The comment that caught my attention from Susan Cain’s Ted Talk was that the “classrooms are designed for extroverts” (Cain, 2012) with pod seating and group projects. This brought back memories of my first grade class room, with four desks put together and in sixth grade the desks were in a big circle. I have lots of experience with group work from completing my accounting designation and master’s degree in finance.
I identify with Cain’s idea because for a long time I thought of myself as an introvert. I took the Myers-Briggs in my twenties and was more introversion then extroversion (Martin, 1997). I understand the “bias against introverts” (Cain, 2012) and constantly being told to participate more in group or class discussion and the feeling of exhaustion after team meetings or social events. People assuming that if you are being quiet that the introvert is upset or sad.
The meaning I get from Cain’s talk is that society values the characteristics of the extrovert over those of the introvert. Some of the characteristics of the extrovert are they are enthusiastic, outgoing, friendly, talkative and action orientated (Cherry, 2018) . Schools and work places promote these characteristics as those of successful people.
I do not believe that Cain is advocating for a return to the school model where students work alone and there are no group projects, but there is a tendency for trends to over correct themselves.
In Leah Levy’s article How to Help Extroverts Thrive in the Class Room (2014) I see the fear that extrovert will some how be disadvantaged position if the learning styles of introverts replace those of extroverts. With the focus on active learning and wide spread use of group projects I do not see them going away. They are valuable tools in education. What I did find interesting in Levy’s article is that extroverts can struggle when they are working on their own. They may have to learn to self-regulate themselves and understand that others need to be able to contribute as well (Levy, 2014).
In teaching practice, I will to include more student to student interaction, such as pair-share or gallery walks. When coming up with learning activities I need to think about the different characteristics of the student’s whether they are introverts and extroverts.
Cain gave a voice to many people who felt they could not be themselves and be successful in school, but sometime students must do work they may not enjoy.
Bradberry, T. (2016, April 26). 9 Signs you are an ambivert. Retrieved from Forbes.com: https://www.forbes.com/sites/travisbradberry/2016/04/26/9-signs-that-youre-an-ambivert/#5cd6d4f63145
Cain, S. (2012, March 2). Retrieved from youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0KYU2j0TM4
Cherry, K. (2018, February 20). 5 Personality Traits of Extroverts. Retrieved from Very Well Mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/signs-you-are-an-extrovert-2795426
Levy, L. (2014, November 25). How to Help Extroverts Thrive in the Classroom. Retrieved from Edudemic: http://www.edudemic.com/help-extroverts-thrive-classroom/
Martin, C. R. (1997). Extraversion or Introversion. Retrieved from Myers-Briggs: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/extraversion-or-introversion.htm