OJN  Vol.3 No.7 , November 2013
Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice guidelines for educators and advisors

Experienced classroom educators are familiar with students commonly thought of as introverted or shy— the noticeably quiet students who are reluctant to speak in class, and generally shun the spotlight. Many educators find such students perplexing and frustrating because they rarely raise their hands in class, or engage in conversation afterward. It is difficult for educators to discern whether they are reaching such students or whether they are engaged or bored. Introverted students differ from their more extroverted peers in terms of information processing, classroom behavior, and preferences regarding assignments and activities. As educators, we often ask ourselves whether we are doing all we can, as educators and advisers, to foster such students’ learning and personal development, and this question is highly relevant in contemporary education. Introverts are thought to comprise approximately 40 percent of the student body. In addition, cultural background may foster behaviors similar to those observed in shy and/or introverted individuals. In this article, introversion, extroversion and shyness are compared and contrasted conceptually, as well as in terms of related social and academic behaviors and processes. The questions of whether introversion and shyness confer problematic traits, whether students should be helped to overcome or signature strengths, and whether they might be guided to develop further, are also addressed. Best practice guidelines intended to help nurse-faculty respond more helpfully to quiet students as educators and advisors are offered.

Cite this paper
Condon, M. and Ruth-Sahd, L. (2013) Responding to introverted and shy students: Best practice guidelines for educators and advisors. Open Journal of Nursing, 3, 503-515. doi: 10.4236/ojn.2013.37069.
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