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Hooking students: Teachers' use of anticipatory sets

13 December 1994


An anticipatory set can be defined as a motivational device that gets the student's attention focused on the lesson. Many factors are involved in defining how a teacher sets up an anticipatory set. Study after study has been conducted in order to find out if anticipatory sets engage students. The purpose of this study is similar. However, it is a qualitative study based upon three months of classroom observation in a high school. The classrooms of two science teachers and one math teacher were observed. Formal interviews with each of the teachers were also conducted along with various informal interviews and assessments of students. The results of this study suggest that anticipatory sets are directly related to effective classroom management. Findings indicate that some teachers use anticipatory sets more often than others. Teachers who use the anticipatory sets often have more control over their students.


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