Temperament-Inclusive Pedagogy: Helping Introverted And Extraverted Students Thrive In A Changing Educational Landscape

Concurrent Session 4
Streamed Session

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Session Materials

Brief Abstract

Extraverts and introverts learn, process information and form relationships in fundamentally different ways. This has an enormous impact on learning but is seldom considered by faculty, instructional designers and students. Come and explore ways to support introverted and extraverted students, as we redefine learning for the future.


Dr. Mary Fry is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Herbal Medicine at MUIH and Lead Faculty Fellow in Faculty Training & Development . She obtained her Bachelors of Science in Nutritional Biochemistry from McGill University - Montreal, Canada, her Naturopathic Medical Degree (ND) from National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR (with certifications in Homeopathy and Shiatsu), and a Post-doctoral research fellowship (funded by the National Institute of Health's National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health ) in the Department of Psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University. Additional training includes completion of a Summer Intensive study program in Jungian psychoanalysis/depth psychology with the C.G. Jung Institute of Zurich, Certification as a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)-knowledgeable practitioner and Master Reviewer Certification with Quality Matters. She is currently pursuing training with OLC to obtain Instructional Designer Certification. At MUIH, Dr. Fry divides her time between teaching Nutrition students in the Masters and Doctoral programs and serving as the Lead Faculty Fellow of Faculty Training, Development and Support. In this latter capacity, she works to support faculty training and advancement in pedagogy and seeks to support faculty to develop holistically. Through these efforts, she also seeks to support students in their academic development as they work towards becoming practitioners, educators and/or researchers. When not working, Dr. Fry enjoys tending to her old farmhouse and its grounds with her husband and caring for their 'flock' of cats and a Maremma sheep dog. She also enjoys swimming (especially in local lakes), camping, traveling, cooking and various artistic and creative pursuits.

Extended Abstract

Learning styles (visual, auditory, reading/writing and kinesthetic) often, erroneously, become the focus of different teaching methods. While the presence of distinct learning styles has been disproven, temperament is emerging as a significant contributor to how people learn.

There are three temperaments: extraversion, ambiversion and introversion. Introverts make up an estimated one-third to one half of the American population, and yet our educational system is most structured to support extraverted learning. This presentation will explore how to give your introverted students more of a voice in the classroom, while helping your extraverted students to round out their skills. (Ambiverts fall in between extraverts and introverts in temperament.)

Extraverts tend to learn through active and social engagement with the material (group work, interactive learning experiences, performing and discussing). Verbalizing helps extraverts to think through their ideas and to foster new ones. Extraverted students often think quickly on their feet and welcome working in large groups. Working on independent projects and writing can be challenging as these pursuits are typically devoid of social engagement.

Introverts, by contrast, thrive with solitary/independent work and typically require quiet time to sort through what they are learning before they can formulate their thoughts and articulate their perspectives. Introverted learners often dislike group work (or at least the group sizes and structures that are often used in the classroom). Introverted students may find their voice drowned out in synchronous discussions (as they don't typically think as fast as their extroverted counterparts in a live or classroom setting and don't often speak until they have something carefully thought out to share). Introverted learners are often quite content, and can remain attentive, through longer lectures and presentations and prefer engaging with the material in a more interactive way only after a pause or break.

Incorporating pedagogical practices to serve these unique and distinctive temperaments can result in a more engaging, equitable, inclusive and diverse learning experience for all. This presentation will teach you more about your own temperament, how it can affect your work in education, and key strategies that you can employ to meet the needs of students of all temperaments.

Format and Interactivity

This Lightning Talk (Short provocation) virtual presentation will consist of slides and a resource handout. There will be an opportunity to take a short quiz to determine your temperament. The results of all attendees will be shared (anonymously) with live polling technology within the slide presentation.

Attendees are advised to have access to a device with Internet access during the presentation to complete the quiz live and to participate in polling. Slides will be available to be posted on the conference web site and/or submitted to the conference proceedings.

Session Takeaways

Individuals attending this presentation will be able to determine their own temperament and to recognize the temperament of their students.  They will learn how to align teaching approaches, learning activities and assessment methods to different temperaments. And finally, individuals will learn of the potential benefits of leveraging the strengths of each temperament through carefully structured collaborative work.