We are all familiar with that student who never speaks up in class or critique. As a teacher, it can be very frustrating, because it highlights the fact that certain students are verbally participating while others aren’t. Resentment can build in the “talkers”, and the teacher often assumes that the “quiet” student has nothing to say or is disinterested. But look at it from the “quiet” students’ point of view:
“As a quiet person, I have had trouble speaking up in class my whole life. In the past, I did not speak in classes much at all, and I’d feel frustrated because I felt I had more to say than some of the people that talked frequently in my classes.”
The teacher must realize that some people prefer to express themselves verbally, while others prefer to do it in writing. Likewise, some students are comfortable talking in front of a group, while others prefer to do it in a one-on-one situation.
Therefore, creating a classroom or critique environment where both the “talkers” and the “quiet” students can feel comfortable expressing themselves is vitally important to the overall effectiveness of the classroom or critique experience.
To gain more insight into the “quiet” student and how silence in the classroom can be a tool for learning, read Professor Mary M. Reda’s article “What’s the Problem With Quiet Students? Anyone? Anyone?”