We all view the world in different and unique ways. While each of these different views are valid, they are limited. We all have a personality that shapes the way we interact with the world: the way we teach, learn, work, and communicate; it’s all determined by our unique personality traits. As students, our personality type makes us prefer some particular ways of learning. Different perspectives, values, and preferences among students sometimes lead to misunderstanding and frustration.
When we are able to understand other people better, it leads to greater compassion, acceptance and tolerance of them. Our motivation is a powerful force that drives most of our behavior. When the world around us supports, understands and reinforces our motivation, a strong tailwind aligns with all our energy, propelling us strongly toward our aspirations. Let’s explore the nine types of students:
1. The serious hard working type
Their motivation is to be good and correct and their major focus is usually on what’s wrong and what’s not as it should be. They usually follow rules, standards and principles so closely that they meet all expectations. The basic learning style of serious hardworking students involves being attentive in class, taking thorough notes, wanting to know the rules, learning in a logical, step by step manner and meticulously attending to detail.
Their ideal classroom is place where everyone is responsible, self-disciplined, and conscientious as well as values hard work, truth, fairness; a place that is well organized, where rules are fair and reasonable, and consistently enforced and a place where work is well planned. You may also notice that their communication style usually depicts a serious unemotional voice, clarity, focus on the point and on the topic, strong convictions and morality. They often say “I should….”.
2. The people pleasing type
Their motivation is to be appreciated and their major focus is usually on other people and their needs. They usually earn appreciation by being kind to others. The basic learning style of the people pleasing mentor involves wanting emotional connection to the lesson, focusing on people and applications, learning well from role models and connecting with passionate and joyful teachers.
Their ideal classroom is a place that is positive and a nurturing atmosphere where thoughtfulness and emotional connection is valued, where there is group work and discussion. They prefer small classrooms beautifully appointed with a human touch. You may also notice that their communication style usually depicts signs of affection, smiles and eye contact. They make others feel accepted, often ask personal questions and are generous with compliments.
3. The star of the class type
Their motivation is to be successful and their major focus is usually on results and achievement. They usually employ a strategy of wining the esteem of others. The basic learning style of this type of student involves the desire to improve skill and ability and hands-on, practical and experiential learning. They often tend to reduce lessons to key concepts and results and are usually eager to jump into action.
Their ideal classroom is a place that that values self-improvement and competency, where expectations are clearly defined. They like to have a visible reward system and prefer hands-on application of what is taught. You may also notice that their communication style usually depicts a positive image and a motivating, can-do attitude. They are natural charmers and prefer doing to talking about doing.
4. The creative misunderstood type
Their motivation is to find a special and unique identity and their major focus is usually on what’s missing. They usually withdraw from convention and get people to notice “how I’m different”. The basic learning style of the misunderstood creative student involves a need for personal and emotional connection to lesson content. They pour their soul into their work but usually wait until the mood strikes before they study. They are very sensitive to criticism and personal rejection.
Their ideal classroom is a place where self-expression, creativity and emotional authenticity is valued, where there are opportunities to personalize work and where there are outlets to explore creativity and mood. They prefer places with outlets to explore creativity and mood. You may also notice that their communication style usually depicts focus on meaning and symbolism. They have an emotional and dramatic flair, are personally revealing and usually engage in deep philosophical discussion.
5. The intellectual outsider type
Their motivation is to be competent and intelligent and their major focus is on what they know and do well. They usually withdraw from the world to study those things. The basic learning style of the intellectual outsider involves comprehension before participation, satisfaction with full comprehension of a topic, analysis, finding patterns, speculation and analysis. They learn best through observation (lectures and books).
Their ideal classroom is a place where knowledge, originality and curiosity is valued, topics are explored individually and in depth, where intellectual discussions are carried out and where there is ample quiet time. You may also notice that their communication style usually depicts talkativeness while discussing topics of great personal interest or mastery. They are usually quiet and reserved, factual and unemotional and they think a lot before speaking.
6. The questioning friend type
Their motivation is to be supported and secure and their major focus is usually on uncertainties, risks, dangers and the unknown. They usually seek guidance from those they trust. The basic learning style of this type of student can be summarized as “questions, questions, questions”. They are usually detailed and analyze things rationally, prefer structure, framework, justified rules and are good at finding problems or deviations.
Their ideal classroom is a place where there is value for social support, reliability and responsibility, where questions are welcomed and answered. They prefer an atmosphere of trust that is predictable and structured. They are usually gregarious and likeable but often nervous speaking in front of others. They are also often skeptical, cautionary, inquisitive and love to play the devil’s advocate.
7. The cheer leading type
Their motivation is to be happy and fulfilled and their major focus is usually on the positive. They usually seek happiness and excitement in the world around them. The basic learning style of the the cheerleader involves learning by association,
mental exploration and experimentation. They learn quickly and can jump into the middle of things without needing the big picture.
Their ideal classroom is a place where enthusiasm, spontaneity and openness is valued, a place full of positive energy, fast paced, dynamic, interactive and free of constraints and limitations. They are usually talkative, enthusiastic, nonlinear and converse a lot in a free association but often go off tangents.
8. The challenging type
Their motivation is to protect themselves and be in control and their major focus is usually on power and justice. They are fond of asserting their independence. The challengers learn by independent and minimal supervision. They prefer the practical to theory, want to get their hands dirty and enjoy class discussions, especially debates.
Their ideal classroom is a place of authority, confidence and vision, a high engagement atmosphere of bold action. They prefer places of vigorous debates and fair rules. They hate when they can’t add their own opinion to class discussions and state opinions as facts. they always tell direct, brutal and honest truth and are often act precociously with profanity.
9. The accommodating companion type
Their motivation is to be at peace and their major focus is usually on other people’s point of view. They usually deny their own wants and opinions to accommodate others. The basic learning style of the accommodating companion involves immersion, experiential exercises, physical movement, repetition, routine, predictability and structure.
Their ideal classroom is a place where stability, groundedness and balance are valued, one that is happy, comfortable and stress free. They prefer tranquil atmospheres with big picture focus and connectedness of all things. They are usually have calm, peaceful voices, are indirect and subtle. They ramble answers, find it difficult to verbalize specifics and sometimes state other people’s opinions as their own.