PIDP 3250 “A-ha” moment

Posted: November 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

In PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies Course, we viewed “The Power of Introverts” by Susan Cain. In this TedTalk, she discusses how we undervalue Introverted individuals as a society. She uses examples of the classroom, where group work and collaboration are the new norm, where we once sat in rows and worked independently. She discusses how the “belief system” changed in schools.

I realized that instructors are asked to be extroverts and how we must re-shape that belief system. The maxim “sage on a stage” refers to engaging, captivating instructors who lecture from the podium at the front of the class. I can only imagine how many introverted educators require quiet contemplation and solitude after spending time in large classrooms of students. Are we undervaluing introverted instructors, or is the new classroom ideal for a more reflective, quiet force.

I am an off the spectrum extrovert. A former actress and daughter of a drama teacher, I never knew the definition of shy. I have been commended for my public speaking abilities and confidence in front of a crowd. Before PIDP, I believed that I would make a great instructor based on these skills alone. How wrong I was! Being extroverted and having an outgoing demeanour comes very far down the list of requirements. I’ve learned that bringing a passion and commitment to teaching is key to being successful, whether you are introverted or extroverted. Brian Little, a Harvard professor believes that passion can shape instructors and introverts can take on a “character” while they teach out of their love for the subject matter.

I believe that many instructors are drawn to the profession because of their outgoing personality. I know that’s part of what led me to this career. At the same time, I now know that extroversion will not get me far. The classroom I want to teach in will be collaborative but also independent. It will have lively discussions but also quiet reflection. It will not be a “counterfeit discussion” where I shape learner’s minds with my ideas, but me guiding students to think critically and form their own. Most importantly, I will work to assess how my lessons can be engaging to all levels of learners – both extroverted and introverted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ5o9PcHeL0

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