Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Cornelia Paraskevas

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks

Abstract

Over the last two centuries, the urbanization of American society and subsequent alterations in patterns of daily life have caused a shift in preference toward qualities associated with extroversion. Referred to as The Extrovert Ideal, the promotion of extroversion has impacted the American K-12 school system as well, creating educational settings ill-suited for introverted students and the way in which they learn. Although statistics surrounding the exact number of introverted individuals in the population remain inconclusive, many studies indicate that one-third, and up to one-half, of the population is introverted; inevitably, an educator will teach introverted students every year. This project seeks to explore ways in which introverted students in the elementary grades can be supported by their teachers. After contextualizing the conversation — providing the history of introversion as a psychological concept, an overview of modern Western perceptions of introversion, and a picture of the typical introverted student—a description and analysis of current educational trends in light of the needs of introverted students will follow, examining Cooperative Learning, Inquiry-Based Learning, Project-Based Learning, Gamification, and Social Emotional Learning. The project concludes with a series of recommendations for differentiating the strategies with introverted students in mind, along with several additional recommendations, and an open letter to educators and parents of introverted students about implementing the topics discussed.

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