Tapping into Introverted Processing in Active Learning


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…

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