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Lauram6123
02-27-2014, 07:53 AM
Hello all.

I've googled it and I can't find anything. Does anyone know what the origin is for children raising their hands in school when they know an answer or have a question?

Maybe not even the origin, but the earliest mention of this in literature.

Thanks!

DeleyanLee
02-27-2014, 08:01 AM
Don't have such a reference for you, but according to my grandmother (now 91yo) always held that stemmed from "children should be seen and not heard". That attitude was still around when I was a kid in the 1960's, FWIW.

frimble3
02-27-2014, 10:57 AM
More than 'children should be seen and not heard', it's about a classroom full of children all trying to be heard (and noticed) at once. I don't know the earliest reference to it, but it's a simple way for a teacher to maintain some control. If it works perfectly, all the children with the answer to a question raise their hand, and the teacher selects one. The teacher chooses the selection method, perhaps the first child, or the most eager. Maybe it's the child who seldom answers, or the keener who can be trusted to give the right answer (essentially a 'straight man' for the teacher's further explanation). It's the 'magician's choice' in an educational setting.
The only alternative is the teacher pointing to the child she wants to answer, which can have unpredictable results.

mirandashell
02-27-2014, 03:48 PM
Teachers always did that to me when they knew I hadn't been paying attention. And there's that horrible 'spotlight' feeling when the whole class is looking at you and grinning cos it's not them about to be humiliated.

As for the question, I would imagine it was thought up not long after classrooms started cos it's a very effective way of managing a class.

Lauram6123
02-27-2014, 04:37 PM
As for the question, I would imagine it was thought up not long after classrooms started cos it's a very effective way of managing a class.

I was thinking that too, but I just wanted to make sure...

Thanks all for the responses!

King Neptune
02-27-2014, 05:02 PM
I would be willing to bet that it goes back at least as far as the Ancient Greeks. I can imagine someone waving at Aristotle to try to catch his attention, as he droned on about something that he dream up. And millennia before that it would have been used in tribal meetings.

jaksen
02-27-2014, 05:50 PM
I think the origin comes from adults wanting another adult's attention, because not everyone can talk or grunt at the same time. Is confusing.

But if you can find the earliest, documented use of such, please post it here.