How to help introverted students

May 28, 2012

Anyone who’s ever visited a classroom is familiar with the scenario: a quiet kid sits in the back of the room looking distant and not taking part in the discussion.

This presents a dilemma for teachers. Leave the student alone, or press for more classroom participation?

Some interesting new research suggests that shy or introverted students benefit from more time to reflect, not increasing pressure to participate. They may also be better at taking standardized tests than other students, according to Education Week.

Quiet students are more likely to be perceived as academically deficient by their teachers, but researchers say this is often a mischaracterization, and it’s concerning when you consider that as many as 50 percent of Americans are introverts, according to the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, in Florida.

Increasing use of technology in the classroom may provide one avenue for shy students to participate. Some researchers also suggest providing all students more time to work alone during class time.