October 3, 2015

"When Schools Overlook Introverts."

"As the focus on group work and collaboration increases, classrooms are neglecting the needs of students who work better in quiet settings."

51 comments:

Paddy O said...

""When Schools Overlook Introverts.""

That's what we want!

Paddy O said...

The trouble is that schools are pestering introverts.

rehajm said...

"...students must overcome isolation in order to learn to write.”

Jeez, since when has writing well been a team sport?

rehajm said...

Group learning advocates fail to account for when a group member is a complete asshole.

Bill said...

I'm old enough to have safely avoided the trend, but when I worked in Silicon Valley the announcement at company meetings, "Okay, we're going to break into small groups, now," was enough to make me break into a cold sweat.

Bob Ellison said...

Group learning has always suffered from the curse of group grading.

Laslo Spatula said...

Group learning needs introverts. Introverts do the work, and extroverts take the credit.

Welcome to How It Ever Was.

I am Laslo.

Michael K said...

I found small group learning when I went back to Dartmouth for a Masters in 1994. It was interesting to see how the weak liked and the strong did not. It is a method for the weak.

rhhardin said...

Introverts only need courses in zingers.

SociallyExtinct said...

"Does not work well with others" had to be left on my resume cutting floor, unfortunately.

It would be so satisfying to add that to my qualifications but employers don't seem overly fond of the truth. It's better to act like you care about people and smile and pretend to be gay (in strictly old-fashioned terms) and then let it all hang out once you get hired. The advantage of being an old-timer with a good work reputation at my job is that I can be an unabashed misanthrope and not care.

buwaya puti said...

This has been a pet peeve since our kids started school.
It's entirely idiotic. Academic work, the real thing, is a lonely business, there is no way around it. So is technical problem solving, within the scope of ones duties and specialization, where collaboration really means requesting and processing information from people with expertise and specializations in different areas. A bunch of kids working together as a group on something rarely have specializations that can contribute to an actual productive collaboration as it is in the real world.
The only exception to this, in my experience, is the Asian style study group, which is for the purpose mainly of mutual inspiration to diligence. These things tend to sort out by ability levels for the most part also. And the objective is to enhance individual performance in that very lonely job of taking an examination.


Laslo Spatula said...

You can see this dynamic when looking at the naked selfies of college girls on the internet.

You would think they are all extroverts, and obviously a great many of them are.

But you can also see the introverts, trying to act like the extrovert crowd.

Their poses are more shy,to begin with. A lot of in-turned feet and awkward knees.

Also: their eyes seldom interact with the camera, generally looking away with sheepish smiles as their minds are filled with the thought "I am actually doing this."

The thought in the extrovert girls' heads is usually a variation of "I'm hot."

You can tell that from the eyes. And the posture: chest out.

Nipple rings, funny enough, aren't really an indicator either way.


I am Laslo.

Hagar said...

I am all for working together as a group with the understanding the group is to do what I tell them to do.

Laslo Spatula said...

"You can see this dynamic when looking at the naked selfies of college girls on the internet."

Although if it is just a selfie of their ass it is harder to determine extrovert/introvert status.

Two tells:

1. Butt tattoos.

2. Their hands pulling their cheeks apart.

I bet those girls are extroverts.

I am Laslo.

MadisonMan said...

Wait -- what -- you mean one size doesn't fit all?

rhhardin said...

Does not work well with others means does not flatter managers.

chuck said...

Remember, your children are material for experimentation. If the experiments fail, well, so what. There will always be more funding and a fresh batch of children to work on.

Gahrie said...

Remember, your children are material for experimentation. If the experiments fail, well, so what. There will always be more funding and a fresh batch of children to work on

This is my one true beef with public education itself. Ask any teacher, and they will tell you that every five years, the new answer comes along. After all, consultants have to eat. hundreds of hours get wasted in inservices and training.

Go back to what worked for hundreds of years...drill and kill, rote memorization. Exploring the meaning can wait for college.

Big Mike said...

Well, back when my kids were going to school the value of group grading was that the teachers could put politically well-connected kids on teams with bright kids and give the little darlings an A for letting the bright kids do all the work.

Which is probably how we got today's political class.

Christopher said...
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Christopher said...

“Together is how we do everything here at Georgia College. Learn. Work. Play. Live. Together.”


That sounds like pure hell. Thank God I got out of school when I did if this is the direction it's headed.

I hated group projects in school, between the lazy members who you had to carry and the guy/girl who always tried to dominate the group I found these to be torture. Just give me the damned assignment and let me deal with it in my way.

Michael K said...

"Ask any teacher, and they will tell you that every five years, the new answer comes along. After all, consultants have to eat. hundreds of hours get wasted in inservices and training."

Absolutely !

