Learn to understand introverted students

In a recent presentation I gave on introverts to the Kemper Elementary teaching staff, the main point was that the natural drive for balanced brain chemistry is essential to understand students’ learning and classroom behavior. Introverts are beginning to be heard and understood; let me share some key points.

According to the Center for Applications of Psychological Type in Gainesville, Fla., nearly half of the American population is introverted. An individual’s placement on the introvert-extrovert scale does not change through time. Based on studies by Robert J. Coplan, a psychology professor and shyness expert at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada, introversion can be determined at age four.

Introverts balance brain chemistry through internal stimulation, while extroverts balance through external stimulation. Shy is not the same as being an introvert. The RE-1 student population has a large portion of introverts (possibly more than 50 percent) and I have discussed this with Superintendent Alex Carter.

The Education Week article from May of 2012, headlined “Studies Illustrate Plight of Introverted Students” provides approaches and reviews studies toward bettering introvert student success. Other resources include Quiet by Susan Cain (summarized in her TED talk) and Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney.

Together we can address the needs of introvert students.

Joe Keleher