Little_Mavis' rants and musings

To click or not to click?


Quick post on the current clicking discussion.

This makes me uncomfortable & I’ve been trying to figure out why. I haven’t sorted it out yet but I am bothered by the trend in education of getting kids to conform, and I suspect my uneasiness is partly to do with this. If we are going to get kids to conform we need to think very carefully about what we are getting them to conform to and why. Who are the long-term beneficiaries from this? And what do we lose if we continue down this road? Some kids love structure & belonging to the crowd. Some will go under if they are forced to do this.

Thinking specifically about the clicking, are kids doing it to genuinely show approval of what someone is saying? Or are they doing it because they know it is expected? Does it start as one but evolve/devolve into another?
In my fist job I was sent to a conference. I was confused by delegates asking questions that the speaker had already answered in the talk. Eventually I worked out that they were asking questions so as to be seen to be “involved”.
Could the clicking lead to subtle  bullying, withholding for children who aren’t part of “the crowd’.

I’m not dismissing this just exploring why it makes me feel uncomfortable. I can see why teachers rigidly control classes. I can see how this makes them easier to control and how, initially at least more learning takes place. I’m just not sure it leads to independent learners in the future. Or maybe it’s my own deep-seated prejudices showing?


Author: littlemavis

Retired teacher. (also Information Scientist, Export Sales Assistant, Sales Administrator, Computer Programmer, Software Support Specialist) Worked in Sixth Form college and recently as support in a primary school.

2 thoughts on “To click or not to click?

  1. This clicking thing makes me uncomfortable too. Enforced clapping would be equally as bad.
    I can see the value of appreciating and congratulating members of the group where this is freely given, but the idea of manufacturing a response seems to carry some dishonesty with it. So, if it is a feature of the classroom environment that pupils click, it carries the risk of just becoming a sort of knee jerk insincere gesture. What is its value then?
    Alongside of that, people have the capacity of subverting these naive well-intentioned things. I can see plenty of ways clicking could be used unpleasantly, sarcastically or threateningly, in the sub-culture of the school, especially if streetwise teenagers think it’s all a bit naff anyway. I’d be interested to see pupils outside the classroom to find out if they use clicking ‘ironically’. I think this depends whether they are ‘on board’ with clicking and believe in it themselves. That’s the crucial factor – not whether to click or not to click – more whether it is a communal decision to click or an imposed one.

    • Indeed, I think many things that start out with good intentions in classrooms are subverted by children, and often in novel ways that teachers never imagined.

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