If you’ve ever walked the Bolton Dining Commons crosswalk around noon, you know that there are a lot of people at UGA. With over 36,000 people here, you’re bound to form social connections with people in your extracurriculars, dorms, dining halls, football events and networking.
Socialization is so upheld in UGA academics that it leaves no room for the quiet pensivity of the introvert. UGA favors extroverts in the classroom, and this can affect the way some students learn.
We’ve been inundated with it in our syllabi. Professors enlist class participation as mandatory or include breakout sessions where we have to talk to our peers. This is something that the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) at UGA continues to implement through a flipped classroom method of teaching. This is when lectures are released online before class, and students actively discuss the topic they learned to facilitate deeper understanding of the material.
However, this mode of education homogenizes students as having one learning method only: those who thrive when given external and active participation in the classroom, which is an extroverted trait.
This mismatch affects the way introverted students learn. In a study from Western Nevada College, retention of material is highly related to the personality of the student. When teaching style lines up with a student’s extroversion or introversion, the student retains information longer, applies it more effectively and has a more positive attitude of the course in general. This is not the case when we fit classrooms to suit only the needs of extroverted students.
The disparity in learning effectiveness grows as UGA implements flipped classroom teaching methods. Mandatory socialization should stay out of the classroom so that UGA’s education can benefit all learning types-—not just extroverts.