Descriptions of personality inventory categories

Overview of David Kiersey’s four temperament groups, based on the 16 Myers-Briggs categories (which is only one of over 200 “quadrant models”). Note that people in each group share certain similarities in their reality and their approach to the world, and that the people in one group operate from a different reality than people in the other groups. Our ability to not only recognize that these differences exist, but also to appreciate them and, more importantly perhaps, to provide outlets for their expression in a school setting, can greatly improve an individual’s potential for learning and success. (See “Myers-Briggs Scales” for more information.)

The Guardian (SJ; “Gold”)

  • Planners and organizers.
  • Value correctness, promptness, loyalty,
  • stability, work before pleasure and the ability to follow rules and procedures.
  • Responsible, productive, concrete thinkers; like following the chain of command.
  • 38% of the general population, about equal numbers of males and females.
  • 43% of (HS) teachers and 45% of students; large numbers of administrators.
  • Differ along the Introvert-Extrovert and Thinking-Feeling scales.
  • Upset when others question authority or don’t follow rules, act disrespectfully, come late or unprepared, or don’t take things seriously. Also stressed by disorganization, inefficiency and unreliability.

The Artisan (SP; “Orange”)

  • Freedom-oriented.
  • Need spontaneity, “active doing,” flexibility and unstructured settings.
  • Playful and need for work to be fun.
  • Differ along the Introvert-Extrovert and Thinking-Feeling scales.
  • 38% of the population, equal males, females
  • 7% HS teachers (usually in hands-on elective courses); 40% of high school students
  • Resent limitations on their freedom or their random, concrete approach to learning.
  • Can do high quality work; capable of tremendous concentration for things they like.
  • Stressed by boredom, predictability, rigidity, inflexibility, having to follow a plan, people without a sense of humor, rules in general.
  • Highest risk for dropping out (given the structure of a school and all those SJ teachers!)

The Idealist (NF; “Blue”)

  • Empathetic, feelers and caregivers
  • Can see potential and encourage growth in others.
  • Differ along the Introvert-Extrovert scale, Judging
  • Perceiving scale (structured, organized, formal, finish-oriented vs. flexible, curious, nonconforming, process-oriented)
  • Value acceptance, harmony, positive feelings, recognition, authenticity and integrity.
  • Abstract thinkers; good at creative problem solving in relationships and associations, characterized by aesthetic experiences and reflective awareness.
  • Upset by insensitivity and narrow-minded, judgmental behavior; details, procedures, regulations and red tape.
  • Stressed if yelled at or treated impersonally.
  • 12% of population, more females
  • 35% of HS teachers, 9% of students.

The Thinker/Rational (NT; “Green”)

  • Analytical; need to know and understand
  • Value knowledge and competence, fairness and understanding, strategies and progress.
  • Relate intellectually, preferring logic and thinking to feeling.
  • Enjoy a good debate and can usually explain things well.
  • Differ along the Introvert-Extrovert scale, Judging-Perceiving scale
  • Most bothered by incompetence (especially by people in authority), meetings that have no purpose, arbitrary rules, emotional outbursts or anything that seems illogical.
  • Stressed if you question their knowledge, make fun of their ability or argue illogically.
  • 12% of population, more males
  • 15% of HS teachers and 6% of students.

Excerpted from Creating Emotionally Safe Schools, by Dr. Jane Bluestein (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc, 2001)

© 2001, 2012, Dr. Jane Bluestein

Read the Rave Reviews for Creating Emotionally Safe Schools!

Related resources:

Myers-Briggs Scales and Categories
The Animal School

Children at Risk: Common characteristics and family patterns
Conditions with ADHD “Look-Alike” Symptoms
The “Ideal” Student: The students we were taught to teach
I’m Hyperactive, You’re Hyperactive
Increasing Success for All Students
Literacy: What’s Movement Got to Do with It?
Ways to Reach More Students
Multiple Intelligences
Some Kids (Really Do) Study Better When…
Water and the Body
The Myth of the Self-Esteem “Myth”


Book: The Beginning Teacher’s Survival Guide: Win-Win Strategies for Success
Book: Creating Emotionally Safe Schools
Book: The Win-Win Classroom

Audio: Practical Strategies for Working Successfully with Difficult Students


The Fragile Learner: Reaching and teaching struggling students, with Hanoch McCarty, with Hanoch McCarty
The Inclusive Teacher: Success with ADD and ADHD students, with Margit Crane
Movement and Learning: A partnering relationship, with Aili Pogust


Creating Emotionally Safe Schools: Is Your School an Emotionally Safe Place?
Dealing with Difficult Students: Practical Strategies for Success with Defiant, Defeated, and other At-Risk Kids
The ‘I-Can’ Classroom: Building for Success and Achievement for ALL Students 
“My Brain Doesn’t Work Like That”: Creating Success with Non-Traditional Learners by Accommodating Learning Differences
The Win-Win Classroom: A Fresh and Positive Look at Classroom Management

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