have hearing problems or speech problems like stammering. 1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY To investigate the causes of non-participation of students in classroom situations. To suggest ways to encourage students to increase their participation. To train teachers to handle discussions and increase the participation level. To develop Discussion method as an important method of information transfer in a classroom. To implement a discussion method and ensure 100% participation of members. 1.6 ASSUMPTIONS Teachers who monitor classroom discussions are competent and well-versed in discussion techniques. Students have background knowledge about the subject. Students have referred to or read material relevant to the topic of discussion. Students are intimated well in advance about the time, venue, duration and topic of discussion. Participants, members from a more or less homogenous group with respect to age, experience, knowledge, qualification etc. 1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY Discussion method is gaining popularity day by day and has wide scope in the present-day classroom context. The study of the reasons for non-participation is applicable to discussion on all kinds of subjects, too large and small groups and to any age-group.
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