In my last article, I discussed the signs of a student that has an extrovert personality. This article will discuss the other group of learners. If a child does not fall into the extravert category, he is typically thought to be an introvert.
Introvert students are thinkers. Introverts are driven by personal reflection and assessment. Unlike extroverts, they do not need the social interaction of others. Introverts prefer planning out exactly what is to be said before saying it. They usually think before doing.
Introvert students enjoy assignments that they can complete alone such as reading, writing, or listening. They usually have strong critical thinking and reasoning skills. Introverts will typically sit back and listen to others (extroverts) discuss a topic. While one may not think that the introvert is participating, he or she is quietly processing and thinking through all of the information.
Introvert students need breaks to process learned information. They may feel uncomfortable confronting a teacher or discussing their thoughts in a group. They do much better if not pressured to speak out but allowed to do so voluntarily at their own pace.
While some may feel that people of this personality type do not enjoy others and are “loners”, this is not true. Introverts can be social and find pleasure in being with others. However, they also need their own personal “down time” to think and recharge their minds.
Children with an introvert personality need a patient soft-spoken teacher. They need a classroom that is driven more by the teacher than the students. Introvert students are easily overlooked and not given credit for the information that they know. If a teacher does not understand the personality of an introvert student, he or she may misinterpret the silence for a lacking of knowledge rather than time for processing information.