I was disappointed that none of my kids were interested in science. Two are lawyers, for crissakes !

Science is a solitary pursuit. Once you are good at it, you can work well with others who got there in solitary effort.

JSD said...

This is largely based on the work of Anton Makarenko Soviet educator and sociologist. After decades of war, famine and revolution, 1920’s Russia was left with an overwhelming population of orphans. Makarenko solution was counter intuitive and brilliant. He turned administration of the homes to the orphans. They made the rules and enforced them. The meanest hardest youths became the enforcers and brought order out of chaos. It was extremely efficient and effective. It was also brutal. This method is now widely used to administer prison populations. Nobody will admit it, but this is method is also found in schools.

BN said...

I have nothing to add here. Y'all covered it well. What's our grade?

Achilles said...

K-12 and College administrators are all people with education degrees. Education has the lowest academic rigor of all college majors. These people "excelled" in school. But they didn't learn anything. They are, as a group,(haha) terrible at almost every subject. They can do the bare minimum amount of math. They couldn't describe the scientific method to save their life. My nieces teachers can barely do sight multiplication tables.

The people running our schools now were the people that watched me build the science projects in science class. They are the ones that watched me do all the math problems in group work because I wanted to get it done in time.

I obviously plan on home schooling. My daughter will go to school for social interaction with the guidance that I don't mind if she gets suspended or kicked out.

Achilles said...

BN said...
"I have nothing to add here. Y'all covered it well. What's our grade?"

I feel bad now for adding (haha) in my comment above. I am so used to people not getting my jokes. It seems that there are humorists here.

Now if we could find some less sophistic leftists who would do more than convince me we have too much group work in school.

Paddy O said...

People who go into college administration--whether student life or student services, etc. are almost always strong extroverts, who often see being introversion as a problem to overcome and fight against, much as many blondes see brunettes.

So, they shape the whole inline with their experiences, different learning styles be damned.

It has nothing to do with good pedagogy and more to do with social management. Good writers come in a lot of different personalities, but try to write anything good in a group and you get disjointed dreck or bad network sitcoms.

RigelDog said...

"What do we want?"
---"To be overlooked!"
"When do we want it?"
---"Go away!"

RigelDog said...

I am an appellate attorney and work with a large group of same. Assorted nerds and introverts abound. We work alone, most of us with closed doors, but get together in small groups when there is an identified problem or question to be discussed and decided. At that point, there really is a value to putting heads together but it only make sense in those circumstances.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
n.n said...

Socialized learning deprives individuals of realizing intrinsic qualities. This is a similar phenomenon to retarded development caused by the premature introduction of technology, liberal intervention, etc. during a child's evolution.

Coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deirdre Mundy said...

Notice that he mentions that private schools and gifted classes usually don't do "Cooperative Learning" except as an occasional thing.

My theory is that cooperative learning is actually a tool the elite use to make sure that members of the lower classes don't receive an adequate education. That way, the children of the elite are safe from upstart competition.

Ed schools are actually about maintaining the existing social order and assuming that bright kids from disadvantaged backgrounds lose out to stupid kids whose parents have clout.

EMD said...

The best way to brainstorm is to get everyone in a group in one room ... and leave.

Pugsley the Pug said...

My younger son's high school uses the CPM method for all math classes. This method has the teacher give basic concepts to the class, which is permanently divided into groups of 4 student. The 4 students are then to collaborate on solving the problem. The problem with this teaching method is that if all 4 students are clueless on what to do, they all fail. My son is a mildly autistic, introverted boy who needs additional one on one teaching in math and almost failed math last school year until he switched math teachers to a teacher more sympathtic to his needs and got him the additional help, but that took 2/3 of the year of me complaining to the administration before something was done. Contrast that with my older son who went to a Catholic high school in our city. He got A's and A+'s all four years in the math classes including AP Calculus in a school that taught math the tried and true methods. My younger son is a guinea pig in just another experiment in teaching methods. How many kids are screwed up for life by liberal educrats who always have a better method of teaching than what has traditionally worked? This same school also now has a grading method that discriminates against hard working and high achieving students and rewards those who don't work as hard, thus bringing the good students down to average and the bad students up to the average, thus rewarding mediocrity. No wonder colleges have to do remedial classes for incoming freshman so that they can do the college level classes. Makes you wonder how they get in to college in the first place.

Kathy said...

Achilles, putting the kids in school for socialization is unnecessary. Find some local homeschoolers and ask them. Families who want those opportunities find more than they have time for. And as homeschoolers, our social interactions do not resemble the stunted interplay at school. My kids know a much broader array of people of different incomes, religions, and abilities than they ever would have in school.

Michael K said...

Two friends of mine in Tucson have raised their three boys very well. The boys attended Catholic school and the mother took one boy each year out of school to home school. The next year she would teachs another. Each son spent about three years being home schooled and the rest in Catholic school.

