The past few posts have been descriptions of four basic temperaments - reduced from the sixteen "personality types" defined in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - that may resemble different kinds of individuals that comprise a student body. If you were asked to review these descriptions and then choose in order the pairs of students likely to be successful in a school environment, you probably could do it with reasonable accuracy. Ready?
Nicole Toth and Ned Truman are programmed for success in the way that school is typically designed. It's backed up by research (which, by the way, would impress Nicole and Ned). Here's how;
- possessing an appeal for abstract concepts and ideas (N = Intuition) may contribute significantly to an individual's academic ability.
- individuals with preferences in introversion (I), intuition (N), and thinking (T) may have a relative advantage in "school smarts" since their preferences match typical academic tasks.
- academic tasks typically demand logical analysis and favor thinking (T) types.
- the range of grade point average mean scores in one study involving over 3500 male college prep high school students from 27 Pennsylvania high schools extends more than one standard deviation from INTJ at the top to ESFP at the bottom.
- in this same study, INFJ and INTJ had the highest grade point averages of the J types while INTP and INFP had the highest grade point averages of the P types. The IN (introverted intuitive) types had the greatest natural interest in ideas and symbols, and the ES (extroverted sensing) type had the least. The latter types had an interest in learning from "real life" experiences and had less interest in "book learning."
So, each type/temperament has its strengths. Each has its weaknesses as well. Without getting too technical (and long-winded), suffice it to say that all of us possess the potential for developing the strengths inherent in each temperament. Obviously, it requires effort - intelligent and intense effort. We can become intellectually stronger, more flexible in our thinking, and we can cultivate the stamina sometimes required in challenging situations. Repeat - it takes intelligent and intense effort, in the same way that it requires this kind of effort to become more physically fit. Of course, there are limits to what one may be capable of doing simply because of one's genetic makeup, but there is also a range within this makeup where one can move along a continuum. The ideal would be for each person to move to the upper limits of this range. Repeat - it takes intelligent and intense effort to do this.
Students who complete "Do What You Are" (high school version of the MBTI) in Naviance receive a detailed description of their strengths as well as their "blindspots." It's very useful information that can serve as a workout plan to make one more mentally fit. Repeat - it takes...