I’ve written a few times in the past about issues of introversion/ extroversion in schools. It concerns me that, like too many other areas in society, schools are so set up to support extroverts that introverts are undermined in their ability to fulfil their potential in education. We see this exacerbated by parents who fear that the world is going to treat their introvert child badly if they don’t change. Thus, not only are school environments too often hostile environments for the introvert child, but the parents may even exhort the educators to push the child in to being and acting more and more like an extrovert, even when this goes against their natural disposition.
So, I was pleased to see this article recently that fully acknowledges the desirability of active learning environments, but where the writer also understands the need to be sensitive to the needs of introvert members of the class.
I believe that some of the things that can be done or focussed upon to make sure that introverts are effectively included include ensuring that the more extrovert students understand and value the benefits of reflection. It takes reflective students to realise that all the best ideas may not come from the more assertive and talkative team members, or that the most effective teams elicit the ideas of all team members (including those who might not be thrusting themselves forward).
The comments about being cautious of assessment policies that favour ‘participation’ when it’s treated too simplistically are particularly relevant.
Whilst on the subject of introversion, I (and the above writer) have highlighted the work of Susan Cain and her superb book – Quiet. So, I was delighted this week to see that Susan Cain has launched a website with lots of resources, articles and materials on the subject. It has a very extensive section on kids and parents:
(Click on the link above to open the website)
Filed under: Educators of tomorrow, Life, School, Teaching Practice | Tagged: active learning, classroom participation, extroversion, extrovert, introversion, introvert, quiet revolution, Susan Cain |