So, I’m having my cup of coffee, eating a cinnamon roll, and reading the news feed on my vacation day (yes, I admit it, fear of driving home during Nemo made me use a day off), when I see a tweet from Jenny Luca:
Which led me to this article in The Atlantic: Introverted Kids Need to Learn to Speak Up at School.
Needless to say, this introvert (and also occasionally shy and sometimes socially awkward and/or anxious) person was not pleased and, well, decided to Speak Up on Twitter. A lot bothered me about this article, from a self-identified extrovert deciding what is best for introverts is to be more like extroverts to a non-nuanced discussion about what, exactly, “class participation” is and is not. As just one short example of the bias in the article, this sentence: “Or I can ask them to open their mouths, turn on their brains, and share their ideas with the rest of the class.”
Generally, the way I process information is first I turn on my brain; then I share. What I’ve had to learn over decades is how to handle the “open mouth, then think” people in classrooms and offices and meetings and discussions. That is not about participation, but about communicating and working with different personality types. But I digress.
This isn’t a world of extroverts or introverts; it’s a world of both. I particularly liked Kristin’s response at Children’s Literature Crossroads on Introverts and Class Discussion, because it mentions both types of learners learning how to work with the other, as well as the varying levels of “class participation” and what that means.
Monica Edinger at Educating Alice mentions another point to keep in mind when discussing class participation: cultural norms.
Kelly at Stacked also had a few thoughts, in Doing Disservice to Introversion.
Any other thoughts or reactions? Let me know!
Edited to add:
Teri Lesesne weighs in at Introvert, Extrovert, Ambivert.
Ordinary Mer at Quit Fixing Introverts.
Charlotte’s Library and My Introverted Take On Being Called On In Class.
Read, Write, Reflect on Speaking Up In The Classroom
BalancEdTech on And Extrovert Kids Need to Learn to Listen in School
and more from Monica Edinger: In the Classroom: A Few Classroom Teaching Suggestions From an Introverted Teacher
and The In Librarian and Striking a Chord