Entry 2 – Reflect on The Power of Introverts

 

Objective: One idea that really stood out for me in Susan Cain’s Ted Talk – The Power of Introverts, is Introversion is about “how you respond to stimulation, including social stimulation.” Also that 1/3 to ½ of the population is an introvert.

 

Reflective: I knew about the difference between Introverts and Extroverts because I have a son who is an introvert and he is very different from my other two children who are more extroverts. I am aware that some students need to have time to come to their answers by working alone or they need to process information by having some time to quietly think about their answers. After seeing this video I feel I can do a better job of allowing the introverts more time to work quietly or alone.

 

Interpretive: In the video Susan Cain makes a plea to “stop the group work”, so I suppose that the first question for me is whether or not I can stop group work altogether when more than half or half the class works well in groups. Also the job of a conductor does require group work some of the time. The video of 1,3,6 (sorry I can’t find it now, I will continue to look and submit reference later) demonstrates that it is important to have some time for students to work alone on an assignment then to work in a small group of 3 then collaborate with another group to make a large group of 6. This idea may solve some of the introverts needs for alone time and slowly warms them up to people by working with a small group then to moving into a large group.

 

This notion of introverts vs. extroverts is widely supported. A 2012 study completed by Randy Buckner of Harvard University discovered that introverts tended to have larger, thicker gray matter in their prefrontal cortex — a region of the brain that is linked to abstract thought and decision-making — while extroverts had less gray matter. Buckner concluded that this might be accountable for introverts’ tendencies to sit in a corner and ponder things thoroughly before making a decision, and extroverts’ ability to live in the moment and take risks without fully thinking everything through (which has its cons and benefits, of course.)

 

I have noticed at the beginning of the program the class is split into three distinctive groups. Extroverts, the group in between Introverts and Extroverts and the Introverts. In the beginning the Extroverts get the class going by engaging the in between group and they tend to be the ones most often answering questions. Then slowly the in between group warms up the introverts as well as engaging the extroverts. The in between group grows more outspoken and the Extroverts grow a little bit quieter. At the end of the program the Extroverts are listening to the Introverts and the Introverts share more of their thoughts and ideas. Their thoughts tend to be deeper thoughts and their ideas are well formulated.

When I pose Essential Questions at the end of the course there does not seem to be any one group more vocal then another and there is more thoughtful calm discussion among them.

 

 

Decisional: So, what can I do in my classroom? In Introduction to Industrial Organization there are two assignments. One is a project for 2 students, the other is a project for 4, In the project for 2 I can give the students a choice. Students who would prefer to work alone on a project can and those who would like to work with one other person are welcome to.

In the project for 4, I will let the students know ahead of time when they will be working in groups and I will limit the amount of time they will have to work together. Within the group I can assign each person a task that they can work alone on, then they will bring their work into the group and work collaboratively.

References:

Medical Daily(2014).  The Brain of an Introvert Compared to That of an Extrovert: Are They Really Different?

By Lecia Bushak

Video 1,3,6,(Reference coming)

Patti