Introverts in the Classroom: Susan Cain's The Quiet Revolution

I recently listened to Susan Cain’s TedTalk on The Power of Introverts and found it really interesting. While it seemed quite clear (at least to me), that she was uncomfortable on the stage, a little hesitant, even timid, I thought that, in essence, helped so much with her message – Quiet: The Power of Introverts. The idea that Introverts also have a lot to contribute to the world in their own quiet way.

Initially from a personal perspective, I tried to think about which category (Introvert or Extrovert) I would fall in to (more Introvert).

Later I wondered too, as she spoke about teaching in classrooms that require students to speak up so much of the time, what change we can make to teaching, especially via technology to help and empower the more introvert student.

Listen to the talk here

By pure chance, I also came across Royan Lee’s excellent blog Spicy Learning. While I was really amazed at his thoughts and methods for technology Reorientation in his English classes, he also shared in this post a quick survey among his students on their personality types and how participatory they are within social media.

Susan Cain also ‘interviewed’ Royan Lee on how social media is helping students who are typically introverted. Their discussion offers some key insights in to how social media can make a vast difference to schooling for some children who would have otherwise been sidelined. Read the interview here.

At the end of it all though,  I did wonder though how much an introvert would achieve if we continued live within our own introvert-shells. Clearly as Susan Cain herself said, she has accomplished much by challenging her innate nature, to learn to speak out a little more, to make more of a difference by saying what she thinks.

And to this end, it seems that while we all agree and accept that there will always be introverts among us, and Yes, we need to give them space and to listen to what they say, when they say it, we also need to encourage the quiet to speak sometimes.

It reminds me somewhat of Plato’s saying so many moons ago, “One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”

So, anyway, I’ll definitely be reading the book to find out more. If you’re interested, get your copy here.

Take the quiz to find out whether you are an introvert or an extrovert or a little bit of both, an ambivert.

What do you think? In this already loud, busy world, should we just be appreciating the Quiet of Introverts, or should we encourage them to speak out too?

Author: Li-ling, also tweets as DrOoi and is passionate about all things learning.

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