When entering a classroom in an American school, there are often a select number of students who are able to effortlessly capture one’s attention. Whether it be through their enthusiasm, sociability, delinquency, or their intrinsic sense of humor, these students are the archetypal extroverts. In stark contrast, there are reticent students who may seemingly sulk in the background. These students represent the introverts of the classroom. In the contemporary educational system, introverts are forced to endure a lengthy string of activities which only increasingly aggravate them, including speeches, debates, collective discussions, and participation grades. In a society with an inherent, discriminatory preference of extroverted characteristics such as shallow thought, compulsory optimism, excessive risk-taking, and social conviviality, these introverts fundamentally suffer in the modern school system.
One may ask, what is introversion and extroversion? These terms were initially coined by prominent German psychoanalyst Carl Jung in his work, Psychologische Typen, also known as Psychological Types (Condon 2). The Oxford English Dictionary defines extroversion (v.) as “to give an outward direction to thought”. In contrast, introversion (v.) is defined as “to turn the mind, thought, etc., inward upon itself; to direct one’s thinking or effort to that which is internal or spiritual” (Dow 26). Contrary to common misconceptions, shyness is not interchangeable with introversion. The adjective “shy” is defined as “easily frightened away; shrinking from self-assertion; suspicious, distrustful, bashful” (Dow 32). Shyness is a form of anxiety characterized by inhibited behavior and a crippling fear of social judgment, whereas introversion is c…
…: York College of Pennsylvania, 22. Nov. 2013. PDF.
Dow, Sharron E. The Invisible Students in the Classroom—How to Include the Introverts Without Excluding the Extroverts. Brockport, NY: The College at Brockport: State University of New York, 12 Nov. 2013. PDF.
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Walsh, Bryan. “The Upside of Being An Introvert (And Why Extroverts are Overrated).” Dooleykevin.com TIME Magazine, 06 Feb. 2012. Web. .