Tuesday, September 10, 2013
How rare! 20 minutes of quiet.
In common are themes of classroom community and culture and how online tools seem to provide an equitable opportunity for introverts to strut, but we’re thwarted by the status quo rubrics of academic life (i.e., classroom participation). More importantly, Introverts ruled in our section by 2:1. It seems that we agree that culture governs our classroom communities, especially the larger culture that exalts extroverts. Extroversion is, I’ll bet, not always something we strive for because of what the larger culture demands or who is considered successful and what not. In any case, we confirmed, based on our classroom experiences, that extroversion dominates and sets the tone in our classes. As Rob wrote, we know the names of the loudest and most talkative. (Is this confirmation bias? What if loud and talkative is a deflection or charade?) I would like to question how cultural this is truly. Another point of agreement seems to be that online tools to provide students the opportunity to shine (again, confirmation… ? Have we been primed?) Irwin says it’s liberating for the students who need the quiet space to participate and engage the class. I agree; there’s potential here. But again, shyness can ruin this because there is still room for social judgment. Where (how?) do we provide balance? Yeah. So I find myself torn, but requiring balance. I think students should practice having their own thoughts, but I also think they should practice discussing and collaborating with others. Web 2.0 might allow folks to share ideas and for one or two to blossom, but this means that other ideas have to fall to the way side. This might not happen, but how often do people take the best ideas from each other and part them together? The larger cultural influence is competition; this is what’s in conflict with collaboration as well as quiet. We’re trying to come up with the best idea all the time. Putting the skeptic to bed, I think everything has potential given the right about of guidance and a tangible and foresee set of outcomes that students can work towards. If a student cannot work towards these goals in class due to shyness or introversion, then Web 2.0 will open an opportunity to contribute or at least ask a question allows them to stay abreast of what’s going on.