The oldest graduated from U of Arizona in civil engineering is now a Marine officer. The next is a Petroleum Engineering junior and the youngest is a freshman.

Of course, it helps to be able to do so but discipline and good parenting is more important than money.

Original Mike said...

"Science is a solitary pursuit. Once you are good at it, you can work well with others who got there in solitary effort."

Yep.

Achilles said...

Kathy said...
"Achilles, putting the kids in school for socialization is unnecessary. Find some local homeschoolers and ask them."

I know. I have different goals for "socialization" than most. My children need to see the mean, all meanings of that word, in our society. My wife may not allow them into a public school though. We are discussing it.

ndspinelli said...

Asians come from an introvert culture and are often overwhelmed w/ our extrovert culture, particularly in school. They find their niche and succeed, staying introverted, by adaptable. I am an uber introvert but have learned to adjust. It was introvert lying bullshitters who almost destroyed the world's economy, and it was introverts who quietly predicted it. Introverts are more intelligent, creative, and happy.

Nichevo said...

Let me crack the code for you all.


The team structure uses the alpha kids to teach the rest.

In a class of 20:

On their own- 5 As

Each trapped in a group of 4 - 5 TAs

LMK if you get it or should I elaborate

Nichevo said...

By the way homeschoolers props the reason you are resented is that you represent a brain drain from the existing system.

Anonymous said...

Introverts are usually the ones who end up being the mass killers. They need to be watched closely and need to be socialized. They often are awkward and odd and the average normally socialized children avoid these odd ducks, or make fun of them. Teachers and parents should make an extra effort to take these introverted children out of their comfort zones so they can function normally as adults and not make the headlines when they snap as the dysfunctional adults they become.

Achilles said...

Nichevo said...
Let me crack the code for you all.

"The team structure uses the alpha kids to teach the rest.

In a class of 20:

On their own- 5 As

Each trapped in a group of 4 - 5 TAs"

5 TAs and 5 kids that understand the material.

Achilles said...

The first thing the shrink said when I sat down for the psyche eval to get into the RSTA unit was: "Well, you pretty much maxed out the introvert scale."

Yes, school sucked.

ndspinelli said...

Dannyboy is obviously the one to watch. Hitler was an extrovert as was Marie Antoinette. Gandhi was an introvert. Sounds like Dannyboy wants an Auschwitz for introverts. A shanty Irish Nazi.

ganderson said...

"Go back to what worked for hundreds of years...drill and kill, rote memorization. Exploring the meaning can wait for college."

Drill and kill are negative buzzwords- Ed schools (which are among the worst things that exist)actively discourage rote memorization. The result is that the average HS grad doesn't know much- but then neither do his teachers.

Many high schools have much longer periods than when most of us went to school- in my school periods are 83 minutes long. The idea is to force teachers to assign group wor..., err cooperative learning- which most do. I do have the kids work in groups occasionally, but I'm mostly a "drill and kill"er.

Anonymous said...

Actually if one does a bit of research, one will discover that Hitler was an introvert.

Nichevo said...

Achilles,


Think of how much work the alpha teammates are doing for the teacher. The rest of the team will do better than they otherwise would. Teacher gets to report higher scores across the board.

The fact that the As are carrying the rest is, as I say, a feature not a bug. Who cares if they learn, as long as they score? And they always have the As available, at a 1:3 ratio, to help them. Some additional learning may indeed occur.

I've had to instruct teammates before, though my best recalled example is at a summer camp play, where I had to teach Daniel Webster how to pronounce "abominable." (Not "abdominal.")

Only problem is, the As/TAs are not paid, or recognized in any measurable way, for their leadership and instruction.

MrCharlie2 said...

My experience with "small group learning" was a GE Crotonville management course, about 20 years ago.

As someone said earlier, but what if your group is full of assholes? My conclusion first day of a solid week was "these people think Jack Welch is listening in on them". All heterodoxy, sincere or just meant in to lighten up, was met with frowns and pursed lips, but never a word.

I recent read "Court of the Red Czar", brought back memories.

Thank goodness Crotonville, then, but I can't imagine now, was blessed with a wonderful bar. And there at least not everyone was a sociopath-in-waiting.

Where are they now, those old schoolmates of mine?

Peter said...

Group learning, and group projects, is just how schools hide the reality that some students don't actually learn much of anything. Any difficulty it causes introverts is collateral damage, not intentional damage.

And more adaptable introverts perhaps learn how to get by in a culture that rewards extraversion, perhaps even how to manage projecting extraversion for short periods of time when that is to one's advantage.

Although this is may not be the intended lesson, it may serve introverts better than allowing introverts to become yet another disadvantaged minority that must be accommodated?