What about the introverts?

I was quite struck today by a blog I read that described a mother and pre-service educator’s experience with Gardeners theory of multiple intelligences. What an inspiring read to see how theory can impact on students that don’t travel on the same learning path as the majority do. This child was blossoming because he had a teacher and a mother that were looking outside the box and providing alternative ways for him to demonstrate his understanding.

The current swing in pedagogy toward an inquiry based co-operative learning centred classroom has many supporters. Just like Gardner suggests we learn in different ways. But with all the collaborating and group work I ask you …

“What of all the introverts?”

Not every child will be comfortable with this level of interaction. So many invasions into their own inner thoughts and understandings can in fact be distracting to students like this.  Spare a thought for these children when your planning your next assessment or group task. Sometimes we all need quite reflection.



  1. Thank you for sharing this video. It certainly has cleared up my confusion about introverts and extroverts! I can see how it would be beneficial for all to take this into account when organising group activities and the like.

    1. Introverts still need the skills that are enhanced through social situations. They are able to contribute to the collaborative learning environment and should be allowed to do so. As you have alluded to part of our role as teachers is to consider the needs of all students. Some of these will be introverted and will need that quiet time to reflect whilst being encouraged with scaffolding for group contributions. I have seen a particularly introverted child use a video to record and share with the class his explanations as this medium was less intrusive.

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