Bit If It's Brief Enough, Silence May Indeed Be Golden-

Bracey, Gerald W.
January 1987
Phi Delta Kappan;Jan87, Vol. 68 Issue 5, p399
This article claims that not only do teachers tend to dominate classroom discussions, but that they also do not pause long enough between their own statements, following those of students, when students do talk, to facilitate learning. However, as Kenneth Tobin of the Western Australian Institute of Technology in Bentley, points out in the Summer 1986 issue of the American Educational Research Journal, the evidence on teacher wait time in large classes is inconclusive. Tobin defined wait time as the pause between two consecutive teacher utterances or the pause between a student's statement and a teacher's response. Tobin trained one group of sixth- and seventh-grade teachers of mathematics and language arts to maintain a wait time of three to five seconds throughout a series of lessons. Over the course of the experiment, the teachers received additional feedback on how they were doing and on how they might maintain the target wait time during the next lesson. Teachers in a control group were given information about the organization of each lesson in the series but not about wait time. Teachers in the experimental group maintained an average wait time of 3.3 seconds, while those in the control group jumped in every .9 seconds.


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