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A Note About Selection, Teams, and Educational Equity

If we analyzed classrooms worldwide, we would find that teachers call on students very frequently, but very unevenly. Some students, usually the high achievers, get called on frequently. Why? They are eager to participate. They have their hands up. They are often correct. They make us feel that we are reaching and teaching our students. The middle achievers are called on much less frequently, and the low achievers, rarely if at all.

The tragedy of this unfair selection process is that the students who most need to be actively involved, and who need the help are most ignored. Students who need the least help get the most attention.

SelectorTools™ was designed as a solution to this pervasive problem. By using the Name Selector, teachers click a button to create equal patterns of classroom participation. Everyone can be involved.

But even much more powerful than the tools in this selection software are the teacher tools for which this software was intended to support: Using cooperative teams in the classroom. With cooperative teams, student participation ratios skyrocket. Instead of the teacher calling on one student in a class of 30 to share an answer, one student in each pair or team must answer. Now, a quarter of the class or half the class is actively engaged — not just one in 30.

Most of Kagan’s resources and professional development revolve around the use of interactive teaching structures that rely heavily on the use of team work and pair work. For teachers new to structures and using teamwork, please refer to the book, Cooperative Learning, the most popular and comprehensive resource available on using classroom teams. Or experience the power of the structures in action by attending a Kagan Cooperative Learning workshop.

Even if you choose to use traditional teaching methods, you will find the Name Selector, and the Number Selector particularly strong tools for equalizing participation patterns.

If you already use cooperative teams, you are using the most effective teaching tool for creating educational equity and success. SelectorTools™ will help you add interest and equity to selecting students and teams.

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