What Is Introversion?
Introversion-extroversion is any established personality dichotomy. Psychologists fully developed this trait’s measurement. However, it’s complex because there many cases of false extroversion in situations where extroversion is highly desirable and introversion is less acceptable. False extroversion leads to considerable stress for introverted students. In fact, in modern schools, as in modern society, people desire more extroverted personality traits. Extroverts outnumber introverts and the normal behavior of introverts is often regarded as shyness or some kind of personality underdevelopment.
People often mistake introversion for shyness. While shy people are often reluctant to engage with others because of fear, introverts prefer to be solitary, but are not typically fearful or hostile towards others. The temperament of introversion is rooted in biology. The trait may emerge in infancy or early childhood. In early childhood, introverts may show high sensitivity to loud noises. Some introverted toddlers practice caution when introduced to novelties. They may be “sensory-sensitive.”
Introversion in Schools
Susan Cain’s book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2013) immediately met with acclaim when it criticized schools and other institutions for weighing their support on the side of extroversion and ignoring the needs of introverts. The book notes the degree to which schools promote high levels of social stimulation and social activity while subjugating the contemplative and quiet activities that introverts favor. Teachers are busy handling a wide variety of temperaments, disabilities, levels of sensitivity to noise, and visual distraction. Often introverts, who like quiet and individual activity do not bother the teachers and are more or less ignored by teachers. Often, people tell introverts to “come out of their shells” or “speak up” when asked.
Coping With Introversion
- Smaller class size is important for educating introverts. Indeed, more teacher time per student is key to drawing out talent. Small class sizes that grant a lot of attention to each individual student help give the introverted student a greater sense that the teacher cares for them. Introverted students often work harder to excel when they feel that someone cares for them.
- Smaller classes make it impossible for students to hide. When lost in a large busy classroom, introverted children may feel unmotivated. They may hide the private activities they feel comfortable with behind anonymity behind a book barrier or in the back of the class. In smaller classrooms, the teacher ensures that everyone is participating. Introverted students can fully participate in class with less social pressure as well.
- Smaller classes make the identification of uncommunicated issues easier. Introverts may tend to ignore their own problems, focussing on their own interests. In large classes, teachers will have trouble perceiving the problems that students try to hide. Thus, in larger classes, introverted students may find themselves missing vital steps in development.
- Smaller classes allow the formation of more intimate teams and friendship patterns. Introverts are often challenged by participation in large social groups, but enjoy more intimate groups of two or three. Small classrooms encourage the development of more intimate social relationships. In many ways, small classes are more cohesive than large classes, because children do not have the larger range of personalities to adjust to.
- Smaller classes reduce the incidents of disorderly behavior and learning becomes more predictable. Introverts often become disturbed by odd, aggressive, or unpredictable behavior. They may hide from it and reduce their participation in classes where such behavior occurs. Less possibility for confusion and uncontrolled behavior in classrooms will show up in the growth of introverts.