Factors Affecting Female Students’ Classroom Participation

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Introduction

Education has become an essential element in the empowerment of women in the 21st century whereby there is an increased need to tap into social and economic development. Learning as an investment gives returns that have far-reaching benefits to the society as a whole. Education helps in the acquisition of skills and knowledge on sustaining economic growth and development. Class participation is beneficial as it gives a learner a chance to be a critical thinker and it becomes easy to conceptualize information from the tutor. The effects of class participation have a connection to the knowledge and content provided as well as the communication skills applied (Elise, Julie & Marjorie, 2012). In a class setup, the use of considerable group lecturing is applicable as it is a low-cost model of training. This paper delves in the factors affecting classroom participation in relation to female students.

Since the ancient time, many people believed that men are the eligible individuals to undertake science subjects. Female students’ participation in a classroom setup gives them the ability to express their feelings towards something thus building their self-confidence (Bortola, 2015). Many girls do not participate in class owing to shyness, lecturer-student connection, family background, environmental issues, the gender of the tutor, fear of expressing oneself and the lack of value attached to the participation.

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Application of self-determination theory helps to understand why personal motivation differs. The theory argues that there are factors that motivate and demotivates people (Leal, Gilberto, & Carlos, 2013). To understand the motivation aspect of a student, it is essential to the learning process, and the environments are concerning the time spent in the classes learning and their academic performance. A student perception can be affected by changes in the school environment, the culture or by learners themselves.

According to the theory of self-determination, an individual can be intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Primary motivation comes when a person does an activity because it is to their interest and there is satisfaction (Leal et al., 2013). On the other hand, extrinsic inspiration involves instrumentality of the consequences to follow that in most cases are rewards. Here, the satisfaction comes from the magnitudes of the action done.

In a school set up, a student is intrinsically motivated when he or she engages in a program that enjoys and receives satisfaction at the end of it. In the case of extrinsic motivation, a student does a task just because there are rewards or interest attached to it. With this mind, it is equally important to say that learning has effects on motivation and vice versa. Furthermore, motivation in a student attaches itself to their background and culture.

Situations That May Exist Among Instructors and Female Students

The primary goal of teaching students is not for them to get high scores but to develop a responsible person with well-developed mindset and character. Besides, through acquired knowledge and skills in class, the learners can fit in the community and develop relationships. Every person has a different personality that is distinctive. The character of individual reflects their social interactions in corporate meetings, community, and public gatherings. Students also have personalities that affect their participation in the classroom that receives influences from the social, cultural, and economic background. Owing to mixed feelings, the female student tends to shy aware when interacting with male tutors in class.

The teacher-student relationship is vital as it helps in the development an academic growth. During the interaction between the lecturer and the learner, there are emotional attachments developed during the learning process. There is a need for learning institutions to establish practical application strategies that teachers can use to create a healthy and prosperous relationship with their students. A purposefully designed learning environment has a positive effect on students’ learning thus enhancing the learning environment. Creating an effective relationship between a lecturer and a learner adds value to instructional capacity promoting the student’s strengths and abilities.

Teacher-student interactions have a social and critical element in a classroom setup because of the norms and cultural effects attached to it. Gender biases are prone in education curriculum concerning masculinity. In a classroom, female student prefers to sit in front. However, owing to shyness and lack of self-confidence, many girls do not participate in a lesson. In learning, there are no permanent learning techniques and the chances of growth and change portrayed in a person’s physical, motivational and achievements over a given period.

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The Psychological, Educational, Social Economic Status of Female Students

According to Jayanthi et al. (2014), factors such as gender, nationality, of the learner and engagement in extra-curricular activities have a significant effect on the academic performance of a student. The authors assert that education success gets influence on the learner’s self-esteem, determination, and encouragement. In Singapore, students in universities come from different backgrounds with different cultures. However, in the learning institutions, all students receive the same education, but in the end, they get mixed scores in their examinations.

Through education, there are high chances of poverty reduction and promotion of social, economic development. Alebachew et al. (2017) in their study on factors affecting female students’ participation on academy achievement, they found that their involvement receives challenges owing to financial problems, lack of support from teachers and parents and lack of interest in learning. This cross-sectional study took place in Teyra-Bora Primary School in Barhale Woreda where a sample of 40 participants sampled. The respondents included learners, teachers, and parents. The authors concluded that to achieve student participation in the classroom, and there is a need for all stakeholders to participate in equal portion.

According to Yukselturk (2010), a student achievement, gender, and weekly internet use have a significant effect on student participation. The study was examining the relationship between the student individual demographic and engagement level. A sample of 196 participants sampled were students undertaking computers systems and structures course of the online certificate program. The author concluded that to be able to achieve student participation of learners in the classroom, education institutions have to implement online platforms that students’ workload and responsibility discussion takes place and establish control mechanisms for the time taken on the internet.

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Conclusion

A classroom environment is an important element in determining the level of student participation. To achieve maximum female student participation, there is a need for learning institutions to implement mechanisms for students to develop their career paths by ensuring that the transmission of knowledge is efficient and can build student’ self-confidence. To ensure high-quality learning in a classroom, education centers need to have courses that will enable learners to enjoy participating in them. In the modern times, girls are defining their career path long before joining colleges.

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  1. Alebachew, F., Natnael, G., Nuru, M., Seid, M., Melaku, A., & Natnael, T. (2017). Factors affecting female students’ participation on cademic achievement in Teyara-Bora Primary School, Barhale Woreda, Afar, Ethiopia. Public Health International, 2(1), 28-37.
  2. Bortola, G. W. (2015). Representation vs. participation of female students in class: A comparative feminist investigation. Open Access Library Journal, 2, 1-6.
  3. Elise, J. D., Julie, H. H., & Marjorie, B. P. (2012). The impact of cold-calling on student voluntary participation. Journal of Management Education, 305-341.
  4. Jayanthi, V. S., Santhi , B., Angela, L. C., & Noor, A. L. (2014). Factors contributing to academic performance of students in a tertiary institution in Singapore. American Journal of Educational Research, 2(9), 752-758.
  5. Leal, E. A., Gilberto, J. M., & Carlos, R. S. (2013). Self-determination theory: An analysis of student motivation in an accounting degree program. Teaching and Research in Management and Accounting, 162-173.
  6. Yukselturk, E. (2010). An investigation of factors affecting student participation level in an online discussion forum. The Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology, 9(2), 24-32.
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