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How Teachers Respond to Quiet Students

In most courses the quiet students outnumber the talkative ones. And although some quiet students occasionally speak, there are others who make their way through the course silently. Quite appropriately, with publication of Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (2012), a number of teachers have raised concerns about the challenges that active learning environments present to quiet students. Of equal concern but not regularly addressed are those talkative students who willingly contribute as often as teachers call on them. I’ve been thinking about both, not so much in terms of behavior-changing techniques but with regard to how teachers respond to each of these behaviors.

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