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Is there ever a stupid question?

New research suggests that secondary school pupils are so scared of looking stupid in maths lessons they will not tell their teachers if they do not understand. The survey found that most children would rather ask friends or family than risk the embarrassment of getting the answer wrong and many felt like they should already know the answer.

As adults we know this feeling isn’t restricted to children. How many times have you been sat in a conference or meeting wanting to ask a question but unable to do so in case you look daft? Have you ever been in a situation where you didn’t want to double check something in case the person accused you of not listening? And we know you can all remember being in the classroom and hearing ‘weren’t you paying attention in the last lesson’ ‘do you ever listen’ ‘you should know that we covered it last week’. So if we feel like this as adults then how can we expect children to enthusiastically thrust their hands up to answer in a classroom situation?

If the fear of looking silly is totally natural then how we help children (at both primary and secondary level) overcome their fears and get the most out of their education?

  •  Tell them it’s natural! Talk to your children, explain that you felt the same way when you were younger and that even as an adult you experience those same feelings. Children feel less alone when they know someone else is going through the same thing.
  •  Work on classroom confidence – this is one of the main reasons people come to 121 Home Tutors. We can work on subjects slowly and build up confidence so students feel they have a sufficient depth of knowledge to answer a question well.
  •  Focus on internal success. Your child doesn’t always have to shout out. Sometimes it’s enough to say the answer in your head and have it confirmed by what someone else says.
  •  Write it down. If your child feels like they can’t say things out loud then get them to write questions down and discuss them with their teacher (or even you) at home.
  •  Teach your child there is never a stupid question. Some of our biggest leaps in knowledge happen when we take risks and make mistakes.

Did you know private tutoring can help with classroom confidence? We have English, Maths and German tutors at primary and secondary levels across Manchester and Cheshire). Contact us today.



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One Response to “Is there ever a stupid question?”

  1. Thomas says:

    Good topic guy. This really gives great ishgint. In today’s time, there is a relation between internet and students. They likely want to learn new things on internet and if the education materials are given in the form of internet applications like article, blog, video etc rather than textbook then i think that the student will become more interested. There are many educational blogs are running on internet and many students are being availed through this.

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