As a middle school teacher of 20 years, I have observed a variety of personality differences among my students. In designing my lessons, I take into account how a child’s personality type can influence their learning style, and I’ve found there can be big differences.
For instance, my students play a game before each unit test.
The purpose of this game is two-fold. One, it serves as a review of the major concepts studied in that unit. Two, it involves a way for students to engage in a friendly, competitive game, in which the winning team receives bonus points on their exam.
I created this game several years back, and it became a hit that many students looked forward to playing when they came into class. However, I noticed that some students found it to be incredibly stressful and anxiety provoking.
The game involves speed and accuracy and is a great outlet for those students who dedicate their time to studying and enjoy the thrill of competition. On the other hand, this game doesn’t necessarily spark the same motivation for students whose personalities are more laid back, who haven’t put in much time into reviewing for the test and/or who are less concerned with time constraints and winning.
The same game — with the same rules, asking the same questions, under the same time restrictions — can provoke a vastly different response for young people with different personality types. Let’s take a look at why this might be.