Are schools overlooking introverted students?

With boisterous high schools resembling all-day cocktail parties without the alcohol, what happens to students who function better with quiet?

In a new book, Susan Cain, who brought introverts out of the shadows with her mega best seller “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” and her related TED talk, now takes up the cause of introverted students in a new book out this week.

Aimed at students, parents and teachers, her “Quiet Power: The Secret Strengths of Introverts” talks about the current trends in education that emphasize group work and projects and base grades in part on how much students talk.

She says the motivation — to prepare kids for working in teams in real life — is understandable but wrong.

In an interview, Cain said, “What we are seeing in schools is a very blunt misapplication of those truths. When people collaborate in the business world, it doesn’t mean they read a book together or write a memo together. You have a meeting and you decide what you are going to do. Each one goes and does it. It is not a 24/7 in-your-face collaboration with desks pushed together and students sort of looking at each other all day long. I don’t think any human beings work that way, particularly not introverted learners.”

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To read what else Cain has to say about the mismatch between schools and introverted students and how they ought to fix it, go the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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