Personality type plays a large role in how a student behaves in the classroom and interacts with his/her fellow students and teachers. Identifying personality types in our classroom can help us to avoid misbehavior problems before they begin or once started help us to better understand the student and to help that student make better choices in the future. What I propose in this paper is a combining of Linda Albert’s (2003) cooperative discipline technique as detailed in Cooperative Discipline and Don Lowry’s (2004) personality types as detailed in Keys to Personal Success.
According to Don Lowry there are four different personality types in the classroom. These personality types are differentiated by four colors; orange, gold, blue and green or our “true colors”. For a more detailed analysis we also need to look at these “true colors” in conjunction with David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates’ (1984) book Please Understand Me: Character and Temperament Types. Keirsey and Bates, instead of using colors to differentiate their personality types use the Ancient Greek gods; however, we can see a clear correlation between god and color. Keirsey and Bates’ four temperaments are Dionysian (orange), Epimethean (gold), Promethean (green), and Apollonian (blue). We can see the temperaments of these gods reflected in their human counterparts.
The Dionysian/Orange is impulsive, freedom loving and freedom seeking, a natural competitor, and a charismatic individual (Lowry, 2004). Keirsey and Bates (1984) state that:
At the bottom, the Dionysian…must be free; he will not be tied or bound or confined or obligated. To do as he wishes when he wishes, that’s the ideal. To wait, to save, to store, to prepare, to live for tomorrow – that is not the way. For the [Orange] Epicurus was right; today must be enjoyed, for tomorrow never comes. (p. 31)
The Dionysian/Orange make up about 35-40 percent of the population or about 12 students in a class of 32 and are equally distributed between gender types.
The Epimethean/Gold is almost the complete opposite of the Dionysian/Orange. The golds are parental, traditional, responsible, and like things to be structured and stable (Lowry, 2004). Keirsey and Bates (1984) state that:
For the [Gold] the hierarchical structure of society is the essence of society. There should be subordinance and superordinance. There should be rules which govern the interactions of members, certainly in the city, school, church, and corporation, but also in the family. And one’s status in such social units must be earned – one must do one’s part. (p. 41)
The Epimethean/Gold, like the Dionysian/Orange, make up roughly 35-40 percent of the population and are equally distributed between genders.
The Promethean/Green can best be described as analytical, inventive, striving for competency and holding a variety of interests (Lowry, 2004). In defining the Promethean/Green Keirsey and Bates state that:
Power fascinates the [Green]. Not...