I have lots of thoughts about one of our journal assignments about introversion.  Loved the video we had to reflect upon and its made me think…how do we keep our introverts engaged in our classrooms?

Then I came across this great article that outlines how to do this.

One of the first statements was:

So how do we respect introverts’ needs amidst all of this active learning? The very first class is an excellent time to establish participation norms and to create a classroom climate that supports introverts in their learning.

I think this is essential to set the parameters of what is expected and that at some point they may be expected to work out side of their comfort zone.  It must be explained how this participation is a benefit for learning.

Introverted students can be given opportunities working in small groups or partners where they have time to gather their thoughts and  try out their ideas before presenting to a larger audience.

I think of this is my class where I have some very quiet shy ladies who always seem to get passed over when it comes to class discussion.  I would like to give them a chance to express what they know in a comfortable environment.  They are entering a profession of health care where communication is very important and they have to learn to be able to adapt to open discussion. I think the following statement summarizes what we are trying to accomplish in the classroom:

In many learning situations, introverts may need to stretch beyond their comfort zones, and they should be encouraged to do so, as should extroverts. Our goal is not to turn introverts into extroverts, or vice versa, but to maximize learning for all students and to help them develop the skills often identified by potential employers — teamwork, problem solving, and interpersonal communication. When designing learning activities for your classroom, consider the key elements of balance and choice in order to create a comfortable learning environment which also encourages all students to stretch and take risks.

I’m going to do more research for specific instructional strategies to bring the introverts out…..stay tuned…..