11 February 2012

Quiet; Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop TalkingQuiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Between the reviews and the tweets coming from the conversation about this book at ALA Midwinter, I thought this would be an interesting read. It was, particularly the beginning when the author talks about our shift from a Culture of Character to one of Personality and the rise of the extroverted ideal. Her look at Harvard Business School's model and the world of Tony Robbins and the Saddleback Church were also interesting, but I did wonder why she didn't look at other business schools (ones that aren't as aggressively driven towards "extroversion = success") and smaller churches - the comparison could have illustrated her points a little more successfully.

The last part of the book lost me, when the book turns into a semi self-help manual. It was great to have her explaining how introverts can negotiate time alone/apart, or how to navigate social experiences but the converse was missing: how can extroverts learn to relate better to introverts? For example, there are examples of how to help introverted students do better/feel better in school, but none of how to help introverted teachers relate to extroverted students.

One of the bigger take-aways for me was the ways in which our schools are stressing collaboration and social learning, possibly at the expense of creativity and certainly to the detriment of the more introverted students. Something to ponder as we move forward with so-called 21st century skills/learning.

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