Extroverts and Introverts in the classroom

Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

There is rarely a first day of class, be it in high school or freshman year of college, where there is not some form of an  “ice-breaker” activity which pushes a student to introduce themselves.

After that first day, there often comes the fact that many classes require either in-class discussions for participation grades, which are a decent portion of your final grade. However, not all people are as comfortable with being “out-there” as others.

There are as many different types of people as there are leaves on a tree, and every individual is different from the next. However, there are situations, normally social or environmental, where a person will react differently because of their nature. The typical way this is seen is with someone being an extrovert, someone who is talkative and outgoing, or as an introvert, someone who is more reserved and solitary.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines being an extrovert as, “a friendly person who likes being with and talking to other people: an outgoing person,” and when it comes to classes, the paradigm between extrovert and introvert is surely affected. There are certainly class policies which might be aimed more toward participation for grades, but students at Southern have mixed feelings about whether or not classes favor extroversion.

A peer mentor at Southern, sophomore Julie Gagliardi, never went through the typical INQ classes freshman have, but now sees an outside view of class dynamics.

“I think professors are learning that participation doesn’t just mean answering questions in class,” said Gagliardi. “I see a lot of professors including attendance and how people participate in small group discussions in their participation grades.”

Not only does Gagliardi see this as a positive aspect on behalf of the faculty at Southern, but also as a benefit for the students attending.

“It gives kids who would normally not do well because of their personality a chance to succeed,” said Gagliardi. “So no, I don’t think classes at Southern are more geared towards extroverts, and seeing it from the outside now, participation is about being present in the classrooms and adding to the overall environment.”

While this is one viewpoint of the situation, there are points which can be made about what department and classes you are taking. Brian Nguyen, a junior, is in the art program at Southern and has a different experience with the extrovert versus introvert issue.

“I feel being an art major is different in the sense that there are a lot of introverts in the community,” said Nguyen. “That isn’t to say that art classes don’t accommodate, they still require you for critiques and class.”

Beyond this point though, Nguyen recognizes that there is some level of requirement to be extraverted in the way of interactions with other. As well, to Nguyen, there is some level of benefit to a class which pushes on interaction and being in some ways, outgoing.

“I don’t really think classes that require you to interact is a Southern exclusive thing,” said Nguyen. “Interacting with people is an important skill in the real world, so I don’t really see having interactive classes as a bad thing.”

Photo Credit: Max Bickley – General Assignment Reporter

HEADER PHOTO: Brian Nguyen, junior


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