Reflection on Chapter 1: A few things I don’t yet buy into.

The “P” is for procrastinator, right?

I get the point of chapter 1: all of the differently shaped pegs don’t fit into a round hole, and students learn best when they are challenged and engaged.

However, Chapter 1 brings up the notion of “Flow” but doesn’t really define it.  (Ability + Interest is not a definition, in my book).  The chapter treats “flow” with a “you’ll know it when you see it” mentality.  The clear message is that if students are learning in active process, engaged in meaningful work they will be motivated and successful, and that catering to students’ personality profiles is the way to do this.  

The author uses the example of Alex and Carl, who were unsuccessful in class until allowed to make a picture book.  While that’s great, it is not reasonable or practical for Carl and Alex to go through school making a picture book EVERY time they have something to learn. At some point they will also need to learn the skills they lack, to compensate for their inability to pay attention in class or take notes or synthesize information.  They can’t simply be excused from demonstrating a range of academic skill.

I’m sure other students in the same class labored over the creation of a picture book and would have much rather learned another way.  While there is always room for differentiation in assignments, it is seldom practical to differentiate 16 different avenues for all the possible personality types. My question is: at what point do you sacrifice Carl and Alex’s “flow” for the sake of reality: covering the expected curriculum? meeting the needs of other types of learners?  Leaving school before midnight with one’s sanity intact?  Hopefully these issues will be addressed later on.

The OTHER thing I don’t buy into is being non-judgmental about personality type.  If a person’s personality type is causing them to be unsuccessful, and if it is possible for all people to operate outside of their personality type (or even change type), then why can’t we expect them to adapt to the system they are in rather than only expecting the system to adapt to them, as the chapter seems to imply?  Maybe it’s okay that certain personality types tend to be more successful in academics.  Maybe it’s okay to honor those who demonstrate the skills to succeed, whether they are practiced skills or more innate.  The implication in the chapter is that this isn’t the case, and I don’t know about that.


Reflection on Chapter 2:

Journal prompts:  


  • My favorite assignments in school were complex math problems and creative writing.  They might seem like two opposites, but to me they were the same kind of task: both challenging and rewarding, and done independently.
  • My favorite classroom activities as a teacher are collaborative group efforts, where the students pool their skills for a common goal.  When they are successful, this is a rewarding task.  When the students are not successful, however, these projects tend to be a colossal waste of time.
  • If only more teachers would… SET THE BAR HIGH… students would succeed.  When students expect assignments and learning to be without challenge, they expect to learn very little.


I have no idea whether these fit my personality type.  I suppose they must.

As a teacher, this is where my personality type comes in:

Introvert:  I like my classroom quiet, with once voice going at a time during lessons, otherwise I can’t function in an instructional role.  I find collaboration tedious, and conversation sucks my energy, but I do both because they are necessary.  I definitely don’t provide enough breaks for the extroverts in my classes, because if I don’t need them I assume nobody else does either.  (I should probably do something about that.)  … It’s also because everything takes many times longer to introduce than it should when the introverts won’t stop interrupting.

Intuitive: I put high value in problem solving and innovation.  I assume students should be able to follow the directions, but also adapt when the situation calls for it.

Thinking/Feeling: I’m totally both, and I don’t really see how everybody shouldn’t be both, because they are concurrent processes rather than opposites.  I have no idea what to do with this part of the personality type, because I don’t see a dichotomy between the two.  This probably means it’s the one about which I have the most to learn.  

Perceiving (aka Procrastinating): I ALWAYS over or under-estimate how long activities might take.  It makes planning units with precision really challenging, as I’m constantly juggling whether to give planned assignments before students are fully prepared for them or delaying  them in the moment and throwing off the schedule for the next week or two.  I will never be good at this.

Also, complaining (judging) students really get on my nerves… but mostly because they lack tact and common decency, not because they have dissenting opinions.

Chapter 3:

The most difficult students for me to teach are those who won’t engage, no matter what.  They are soured on school and have no plan or expectation of success for themselves.   To demonstrate no desire for success in school is just unthinkable to me.  

I can think of a student for almost every one of the descriptions in this chapter.

A question I have is:  If Perceiving behaviors and ADD behaviors are so closely aligned, why don’t we just say a lot of perceiving kids have ADD?  The list on page 28 seems like an excuse for why non-productive tendencies of people with ADD should be considered as “normal” when in fact they are often detrimental to success.  Again, the concept of being non-judgmental when it comes to type is an issue for me here.  
A question I have is: How do they determine the dominant functions for each type?  What if I am INFP but don’t think Introverted and Feeling are more dominant than intuition or perception?  


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