Personality Test
George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)
Making the Grade With Your Professors
Part 4: Rational Profs
By The College Advisor

Are you having problems in your Rational professor's class? Here are key elements for understanding Rational professors.

Rational (NT) professors:

  • Become experts in the subjects they teach.
  • Challenge the student's thinking and develop the student's ability to explore long-term, abstract concepts.
  • Engage in asking and answering intellectual questions and can demand that students respond in an intellectual manner.
  • Enjoy playing with alternate meanings of words and are precise in word definitions.

If you are a Rational, you may find your Rational professor's style quite interesting - unless you are not at all interested in the subject matter. Rational students have quite strong preferences about the kind of knowledge that they are attracted to.

Idealist students may enjoy the wide-ranging thinking of the Rational professor, but may have a hard time being precise enough in their definition of terms. Fine distinctions are the meat and bones of a Rational's presentation, and the global-thinking of the Idealist leads them to ignore these distinctions. Callista got a mediocre grade on her midterm. The professor wrote that her answers simply weren't complete enough. At the lectures, she began to write down the words her professor used repeatedly and listened carefully to determine the definitions. When she used those words on the next midterm, her grade went up considerably.

Artisans often have little patience for theoretical presentations. If the Rational professor's presentation is upbeat, then it may capture the Artisan's attention. Promoters and Crafters may have less trouble with this kind of professor than Performers and Composers. Sam's professor had a tendency of talking over the head of many of the students. It was a small class, and everyone was hesitant to speak. Not Sam. She used humorous comments to clue the professor about the students' dilemma, such as, "Can you draw me a map? I got lost at that last transition."

Guardian students will work hard to learn the facts, but they, like the Artisans, may have more trouble with theoretical constructs. They may need to seek out specific examples to illustrate the theories. Pablo was awed by his professor's breadth of knowledge, but he sometimes didn't understand the point in what the professor was saying. Fortunately, he was taking the class with a close friend who was a Rational. The friend showed Pablo how he wrote down key points, then Pablo connected real-time examples to the points so the key points could stick in his head.

All types are apt to see the Rational professor as very intelligent and very knowledgeable in their field. Rationals tend to challenge the thinking of all students and are best pleased when they notice that a student has finally grasped major concepts.

Rational professors can be impatient with students that they see as "plodders" and who make little effort to learn. Remember, they do have power over the grades they give you. Rational professors generally respect students who ask intelligent questions.


Temperament and School

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Changing Majors
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Your Intelligence Strengths
Helicopter Parents
Failing Classes
Perfection Trap
Is Grad School For You?
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Non-technical Degree?
College Not Working For You?
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