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Why the youth is Afraid?

  1. Feb 19, 2006 #1
    There is something i have seen,why the youth(including me) is afraid....afraid to ask questions in the class..afraid to come out clearly,blodly...what is this invisible fear that holds back the students.
    What do you think?

    i have seen many many times,that when the teacher teaches and even if noone in the class understand any thing even then they agree to keep quiet..

    What is the possible solution to this>?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 19, 2006 #2

    Chi Meson

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    As a high school teacher, I know what you are talking about, and there is not a single reason, that much I can tell you for certain.

    Depending on the student, the teacher, and the subject, here are a few reasons that some students (and in some cases entire classes) never speak up:

    1: afraid to look stupid; "I am the only one who doesn't understand what's going on. If I ask a question, I'll look stupid and other kids will tease me."

    2: Afraid to look too smart; "If I ask a question, other kid's will think I am a suck up/brown nose."

    3: Afraid of ridicule; "the teacher will shoot me down if I ask a question because (a) teacher has no patience or tolerence for anyone other than the "A" students; (b) teacher does not like to be interrupted; (c) teacher is just plain awful."

    4:Students are bored lifeless; "Bueler? Anyone? Anyone?"

    5: Bad dynamic mix of students in the room; just about everyone hates everyone else in the class.

    This is just a partial list; all that I could think of in a minute.

    Only one thing I can think of to remedy all of these problems (and more) is to hire highly talented teachers. What do you think is the best way of attracting better candidates to the teaching profession?
  4. Feb 19, 2006 #3
    I think it could be different for everybody. In your case... probably from self-doubt.
    If you admit, that when you lump everyone together and say "no one in class understands anything, they agree to keep quiet", you are included in this group. Thus, you are really the only one we know for sure feels this way, in this situation.

    My suggestion is to determine at which point in the lesson you become lost. So at least you're sure what you "know" and what you "don't know". Then you can build your questions from there.

    Maybe you are past this point...then it could be that you fear asking a question that will reveal to the rest of the class where you are in your understanding. If you think that you lag behind in this area, this could cause fear of what your classmates might think about you.

    Then my only advice is, who cares what anyone else thinks? You know what you are trying to accomplish, and possibly your question might help others that are in the same boat as you. So follow these steps and ask away.
  5. Feb 19, 2006 #4


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    Well I think there is a single reason and it's origin is Darwinian. However, the details are depressing and so I choose not to give them. However, just think of it in terms of the basic need to "survive" in an animal, dog-eat-dog world which still very much describes the society of humankind.

    Solution? There is no problem. The problem IS the solution (in terms of Darwinism). That is, the student (subconsciously) meets the Darwinian threat by behaving in the way so observed . . . it's all a matter of survival.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2006
  6. Feb 19, 2006 #5
    So something inside you holds you back that we wont be able to understand.:rofl:
  7. Feb 19, 2006 #6


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    Hey Heman. Of course you would understand it but it's unpleasant, dry, biological, and I don't want to be unpleasant: if you're smart they don't like you and if you're dumb they don't like you. That affects your survival and reproductive success outside the classroom and that's where you live, not in the classroom. Now there are execptions but in general I believe that's what causes people to keep a low profile in class: our need to be accepted and that need is rooted in persistance, i.e., survival.
  8. Feb 19, 2006 #7
    Its actually both with me....i am smart in Physics class and dumb in Comp. Architecture class....I ask questions in both the classes,,but in Physics class my questions are very nice and in comp. Architecture class i simply ask the instructor to repeat again & again...And one more thing is that comp. class has got the best brainy guys of our college and one day..the guy who is claimed to be best academician here made fun of me,saying that "i ask questions which are very primitive ' and i stopped asking even a single question..so when i am in these two classes ,i show exactly opposite behaviour..
  9. Feb 19, 2006 #8
    Don't stop asking questions because of some jackass.
  10. Feb 19, 2006 #9
    matt,,who doesn't want to ask questions ..but my questions are very primitive and its truth that my mind stops working whenever i enter into my any of Computer class..
  11. Feb 19, 2006 #10


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    It's more embarrasing if you don't learn the subject properly.
  12. Feb 19, 2006 #11
    its very tough to learn the subject if your heart is not there..!
  13. Feb 19, 2006 #12

    Chi Meson

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    Philosphical and psychological reasons may have merit, and they are perfectly valid for discussion; however, I belive that there are practical and fair resolutions for the problem specified by the OP.

    I have easily and repeatedly "brought out" many introspective, shy, depressed, "too smart" and "too stupid" students. It is easy and it is my responsibility to do so. I walk the fine line between supporting effort (for making a dumb comment) and not accepting frivolous comments.

    Depending on the class level and the particular student, a "dumb comment" will deserve either praise or a quick and quiet "cut off." Sometimes even the smart students who don't stop talking will require cutting off. I've gotten pretty good at it in only 7 years of teaching; there's no excuse for any tenured teacher to not have this skill.
  14. Feb 19, 2006 #13
    i am neither shy,depressed,too smart or too stupid....
    i can or anybody can easily differentiate that but i was talking about something different which i can myself not phrase.
    ....i have experienced two entirely different kind of states ..i wont talk on consciousness expecting you may catch me by neck...
  15. Feb 19, 2006 #14

    Chi Meson

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    Believe me, I'm not trying to pigeon-hole you. As far as I can see, I don't know what the problem is for you specifically, but it appears to be atypical.
  16. Feb 19, 2006 #15

    Devil is in the details of the problem...
  17. Feb 19, 2006 #16

    Chi Meson

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    Aha! so you're posessed! Problem solved!
  18. Feb 19, 2006 #17

    i never realised when did it originate,when it became typical and finally it is even solved.:biggrin:
  19. Feb 19, 2006 #18
    I have much more respect for a person who rise his/her hands to express his ignorance on a matter, than a hundred person who are too afraid to speck their mind. It takes boldness and audacity to ask a question.
  20. Feb 19, 2006 #19


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    Chi Meson hit on the major reasons I could think of. Related to those are two more: The student who thinks their question is too trivial, so is afraid to interrupt everyone else with their trivial concern, and, the student who takes time to process what has been said so that by the time they recognize they didn't understand something and form their question, the topic of the class has moved on beyond that, and they don't want to interrupt and backtrack the entire lesson.

    One solution, if the student is not intimidated by the teacher but by asking the question aloud in front of the entire class, is to jot your questions down as you think of them, and stay after class to ask the teacher. When giving large lectures at a university, it's very common to have a line of students waiting to ask questions of the professor after class because they didn't want to interrupt during the class. Often they are minor points, but sometimes you discover every student has the same question, so know something wasn't explained clearly. When you start out the very next class by clarifying that point, it helps reassure the students who also had that question but were afraid to ask that they did indeed have a legitimate question. There's really nothing better than hearing other people ask the same question you have to help build the confidence that your questions are good ones that should be asked...at least in my opinion.
  21. Feb 20, 2006 #20
    MoonBear sounds to be an experienced Professor,seems to know what exactly runs in the mind of studs....and i completely agree with her views..
    The triviality of the doubt prevents students from asking doubts,,if i or anyone possess good innovative question,,i believe question would be surely put up..
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