Are our expectations of students in the classroom catered toward extroverted students? For example: Do we assume that a talking student is a participating student while the quiet one is disengaged? Do we presume that active learning means overtly, even physically doing some activity we can, therefore, visually assess to say learning is happening?
Do introverted students feel marginalized due to being compared to these sorts of “Extrovert Ideals” and assumptions about what sorts of behaviors demonstrate learning at work?
In their presentation at the Fall13 Academy of Distinguished Teachers Conference, Meaghan Stein and Liza Novack discussed these and other questions about our expectations for student participation. Their practical tips on how to incorporate multiple pathways for students to participate include:
- prompting quiet “think time” before discussions
- providing optional routes for sharing comments during a discussion (speaking for a small group, writing responses, then students commenting on the several they reviewed, sending a Tweet with a class hashtag), and
- preparing participation routes for those who are reflective listeners who form synthesizing commets and ideas at the close of a class session – they might lead the class-ending discussion by sharing one to three key “take aways” from the day’s class session.
Also, Susan Cain’s TED Talk, which coincided with the publication of her book Quiet, undoes several misconceptions regarding introverts and introversion.
And these resources “On Quiet Learning” – http://wp.me/p1Mdiu-Gn.