No Worries: Another Look at “Cold-Calling” in the Classroom

In a new article in Parade, “How to Build a Better Teacher,” education journalist Elizabeth Green describes the five teaching strategies that may have the greatest impact on student learning. One of these strategies touches on an old debate that deserves to be revisited: “cold-calling,” or calling on students whether or not they have their hands raised: “The goal is to ­extract the maximum possible mileage from each question. By ­introducing the possibility that anyone can be asked to speak at any time, teachers ­decrease the chances their students will tune out.”

The benefits of cold-calling are well-supported by research, and it’s hard to argue with its many benefits. But who doesn’t dread being called on out of the blue? Continue reading

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