Teaching Introverts

#becomingeducational Year of Learning Development: teaching introverts
Today we are happily re-blogging Helen Webster’s provocative post on teaching introverts.
Why – she asks – do we insist that people work together?
Why not allow some students to work on their own?
Or – perhaps – signpost your session – introverts one way – extroverts the other… and build the learning form there?
What we particularly like about this post – apart from making us think about the pain we inflict on introverts – is the ultimate point about allowing students themselves more choice in the way that they work.

rattus scholasticus

“Get into pairs and discuss with the person next to you…”

It’s the go-to model for workshop activities. One to ones are by definition dialogues, and we also try to capitalise on the social constructivist nature of learning in our group sessions. The whole of my PGCE beautifully modelled social constructivist principles in the way it was taught. And the amount of independent learning in Higher Education means there’s plenty of time for students to work on their own outside class, if they want to. However, I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable with how many of my workshops include paired or group discussion as a first resort.

Why? Because I can’t stand it myself as a student.

I’m an introvert. I like to think things through carefully and work out what I think and how to articulate it before I then bounce that idea off others. I don’t find that starting off…

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One thought on “Teaching Introverts

  1. I just reread an old-but-good text on a similar topic – one of the last chapters of Moira Peelo’s Helping Students with Study Problems looks at workshops. She frames her comments more around anxiety (she’s a counsellor) than introversion, but it chimes very strongly with my own feelings about how we need to let students retain some control over how they participate, in order for them to be able to fully participate. Worth looking at again!

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