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Analysis of Class Participation Deficit

Updated on August 22, 2018
Rodric29 profile image

Rodric has a Master in adult education. He has over ten years of facilitation and teaching experience.

In the previous article, I addressed supporting literature regarding participation among adults in reference to the problem with participation in the study group. During this article, I address possible causes for lacking classroom participation. Because the subject group is so specific, a group of men in a religious class, the number of possible causes to participation deficit is narrow in scope.

What Are We Talking About?

Possible causes for a lack in participation in classrooms for adults

Possible Cause # ONE

The adults may not participate in class because of instructor-teaching strategy. In the literature, a significant find attests that adults must be instructed using collaborative methods in order for optimal learning to occur. Adult students need to have their accumulated knowledge recognized to participate actively in discussion.

Causative Analysis


Possible Cause # TWO

The adults may not understand how the lesson provided by the instructor applies to their lives. Adults do tend to participate in any type of extracurricular education only if it applies to them in practically, such as advancing career, life skills, personal improvement etc...

Adults need to have a personal incentive to participate in un-mandated education.

The CES program’s design specifically exists to enhance the lives of those who participate in a moral and ethical sense—behavioral and social guidelines.

Participation in the class may suffer because the instructors do not provide adequate correlation between what is being taught and why it should matter to the students. The instructors may be unable to convey the curriculum to the adult learners properly.

This cause has substance because of conversations between the present instructor and the current president of the quorum of students discussed the inadequate structure of the assembly of instructors.

The number of instructors for the quorum reduced the effectiveness of developing an accurate assessment of the students’ needs, weaknesses, and strengths to explore opportunities for successful cultivation of instructional strategies.

Instructors appeared to apply the curriculum to themselves because they lacked time, as a tool, to invest in the members of the quorum as a whole.

Possible Cause # THREE

The instructors for the all-female group within this organization has the same system of multiple instructors to which the subject male group has recently modified; however, a student/teacher disconnect does not occur among the women as overtly because of their general psycho-social nature to nurture as opposed to the male psychological disposition generally to protect and provide.

Social construct and psychological generalities allow the women to provide appropriate discussion and participation because of the similarities among the women in that particular class. The majority of the women are homemakers; and, all of the women agree on a specific understanding of the nature of women that causes them to relate.

Of course, the men also have agreement on the role of men as fathers and husbands, but the cultural aspect to provide and protect also creates a self-focused behavior that can cause men to focus on their role to the exclusion of others outside that role.

This is not to say that all the men behaved in such a manner. This psychological approach to a cause that the system of instructors failure is based on general gender specific behavior that is cross-cultural in description brings disagreement from detractors; however, the social and psychological difference in gender are common knowledge and applies to the majority of humanity culturally in virtually every society.

This view did play a small role regarding the lack of instructors linking the curriculum adequately to students to foster a desire to participate in the study group.

Possible Cause # FOUR

The adult students had no expectation to participate in the class because previous instructors did not require active participation in class. Many reasons may exist that the instructors did not have a history of setting the expectation that the students in the class should participate.

Training is the major factor why. Previous instructors had no knowledge of how to instruct students being that the instructors' role is a volunteer service.

Though the teachers were set apart and given the title, no training occurred beyond that point to prepare the instructors to educate the students.

In addition, the importance of the instructor for the subject group is not one considered among the quorum members as one of instructional importance because of the lack of training.

Generally, previous instructors have read from teaching manuals and asked questions at the designated place. With no trained teacher with the basic skills to apply adaptive teaching protocol, the importance of participation was left to the whim of whoever provided the lesson material.

The quality of instructor is a major factor in promoting the participation in class. The instructor sets the tone and has time as a tool to do so.


Adults need to have a personal incentive to participate in un-mandated education.

Possible Cause # FIVE

Outside influences take a higher rank of importance among students and the instructors in this situation because all participants have families and other responsibilities that take a priority over planning and instructing the class.

Students are preoccupied with personal or ecclesiastical duties, which occupied their time and prevented them from taking a stake in the class.

The subject group has a history of its instructors reading from manuals and requiring little participation from its students; so, the outcome of a student not fully vested in the class other the obligatory religious protocol is a natural by-product.

The students may have also been wearied because the instructor may not have been able to teach. The students may also have feared of publicly sharing his knowledge, which of course is also related to a lack of instructor training.

Lastly, students were not prepared for class and may not have had the knowledge to contribute. The experience of the writer among the students suggests that all of the causes listed herein shared veracity as contributors to the lack of participation in the Laveen Ward Elders’ Quorum Class.

What do you think?

As and adult, are you willing to participate in class without prompting from an instructor?

See results

© 2012 Rodric Anthony

What other reasons would you assume adults would not participate in class?

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