In this TED talk, Susan Cain talks about being an introvert in a culture that prizes being social and outgoing. Since 1/3 to ½ of the population are introverts, that leaves many of us feeling inadequate at work and at school because we’re not outgoing enough. Interestingly, our preference for extroverts is a cultural preference that is not shared by all cultures or even by our own until the twentieth century. Cain calls for us to “stop the madness for constant group work” and to allow introverts the freedom to be themselves and I agree that any madness should be stopped. Certainly turning every learning activity in to group work falls in to that category and we should limit group work to subject areas where group work is an effective instructional strategy. But we introverts have to face facts. Our culture is not one that welcomes the shy or the introverted. Since social skills are important and since both schools and work environments are designed for outspoken extroverts, our classrooms need to foster social skills in both shy students and introverted students so they can improve their ability to function in environments designed for outspoken extroverts.
Cain, S. (2012, February). The Power of Introverts.