The Intense, Idealistic Introverted-Feeling Personality Type
Teachers need to create personal bonds with pupils in order to discover who turns out to be an introverted feeler.
By Jen Lilienstein
For extraverted teachers, introverted students can be very challenging to understand. Perhaps this is because, unlike an extravert “who is prevailingly orientated by the object and objective data, [the introvert] is governed by subjective factors (Jung, 2008).” As Jung so aptly continues, for these kids in particular, “the world exists not merely in itself, but also as it appears to me.” In other words, the introvert’s thought processes and decisions are governed more by perception than reality. In fact, for introverts in particular, self-concept “determines in large measure whether a student will accept or reject new learning as the brain processes whether an experience is positive or negative (Sousa, 2011).”
Teachers are often surprised by which pupils are introverted feelers at the outset of the school year, because for these kids, unfamiliar situations and people aren’t met with the warmth that is typically categorized by feeling personality types. Instead, they are met with a seemingly indifferent, cold, or reserved child. Emotions in introverted feelers (IFPs), however, are intensive rather than extensive. As such, over the course of the school year, teachers will undoubtedly see a depth of passion when these learners are expressing strongly held beliefs and when talking about things that they have a “gut feeling” about or that “just feel right” to them. In fact, it’s often a clue that you’re speaking with an introverted feeler when they “express their values in ‘I feel’ statements (Haas and Hunziker, 2006).”
If you’ve got a predominantly introverted-feeling class, steer away from debates and more toward conversations about the differing viewpoints of your pupils. Emphasize that understanding comes in shades of gray—few real-world examples are purely black and white. For instance, the total at the cash register may be black-and-white, but how the merchant chose to price those products was decided subjectively.
As much as possible, focus your lessons on “people, their development, and relationships (Murphy, 2008)” and “elements of personal discovery (Payne and VonSant, 2009).”
Incorporate as much of the human element into your curriculum as possible. For instance, “the study of people to identify with and emulate, the life of the scientist or historical figure as well as the scientific principle or historical fact, and the human issue to understand and do something about (Lawrence, 1997).”
Process and Techniques
Introverted Feelers tend to embody the old proverb, “still waters run deep.” They flourish under harmonious conditions where objective reality aligns with their own subjective perception—or, at the very least, their perceptions are acknowledged as legitimate and valid—with respect to both class discussions and assignment grading.
Strong one-on-one relationships are key to keeping your introverted feeling learners engaged—whether with you, or their peers and project groups. It’s more important with an IFP-dominant class than most others to create an emotionally supportive environment. Greeting pupils when they enter the class and keeping tabs on the emotional barometer of your class is crucial. Staying alert for disrespectful behavior in project teams is also key.
Ask yourself when planning curriculum, "Will students who like to process a question before answering it orally [have] opportunities to do so (Payne and VonSant, 2009)?” (This is true for ALL introverts—not just feelers.)
Provide affirmation, acceptance, and freedom as it relates to the subjective aspects of assignment structure and grading. Keep yourself in check with objective-oriented rubrics. (This may be more challenging if you, yourself, are an introvert—particularly an introverted thinker.)
Provide as much “flexibility in the manner in which assignments will be completed (Payne and VonSant, 2009)” as possible, just as you would in Extraverted Sensing, Extraverted Intuitive, and Introverted Thinking dominant classrooms, as all favor a perceiving approach.
Break-up long-term assignments with interim due dates to help these natural procrastinators learn to better manage their time, but still work with their natural bursts of energy.
Do your best to create assignments where work products “have the goal or side effect of helping others, adults, and peers. A strong motivation for [feeling] students is knowing that other people depend on them and that they are important to others (Lawrence, 1997).”
Free Personality Type Screening Tool
Determine the personality types of your individual learners and class as a whole as early as possible during the school year here.
Lesson Planet Resources That Introverted Feelers Would Enjoy:
Have your class explore US history by discussing religion in the colonial era. Your fifth graders review the history of Pennsylvania and the conformist views placed upon immigrants to the country. Then, they read a letter Benjamin Franklin wrote regarding the influx of German immigrants to the US during the 1700s.
Learners examine the impact of a major climate change in the Arctic Ocean on the rest of the world. They hone computer and research acumen by using the Internet to learn more about the Arctic region and the wildlife that lives there.
Introduce your class to this important form of traditional storytelling. Following a video on fables, the group defines the word fable and hears an explanation of the origin of this type of folk tale. They summarize the story, state the moral, and relate the moral to their own experiences. Finally, small groups retell a fable, placing it in modern context.
Scholars examine themselves, discover their strong, positive attributes, and recognize areas in need of improvement (since each individual possesses strengthsbut all people have some weaknesses). They develop self-acceptance, trust in oneself, and assumptions of a right to belong and participate in the community.
Pupils study a famous mathematician and create a presentation based on their research. Either in groups or individually, learners timeline important aspects of the mathematician’s life that led them to their discovery. Finally, they select a way to showcase their work from a variety of options.
Haas, Leona, and Hunziker, Mark. 2006. “Building Blocks of Personality Type.”
Jung, Dr. Carl. 2008. “Two Works by Dr Carl Jung - the Association Method & Psychological Types.”
Lawrence, Gordon. 1997. “Looking at Type and Learning Styles.”
Murphy, Elizabeth. 2008. “The Chemistry of Personality.”
Payne, Diane, and VonSant, Sandra. 2009. “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.”
Sousa, David A. 2011. “How the Brain Learns—Fourth Edition.”