Including Introverts

Payton Miller, Staff Reporter

About 25% to 40% of the population can be classified as an introvert, according to With such a statistic, it’s surprising how many classrooms continue to favor learning styles that almost entirely benefit extroverts. 

“Introverts are people who generally find more stimulation inside of themselves,” stated Marlene Hines (she/her), Millikan AP Psychology teacher. The same website as above identified an introverted personality as best suited to independent work where you can develop your own ideas. Extroverts on the other hand thrive by sharing and collaborating on ideas in groups.

I am not calling for an end to group work, but our classrooms are currently at an imbalance between the two. Group work teaches students to be more communicative, tolerant, and collaborative, but very often it is not carried out correctly leading to group census and smothering individuality. People frequently follow the most confident member, who is not always the best fit for the position. 

“I prefer solo work, I can work at my own pace and focus on myself rather than others. I think I work quicker this way,” Gael Rodriguez PEACE sophomore stated.  

PHOTO COURTESY of Alexa Palencia: A student works independently in the quad.

On the other side of this spectrum, too much individual work can be just as harmful to a student’s learning process. Too much alone time in the classroom deprives extroverts of the valuable aspects of group work such as collaboration.

“Sometimes I give menus of assignments so students will have an opportunity to choose their own product,” Hines said. “The students can just choose what they like. There are some that are definitely set up for my extroverts, and then there are some, like a drawing one for instance, that a lot of the introverts will choose.” This is a perfect accommodation that allows both personalities to get the most of their work. 

Even if it’s just giving students time to collect their thoughts before coming together as a group, we need a better balance in the classroom. Introverts require their own space to gather their creative thoughts and be themselves. Extroverts require the opportunity to share and express themselves. If both of these requirements are met, the classroom can become a more inclusive environment with more productive students and more creatively generated ideas.