The Appropriate Participants For A Seminar or Symposium - ETCSINES



The purpose of this article is to answer a question; What is the appropriate age at which people can participate in a seminar or symposium?
In an attempt to answer the question , we shall examine the basic definition of 'seminar' and other 
concepts.

A seminar is an educational event where one or more people present their views through lecture or discussion, symposium is a more formal gathering of experts who deliver lecture or express their views on a topic.
"A Symposium is a formal gathering in an academic setting where participants are experts in their fields. These experts present or deliver their opinions or viewpoints on a chosen topic of discussion. It would be correct to label a symposium as a small scale conference as the number of delegates is smaller. There are the usual discussions on the chosen topic after the experts have 
presented their speeches. The chief characteristic of a symposium is that it covers a single topic or subject and all the lectures given by experts are completed in a single day.

A Seminar is a form of academic instruction, either at a university or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some particular subject, in which everyone present is requested to actively participate. The Instructor has prepared the concepts and techniques they will present 
and discuss through a combination of visual materials, interactive tools or equipment, and demonstrations. It includes some take home material for the participants that relates to the lecture.

An appraisal of the above definitions definitely indicates that participants in a seminar or symposium should be those who can understand what is being discussed and be capable of contributing to it, this can give us the impression that participating in seminar and symposiums should be reserved for matured minds especially students of tertiary institutions and adults. However I slightly differ a bit from this conclusion because as we can also observe that even adults and students of tertiary institutions can be lost if attending a seminar that is highly technical and bothers on may be some mathematical or engineering terms. 

My own answer is that the participants at a seminar will be determined by the topic being treated. A seminar on Peer pressure and self confidence can be attended by primary school students and vice versa. In fact,during my research into this article and topic I found that in some countries and regions they had specific seminar topics for primary school students, this topics were simple and relevant for the children.
It is my considered view that the ability of a young child to participate in a seminar will be enhanced by the simplicity of the topics and the language used, from the tender age of pre-teens to adults there can be a seminar that is suitable to be attended and benefited from. 

In conclusion, the organisers of a seminar or symposium has the basic responsibility to ensure that the intended participants and target audience would really leave the seminar venue with a sense that they have truly benefited from the seminar and added value to themselves. 

Thank you.

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