29 Jan Introvert Or Extrovert: What Is Your Child’s Preferred Learning Style?
Children process stimuli from their environment in ways that may be defined as introverted or extroverted. Depending on whether your child is bubbly and outgoing, or reserved and contemplative, he or she will favour different approaches to learning.
To understand this distinction and support your child’s learning style, you need to observe his or her set of quirks and preferences.
As a study on this subject importantly notes, however, most people “cannot be rigidly classified into either extrovert or introvert since extroversion and introversion coexist in every individual, but in a different ratio.”
Your child may display both extroverted and introverted behaviours, albeit more of one than the other.
It is also worth remembering that most of us — your child included — can undergo changes in our personalities and preferences over time.
Adjusting our communication style as we evolve as human beings can be exponentially helpful to the continuum of learning.
Over the years, we have seen young learners with wildly varying degrees of extroversion and introversion troop through our doors. Based on this experience, we hope that the pointers below can give you some insight as to how to motivate your child, wherever he or she may be on the introvert-extrovert spectrum.
Introverted Learners Prefer to Study Alone with Little Noise or Interruption
An essay by a student from the University of Oregon mentions that, as an introverted learner, she finds it challenging to “get any work done” in a busy environment.
She goes on to suggest that introverted learners tend to participate less in class since they prefer to process ideas by thinking about them on their own, rather than by discussing them with others.
The essay also adds that introverts tend to speak in class only when they have processed an idea, rehearsed how they want to present it and prepared themselves to offer it to the group as a whole.
While you may not be interacting with your child within a classroom environment, this particular insight can be useful in situations when you are tutoring him or her at home.
If you find that your child goes a bit quiet after being introduced to new information, give him or her time and space to process that information before asking for feedback or replies.
Extroverted Learners Need a Break from School Work
A full day of school can be tiring for extroverted children, who may come home feeling mentally exhausted from the effort of going through a day’s lessons. This is because school work often involves long periods of quiet study and concentration, which may not come naturally to most extroverts.
If your child is an extrovert, he or she may need some down time to decompress before he or she is ready and able to complete some homework.
You can opt to give your child half an hour of playtime or simply get him or her to tell you about the recently concluded school day. If you need to make a shopping run or stop over at a friend’s place, you can consider taking your child along with you as well.
Introverts Are More Likely to Describe Something Than Demonstrate
Tap into the animated side of your introverted child by asking him or her to describe experiences, scenarios and lessons learned in school. You may notice that he or she is more responsive in using words to paint a picture rather than by acting it out.
Your introverted child may also be drawn to more meditative activities where he or she can quietly observe what is going on before giving you his or her account of the proceedings. Nurture your child’s powers of description by taking him or her to exhibitions, art galleries, concerts and other cultural events.
Extroverts Are More Likely to Enjoy Active Participation
If your child is physically and energetically expressive, you may both benefit from getting him or her to help you with some of your routine chores and tasks.
These tasks can be people-oriented, such as helping you to make simple purchases while shopping for groceries or calling relatives with assorted reminders, or movement-oriented, such as collecting the mail or feeding the family pet.
Extroverts learn by doing, so you may want to refrain from giving your extroverted child too detailed instructions. Step in if things appear to be more than what your child can handle, but let him or her run with a task with minimal supervision.
Introverts Tend to Learn from More Diverse Sources
It has been observed in a study that introverts, extroverts and ambiverts (those who have a balance of extrovert and introvert features in their personality) were surveyed on their learning preferences when learning English as a foreign language.
The researchers discovered that introverted students tend to resort to a wider variety of learning methods than their extrovert or ambivert counterparts. For example, they opted to listen to songs in English as their high frequency learning strategy, along with using a dictionary and keeping a language-learning notebook.
What this suggests for your introverted child is that you may need to explore different ways of engaging him or her when introducing new concepts and ideas.
At TLL, we provide our students with a range of multisensory activities that combine play with learning. Many of these activities are easily adaptable to the home environment.
Extroverts Tend to Care Less About Making Mistakes
In the same study, it was noted that extroverted students were not worried about making mistakes when learning English.
This might be because of their social tendencies and their fondness for talking to others, which makes them more open to trying out new vocabulary without being afraid of making errors.
Your extroverted child may be similarly fearless when it comes to trying out new things for himself or herself.
This is an excellent trait that should definitely be nurtured, but you may want to be there to support your child should he or she take on more than he or she can handle.
Overview of Introverts vs Extroverts
As a general rule of thumb, it has been noted over the years and by different studies that:
Introverts tend to…
- learn by observing
- concentrate intensely
- have a small but intimate group of friends
- take their time in accomplishing tasks
- be fatigued by large crowds and layered noises
Extroverts tend to…
- learn by doing
- be easily distracted
- have a wide circle of friends
- rush when completing projects
- enjoy spending time in the company of others
Wherever your child stands on this spectrum, try to recognise his or her learning efforts and make adjustments to the way you guide him or her.
Providing a conducive and supportive home environment is also crucial if your child is finding his or her lessons to be more challenging than usual.
Catering for the Needs of Different Types of Learners
Each child has a unique approach to learning, which is why we believe in adapting our teaching model to the needs of every one of our students.
Our teachers employ various teaching methods and styles as well to ensure that they make every child in their classroom feel supported and motivated to learn.
Give your child an added advantage in their personal and academic growth during this circuit breaker period by selecting from a kaleidoscopic array of home-based activites here to cater to their unique learning needs.
Through complimentary activity sheets and guides that feature hands-on science experiments, netflix and chill, going on an excursion at home, and more, discover how both you and your child can derive joy from conducting your own home-based learning.