9 jul. 2016

Personality and learning

From the year of 400 BC, Hippocrates, the father of the medicine talked about the origin of the personality. He believed that four humours were the origin of the human personality: according to him, black bile produces a melancholic person, the yellow one (adrenaline) produces irritable and nervous people, the phlegm (a fluid from the mucosa) was related with relax people and blood with optimistic beings. Despite the centuries elapsed since then, the thoughts and research of Hippocrates have repercussion in modern medicine and his theories about human personality are still used in education systems of today world. Nevertheless, there are other theories concerning about the personality and learning with other classifications.

In particular, it is interesting to ask how people from different personalities can learn certain subject, let us say mathematics and other difficult sciences as physics, statistics, computing, etc.

The denominated traditional education consisted in an exposition by the teacher and assimilation from the class spectators: the students. Nowadays, most of the engineers, physicians and other science and mathematics related careers are the fruit of such traditional education and everybody was happy with it.

However, other professionals have not been very happy through the years, most of them related with social sciences and in particular, psychologist and education researchers. For them a change is urgently needed.

Why this difference in thinking?

Well, one of the facts in worldwide education is certain subjects with a high index of reprobation and not assimilation like mathematics.


As a teacher, one can find different personalities in the classroom and maybe this is a part of the problem. There are structured thinking students and for them it is easy to conceive structured ideas and learn mathematics, physics and chemistry, but how about if they decide to study theatre?

Other students enjoy the interaction with other people, helping them and love the team work as it is needed in chemistry-biological careers. How about if they decide to work as accountants?

There are students that always look for a practical vision of the knowledge and can make an easy connection between knowledge and application and money management, ideal situation for administration and business careers. However, what about if they decide to be physicists?

Or there are disordered, passionate and creative students who mostly go to art careers, but how about if they decide to be medical doctors?

And moreover, what about the students who have a mixture of personality features? And, what about the careers that has needed certain innovation far apart from its usual history?

Albert Einstein was not synonymous of order as it is expected in a physicist. However, his creativity, original thinking and reject to traditional physics ideas left science to go beyond it was until the beginning of the XX century.

Or the case of Albert Durer, the German painting whose ordered and structured geometric thinking were useful to create certain types of paintings and also to study mathematics.

What about Avicena? He was good at diverse areas of knowledge as medicine, philosophy, administration and mathematics.

Leonardo Da Vinci was an extraordinary case in history being painter, sculptor, inventor and scientist in medicine and physics.

The theories that study personalities in the human beings have different classification that could be useful for solving education problems in the world of today. Hoping to come back to this situation in the future, here you have some reflexions to answer:

Which one is your personality?

Which did (do) you want to study?

Do you like traditional education? Why?

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