If you are trying to figure out how to teach “the difficult child”, this article is for you. You see we all tend to teach in the style we like to be taught. But that may not be working for the child. The Guardian personality, and the Idealist tend to want to please parents and teachers. However the Rationales and the Artisans (hands on learner) are not so inclined. Lets take that statement applied to each of the basic four personality types.
The Guardian Child (40 to 45% of the population)
Most teachers are of this personality. As a result, the majority of the curriculum and classrooms are cheaphostingforum designed for this learning style. So they usually do well in school, and respond to “school in a box”, or “School At Home” type curriculum.
They like workbooks, flash cards, and will sit patiently waiting for instruction from figures of authority. These children are usually well organized, and are eager to help. Little personal notes of appreciation, stars on their papers, and fancy sticky figures encourage the Guardian child.
As long as parents and educators show these children appreciation, these children rarely become “difficult”. But they are deeply hurt by lack of recognition for their efforts to help, and will often refuse to continue such efforts if appreciation is withheld.
The Artisan (Hands On Learner – 38% of the average classroom)
These little ones are highly active, and are eager to learn as long as it is accomplishing something. Workbooks, and long periods of sitting still are a disaster for them. As a result, they are often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities, seen as “difficult children”, and are the most likely to drop out of school as soon as possible.
They respond to hands on learning, competition, discussions, and prefer visual learning over verbal. Learning disguised as games are excellent for these kids. But they also learn from experience. Fore example:
A trip to the grocery store can become a lesson in weighing, and math.
Building a birdhouse or a club house can become a lesson in measuring, drawing, reading (directions) and geometry.
The Rational Child (6 to 12 % of the population)
These young ones are full of questions, not to annoy adults, but simply because it is part of their natural desire to know. Like Einstein, who was a Rational, they are often late bloomers… They often learn their phonic sounds (through games… not flash cards), but usually not ready to read at “grade level” until around third grade.
Like the Artisan, they learn from games, and from doing things, but for a different reason. You see, the Artisan must see a purpose behind the action, while the Rational simply wants to know how it works.
They are often not eager to review something they already know, and see no need to prove to others they know something they already know. Testing, certificates, and stars on their papers makes little sense to them. They can become very stubborn if they think someone is trying to manipulate them into doing something that makes absolutely no sense.
Most children are willing to participate in activities not to their liking as long as they know you acknowledge and appreciate their way of learning. So here is an example of how I work with these children (elementary level).
I teach the Rational child phonics and reading by using reading games.
Reading to them regularly, and playing games like taking turns reading signs and words while traveling reinforces what they have learned.
However when it comes to them reading at “grade level”, Delayed Academics is almost always the outcome.
I provide them a small notebook, and encourage them to draw and color whatever is fascinating them at the time. It might be dinosaurs, Star War Characters, men that are half machine, or their own creations. They are usually eager to tell elaborate stories about their drawings which I encourage. Eventually I encourage them to start writing their stories along side their drawings (helping them when needed).
From the notebook, they learn to draw, color in the lines (a writing skill), communicate, and eventually writing skills. But I also use this activity as breaks between activities they are not so inclined to do. They are more willing to cooperate with me as ling as they know I recognize, and appreciate the way they learn. We all just want to be loved
The Idealist (12 % of the population)
The idealist is interested in doing “the right thing”, and (like the Guardian) will follow the rules, but only as long as the rules serve the people. They will rebel if they perceive others are being harmed by an authority figure or their rules.
They are highly sensitive, and feel the pain of others. As a result, they will often let others win so as not to hurt them. When I play learning games with these children, I am quick to announce that everyone is a winner because they completed the task.
The Idealist learns best through discussion, and role playing, but will adjust to various methods of teaching (Eclectic) as long as it is serving the people involved, and not perceived as cruel or exclusive.
Because of the diversity of learning styles in the average classroom, educators are often challenged, especially in large groupings. However if one uses the eclectic approach it is far easier than one might think. In so doing, it actually teaches the children to appreciate and recognize the different personalities which is essential to their future success.
If you have children that fit any of these descriptions, you will want to proceed to the following link where you will find some very interesting videos on the subject: http://educatorssite.com/?p=718.
You will be amazed how much more fun, and less difficult the kids are when their different personalities are recognized and understood.