Introvert Essay

In the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, education is a topic Cains delves into where she explains how introverts seem to be put at a disadvantage. Cain then discloses that introverts may feel unmotivated to go to school because of this exclusion and also because going to school often drains them completely of their energy. Cain writes “The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.” (Cain 253). In what ways do you believe a school can be changed in order to benefit both sides of the spectrum, introverts and extroverts?

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The ratio of introverts to extroverts measures out to be about fifty-fifty. So why is it that in places of education introverts are treated as the second tier type of people? Why is it that someone who is an extrovert and whose only difference with an introvert is the way they obtain energy so catered to in terms of society today? In Susan Cain’s book Quiet: Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Cain battles the issue of how schools are set up in a way that not only dissuades introverts from excelling but provides an optimal area for how extroverts like to work. Cain strikes up a valid point with this quote “The purpose of school should be to prepare kids for the rest of their lives, but too often what kids need to be prepared for is surviving the school day itself.” (Cain 253). The gist is that introverts have to constantly battle to not feel completely drained from the methods that the educators choose to require in their classroom. Some sort of “meet in the middle” technique must be implemented in order to keep both sides of the spectrum, introverts and extroverts, mentally healthy and thriving in their workplace or schooling center. Some of these techniques could involve re-examining group work in the classroom, trying not to think of introversion as something that needs to be cured, and trying to benefit both introverts and extroverts with the methods of teaching used.

Group work doesn’t work. This accredited notion that group work is going to work faster at producing a better solution to a problem is false. The logic behind this idea—more brainpower which would lead to more ideas then leading to better ideas—is fallacious. We, as a society, have entered into an era where we believe that the best work that is going to be done, is done collectively, not individually. In Quiet by Susan Cain, she calls this new idea “New Groupthink” she then defines it as “a phenomenon that has the potential to stifle productivity at work and to deprive schoolchildren of the skills they’ll need to achieve excellence in an increasingly competitive world. New Groupthink elevates teamwork above all else” (Cain 75). In classrooms all around the world, there is the emphasis on grouping up to solve a problem. It is safe to say that most people have experienced someone telling them to team up and brainstorm a solution. But does it work? For extroverts, it works wonders. For introverts, not so much. In “Learning to Think and Thinking to Learn” by Kate Kline, Kline discusses how group discussions tend to go when having introverts and extroverts both participate, “Extroverts tend to process and think while they are talking. In other words, an extrovert is able to think out loud. Introverts, on the other hand, must think carefully before speaking. This is often why introverts have difficulty participating in group discussions—they are processing ideas. Just when they are ready to contribute, the discussion may have moved on.” (Kline 145).

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