Topic: An active student and a passive student

Passive And Active Student Classification Misses The Whole Story

Why do teachers obsess over classroom activity?

Many divisions can help us navigate the world more easily as we notice certain patterns. These divisions and classifications vary in the degree to which they focus on certain properties and characteristics. For teachers and educators, the primary division by which they divide students is their activity level. Are students passive or active participants in their education?

The importance of such delineation cannot be overstated when it comes to teachers adapting their approach to teaching. Unfortunately, many teachers simply take for granted that all students should be active by default, and if they are not, they simply will be by looking up to their active peers. To add salt to injury, teachers often engage in rating the participation level of the student to spur activity. This not only leads to poorer grades, but students being lost in the crowd. After all, not every single student in the classroom can be active or be noticed by the teacher.

From where did this emphasis on active student participation come from? Studies have shown that actively seeking and getting involved in any content increases information retention, sociability, interest in the subject matter, and attention, while simultaneously reducing daydreaming and other distractions. Eventually, teachers focused on models of teaching that increase students’ activity, as a shortcut for best teaching practices.

Unfortunately, such teaching methods leave passive students with some degree of anxiety. Let’s be clear here. Personality types are ultimately genetic, as is everything else when we realize that nurture vs nature is a false dichotomy. Genetic and environmental factors are in a constant state of reciprocity, with the genetic framework shaping the envelope of what can be affected by the environment and to what extent.

Genetic expressions of personalities are commonly divided into extroverts and introverts, perfectly aligning with active and passive students.

Active students will not avoid asking questions when they feel a question is warranted, no matter how many times they become the center of attention. This makes them more likely to succeed in life, as people instinctively respect confidence and initiative. Not to mention the fact that active students are far more likely to develop invaluable communication skills. All of these traits make active students more appealing to other people, and more importantly, to potential employers.

However, student activity does not indicate a student’s intelligence level. Case in point, many researchers have observed that as introversion level increases, so does the intelligence, up to a certain point. Rarely will you find geniuses who are exuberant in their behavior. More often, you will find passive/introverted students to have a high IQ, In a classroom setting, and in life, passive students have a subdued demeanor and a more considered approach to what behaviors they exhibit to the public. Likewise, they will not be as confident as active students when addressing the classroom, but they will tend to use more measured and precise verbiage.

Unfortunately, this also means that passive students approach their work with lesser urgency than active students. With that said, as education moves more to online platforms instead of physical classrooms, the differentiation between passive and active students will become less relevant than determining the proper tools to assess the student’s knowledge. Passive students will greatly appreciate this transformation, while active students can exert their exuberance in all other aspects of life.