Next on my summer reading list is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. This book was a recommendation of one of my students’ parents. I had watched Susan Cain’s TED Talk on this topic so my appetite was whetted.
Some of the main points in ‘Quiet’ are that:
- we live in a world largely geared to extroverts
- introverts make a up a large portion of society
- emphasis on extrovert characteristics means that we often overlook the important contributions of introverts
- there is evidence that some of our cherished extrovert focussed methods or strategies are actually not as effective as we might think (eg. group brainstorming)
As I read the book I realized that my classroom was really extrovert focussed despite the fact that I know that I have a lot of introverted students and despite the fact that I am moderately introverted. I cringed when I read that group brainstorming is not as effective as individual brainstorming; I spent quite a bit of time on group brainstorming this past year.
Looking forward to the new school year, what I have learned from reading ‘Quiet’ will definitely influence how I do things in my classroom. I won’t toss all of the ‘extroverty’ things that I do, but I will definitely try and provide an environment that is more accommodating to introverts.
If you’re a teacher, do you think that your classroom environment meets the needs of both introverts and extroverts? Regardless of your job, does your workplace provide an environment where people all along the introvert-extrovert spectrum can flourish? Let me know in the comments.
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