What schools can learn from ‘Quiet – the Power of Introverts’

Reflections on schools, teaching and education.

One of the best books I’ve read recently is ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking’ by Susan Cain.  Cain offers several definitions of introversion, but the one that stuck with me is this: “if you send an introvert into a reception or an event with a hundred people he will emerge with less energy than he had going in”.

I’m not a big fan of binary extrovert/introvert splits – I’m sure I’m not alone in spotting my own behaviours on both sides of the divide – but I wonder if we could improve our schools by ensuring that they accommodate students, teachers and leaders who are in touch with their introvert sides.

According to Cain, western society promotes the extrovert ideal, in which the model individual is gregarious, outgoing and comfortable in the spotlight.  On reading this, I recalled those times at parents’…

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