“When it's hands up they pick the smart children...”

‘Hands up’ is a very common way of inviting pupil participation in lessons. However, research shows that typically only around 25% of the class raise their hands.

Random selection approaches such as ‘lolly sticks’ are a way to immediately increase pupil participation.

I’ve now asked over 100 children what they think of hands up and random selection. The above quote is from a 10 year old; it’s clear he doesn’t perceive himself as ‘smart enough to participate’. With few exceptions, children say they prefer random selection. Their reasons are:

  • it is fairer

  • it enables more children to join in

  • it ensures more children listen.

Lolly Sticks get everyone in the class thinking, not just one person.

— 8 year old, Manchester, UK