University of Oulu

Supporting the social and learning needs of introverted students in primary school

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Author: Vänskä, Astrid1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Education, Educational Sciences
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.5 MB)
Pages: 36
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Vänskä, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-06-07
Thesis type: Bachelor's thesis
Tutor: Jokikokko, Katri


This thesis aims to find methods of supporting introverted students in their learning and social needs through reviewing founding and current literature. The objectives of this literature review include understanding the individual style with which introverted students learn and work the most efficiently, so that educators are better equipped to support their learning. Temperament influences a person’s reactions to their environment around them and materializes in interactions with the environment and other people. Temperament traits are not inherently good or bad, but their value is in how well they fit with the surrounding environment, a concept referred to as goodness of fit.

In the context of education, temperament outlines the distinct way in which a child responds to stimulants in the school environment. It influences every aspect of school life, including academic performance and social interactions and relations. Temperament cannot be ignored in the context of education, as it shapes how students learn, process information, interact with their classmates and react to new learning. It is imperative that educators understand the implications of temperament in their instructional choices as well as their perceptions of and attitudes towards their students.

Culture shapes the way in which temperament traits are perceived, and in western culture the outgoing, talkative and charismatic extrovert is seen as the ideal personality for success in society. Schools reflect these societal values and introverted students are placed at a disadvantage in achieving this success as a result of their innate temperament. Introversion is characterized by a quiet, reflective and reserved demeanor and the movement of energy towards the inner world. Biologically, introversion is characterized by a high level of internal stimulation which results in a need to limit external stimulants to balance their level of cortical arousal. The qualities attributed to introversion are often misinterpreted and cast in a negative light.

Educators can support introverted learners by providing opportunities for independent and small group learning, ensuring that there is sufficient time for reflection and creating a safe, non-judgmental space for learning. Teachers should acknowledge introverts’ need for alone time and understand that engagement and active participation can look different for different learners. Educators should ensure that their assessment of student achievement is not coloured by their perceptions of temperament or what is a “good student”. The best way to support introverted students is not to change their temperament but to give them the tools to overcome the challenges that may accompany it.

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Copyright information: © Astrid Vänskä, 2023. Except otherwise noted, the reuse of this document is authorised under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC-BY 4.0) licence ( This means that reuse is allowed provided appropriate credit is given and any changes are indicated. For any use or reproduction of elements that are not owned by the author(s), permission may need to be directly from the respective right holders.