Classroom activities are often a fit for extroverted students. Raising a hand to questions, active participation in classroom discussions, project-based learning, and many such teaching methodologies seldom include teaching methods that would fit introverted students.
Introverted students may remain quiet during classroom engagements and activities but submit a profound assignment or essay, leaving you spellbound. Teachers must strike a balance and ensure that classroom engagements and activities equally involve introverted and extroverted students. All students in the classroom have a different temperament, and often introverted students are overlooked compared to students who can actively display their level of participation.
Developing techniques to help introverted kids feel more understood and engaged in the classroom activities and a balance with equal opportunity of engagement for extroverted kids would help the educator involve all kids in the learning, irrespective of their temperament.
Here are a few inclusivity tips for teachers to help introverts and extroverts in the classroom.
Add Perspective To The Concept Of Participation
Participation is not just limited to thinking aloud; it goes beyond the extent where introverts get a medium of expression and participation. Teachers must redefine the idea of participation and include things like volunteering, doing a revision of work, offering help, and more. Analyze how you can allow both extroverts and introverts to engage with the class, especially if it affects their grades. Devising a classroom that incorporates introverted activities, like writing essays, silent reading, reflective work, and extroverted activities, like group projects, class discussions, and presentations can help students with either temperament on the spectrum. Varied activities supporting their participation will also allow them to engage in the classroom in their ways.
Providing students with options for learning and demonstrating their knowledge allows them to come up with their best potential. It’s easier said than done and crucial to ensuring kids on the temperament spectrum can thoroughly enjoy the learning process comfortably. Some students may be ecstatic about presenting the last lesson to the class, whereas some may feel it’s best to showcase their learning through an essay. So give students a choice to demonstrate their knowledge.
Structure Inclusive Group Work
Group activities are a part of every classroom. They’re one of the best ways to help kids ace essential soft skills like collaboration, communication, creative thinking, and more. Having students who are extroverts and introverts in one group can help kids with their learning journey, provided you, group students, intuitively and train them in specific techniques so that all students in a group can participate equally. Grouping students with no training can lead to only limited students doing most of the work, while some may feel shy or refrained from coming out, expressing, and participating. You must group students with varied temperaments together and train them in design thinking and brainwriting techniques for equal participation. Establishing certain inclusive conversational norms and adhering to them can benefit all students from the group activities irrespective of their temperament on the spectrum.
Pauses are essential so that kids can rest and reflect. Pauses significantly help introverted students in the classroom contribute and engage in the classroom activities by allowing them the time to formulate ideas and strategies. Pauses rejuvenate students, and they get some time to build perspective and express themselves the way they like. Combined with the choice of expression, pauses can effectively help all students be concise, clear and will keep their attention focused on the task at hand.
Reflect And Inquire
Educators are constantly working on their teaching games to best meet their students’ needs and provide compelling learning opportunities. To create an inclusive classroom where students on the temperament spectrum feel their learning needs are being addressed effectively, it is prime that you reflect and inquire. This is crucial, especially because teaching and learning in a time with sudden transition has been challenging for educators and students. Asking students about your new approach and seeking their feedback on how well it worked for them will allow you to improve your craft and bring your best foot forward. You can consider asking students to fill out a feedback forum so that they can comfortably voice their opinions and share their perspectives and needs with their educators. This will allow you to understand their learning demands and work on a plan that best fits students on the temperament spectrum.
Assessment criteria based on a limited factor of class participation will lead to unfair results for introverted students. Class participation can be different for all students based on their status on temperament, but class engagement is directly related to students’ presence and understanding of the learning material. As educators, encourage thoughtful and qualitative engagement for students across the temperament spectrum and keep your assessments flexible so that all students get a fair chance to reflect their knowledge.
Creating a classroom with temperament inclusivity takes time. As educators, it falls upon your shoulder to strike that perfect balance and ensure that students on the temperament spectrum engage in their own unique ways. You may have to try many activities until you finally find the ideal balance between collaborative approach and individual work, multiple forms of engagement and reflective pauses, deep listening and creative expression, and more. Educators must broaden their horizons about class participation and engagement to address the gap between teaching methodologies for students with varied temperaments.