Instead of finding children raising their hands in class to answer a teacher's question, one school has banned the common classroom practice.
Barry Found, principal of The Samworth Church Academy in England, officially eliminated this at his secondary school to "challenge and support the learning of all." Despite his claims that this is an "age-old practice," many believe that Found's decision is about "gimmicks" and not the education of their children.
In a letter to parents, Found explained his reasoning: "We find that the same hands are going up and as such the teaching does not challenge and support the learning of all," Found wrote. "We will use a variety of other techniques to ensure that every student is challenged and developed in class through our questioning and that every student has opportunities to contribute and participate."
As of now, hands will only go up in a classroom to signal that it's time to quiet down and listen but the National Union of Teachers believes that this change shows "a lack of respect" to the educators at that school. "Any professional teacher should be trusted to teach a particular topic in a particular style according to the class they have," Jane Crich, a member of the NUT, said.
Parents are also speaking out on behalf of their children since the ban was first announced. "My son told me about this last week and he is disappointed about it as he fears being chosen randomly if he doesn't know the answer but equally won't get the opportunity to raise his hand when he does know the answer," Lucinda King wrote online, according to Daily Mail.
Nicola Smith shared a similar sentiment pointing out that some shy kids don't want to be put on the spot and that it's OK to be quiet in class. "It's going to be awful for kids who are naturally anxious if they spend all their classes scared they will be picked, and if they don't know the answer they might be ridiculed by other kids," Smith wrote.
While other parents are supporting the new method and are urging others to give it a chance, many agree that banning hand-raising doesn't solve the bigger issue that this school is trying to solve.
"Putting your hand up is showing enthusiasm, if you're suppressing that then it's not good," said Michael McKeever, head of the neighboring Trinity School. "If the reason is that the same children are always putting their hand up, then the issue is the teacher and their methods."