Learning Personalities through Play

As teachers, knowing the personalities of our students strengthens our ability to deliver a better learning environment.  Engaging children in game play can give quick insight into these personality traits. There are personality quizzes out there, but spending time around a game, engaged in play, is a great alternative way for this insight. You might even get to know yourself more, too!

Personality type refers to the psychological classification of different types of individuals. Personality types are sometimes distinguished from personality traits, with the latter embodying a smaller grouping of behavioral tendencies. Fundamental to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the theory of psychological type as originally developed by Carl Jung.  Jung proposed the existence of two dichotomous pairs of cognitive functions:

  1. The “rational” (judging) functions: thinking and feeling
  2. The “irrational” (perceiving) functions: sensation and intuition

Jung believed that for every person, each of the functions are expressed primarily in either an introverted or extroverted form.

Motivation, management, communications, and relationships are a lot more effective when we understand our students. Developing an understanding of personality typology, personality traits, thinking styles and learning styles theories is also a very useful way to improve our knowledge of motivation and behaviour of self and others, both in the workplace and in the classroom.

Understanding personality types is helpful for appreciating that while people are different, everyone has a value, with special strengths and qualities, and that everyone should be treated with care and respect.

Personalities are relatively stable.  That’s important because it means that at school, you are not going to change the personality of the people you come in contact with.  We are who we are.

The value of knowing how to “read” personality is primarily to help leaders and teachers understand their own basic personality dimensions, and then to learn to emphasize the positive and mitigate the negative aspects of their own style. It helps to know something about their personality – knowledge that you can use to guide your behavior.  And your own behavior is the thing you have the most control over at work.

For your students, letting them know their natural strengths may encourage them.  Everyone does best when they are working with their innate strengths. Recognizing strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and habits gives you the knowledge needed to make the most out of each student. It also lets you know what learning setting and styles help students become most productive and bring them enjoyment or irritation.

So play a few different types of games with your students or friends and really watch what personality traits you can identify! 

About Reisa Schwartzman

Reisa Schwartzman is president of Griddly Games, and the designer of Oversight, an abstract stategy game. Griddly Games creates award-winning party and board games that deliver innovative, engaging fun that brings people together while encouraging social interaction, learning, strategy and challenges that anyone (the entire grid of people) can enjoy. To discover more about Griddly Games, visit www.griddlygames.com.

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