When Schools Overlook Introverts

Introvert: A term introduced by the psychologist Carl Jung to describe a person whose motives and actions are directed inward. Introverts tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings and minimize their contact with other people.

 From The Atlantic magazine online.

Michael Godsey, Sep 28, 2015 Click on author’s name to access this and other articles on education.

As the focus on group work and collaboration increases, classrooms are neglecting the needs of students who work better in quiet settings.

“When Susan Cain published Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking nearly four years ago, it was immediately met with acclaim. The book criticizes schools and other key institutions for primarily accommodating extroverts and such individuals’ “need for lots of stimulation.” Much to introverts’ relief, it also seeks to raise awareness about the personality type, particularly among those who’ve struggled to understand it. It seems that such efforts have, for the most part, struggled to effect much change in the educational world. The way in which certain instructional trends—education buzzwords like “collaborative learning” and “project-based learning” and “flipped classrooms”—are applied often neglect the needs of introverts. In fact, these trends could mean that classroom environments that embrace extroverted behavior—through dynamic and social learning activities—are being promoted now more than ever. These can be appealing qualities in the classroom, but overemphasizing them can undermine the learning of students who are inward-thinking and easily drained by constant interactions with others.”

The article speaks of the environmental needs inherent in introverted personality types, many of which apply to Asperger children.

 

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