The chilling effect is where someone refrains from doing something not because of what will happen, but because of what might happen. In fiction it’s often overlooked, where we often have threats as very direct and oppositional, where a person may find their life suddenly imposed upon by a nine-foot-tall wookiee or something, but for most of us, we don’t avoid doing things because of things that definitely will go wrong, we avoid them because of the things that maybe probably will. In class environments, an unwillingness to speak out often flows from a fear of getting something wrong, maybe, and when nobody speaks, at all, nobody knows what to work with. Being the person who speaks up, and deals with that is a service you can bestow on your social group.
Speak up! Speak up and at the very least, you might enable another student who’s shy, but doesn’t want to speak up and contribute unless they know they can without the teacher turning into a t-rex and biting them in half.
Anyway, this is just on my mind because the chilling effect is really crimping my pasta these days and I have to work out how I’m going to deal with it.