The library at Dean Dad’s community college has set aside a room for quiet study. No beeping allowed. Students love it.

. . . American culture loves noise.  This is the country that invented the open work space, the car radio, and the group-bonding “retreat.”  But there is something to be said for having a quiet space for concentration.

Academically Adrift found that critical thinking skills improve when students study alone, but the “length of time spent in group study bore no correlation to improved critical thinking,”  the dean writes. “The social pressures of group work seem to work against digging deep. ”

Peace and quiet can be hard to come by for community college students, who often have part-time jobs, young children and thin-walled apartments in marginal neighborhoods, the dean notes.

In those circumstances, high tech study pods are all well and good, but what you really need is for everyone to just shut up and let you focus.  Student, chair, table, lamp, book, pen; that’s it.

He’s a fan of Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, subtitled The Power of Introverts in a World That Won’t Stop Talking.

I also recommend Diana Senechal’s Republic of Noise: The Loss of Solitude in Schools and Culture.

POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs
ON March 19, 2012

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