Teaching science to learners of an introverted type
Friedlund, Andrew J.
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Last year the principal team at the high school where I teach made a rule that math classrooms had to organize student desks in cooperative learning pods. Students were seated in groups of three or four and teachers were encouraged to integrate group work in most lessons. Administrators even encouraged teachers to give mostly group quizzes. While this strategy has increased student learning in many students, particularly those of the extraverted personality type, I have found that many of the introverted students that I teach struggle to learn in such a stimulating environment. This year I identified the introverted students in my classroom with a personality type survey. I then offered these students an alternative to the highly social laboratory activities and group performance tasks. This alternative focused on the same material, yet provided a quiet environment with optional social interaction and lots of space to think, read, and theorize at their own pace. Using a pre-test and a post-test I was able to observe that introverted students who received my intervention made significantly larger gains than those who did not.