Nine Types of Learners: The Achiever

Welcome to our series on the nine different types of learners that lies at the heart of Story-Based Learning. Every learner is different and needs tailored conditions if they are to learn and grow to their full potential. Over the course of nine weeks we will be highlighting a different type of student.

Meet Anders and Abigail.

Competitive, quick-thinking, confident and charming.

Life is a series of goals to these students – they assess, assemble and move forward with vision and drive. Because they see quickly what needs to be done, they can position themselves as leaders and are quite influential within the learning space.  

Learning Style

Achievers internalise the message that they are only as good as their last success, which makes them continually driven to succeed. Classic rewards work well to motivate them as well as clear paths towards achievement and a chance to advance. 

Anders and Abigail will struggle to stay motivated if they can’t immediately see how they can use the content they are learning. This can easily be shifted by revealing to them a greater purpose and allowing them to delve into practical applications that could make a difference. 

With bigger projects, Anders and Abigail will need to break down the whole into smaller parts so that they can stay engaged and feel as if they are progressing. 

Failure is devastating to these students, so they attempt to avoid it at all costs. If mistakes do happen, they will either reframe in order to shift blame or attempt to disengage before the loss occurs. 

Environment

Achievers are endlessly adaptable as they naturally absorb what function is needed within a group and can shift gears to fulfill that role. 

These students are able to multitask effectively and can employ an impressive sense of focus, however they can become angry if they are interrupted. 

Self-improvement is a valued pursuit and Anders and Abigail appreciate the chance to better themselves if there are clearly defined expectations and opportunities for hands on learning. 

Tips

If you have an Anders or an Abigail in your life, you can help them in the following ways:

  1. Reinforce to them that they are loved not for what they do, but who they are. Demonstrate unconditional love, particularly when they fail or make a mistake. 
  2. Encourage interests that are not competitive but allow them to slow down. Reading, spending time in nature, hanging out with friends, going on walks – these are all great ways to bring out the softer side of the Achiever.
  3. Involve them in making decisions for the family and appreciate their quick thinking and insight into situations. 
  4. Help them to notice the details and know that slowing down to take the time to get the little things right is important too. 
  5. Show them that investing into friendships is a worthwhile pursuit even if there is no immediately evident practical value from the connection. 

Achievers can be forces of greatness in the world and their strengths (planning, persuasion, insight, drive and ambition) are crucial for bringing people together around a greater good. When these students can learn to face failure head on and rest in the reality that God is ultimately in control, they become unstoppable. 

This category of learner has been based upon Type 3 of the Enneagram (or ‘The Achiever’). If you wish to delve more deeply into the psychology of the Enneagram, follow the links above. 

As the journey of self discovery is one best enjoyed by each individual, we suggest that you use this as an internal guide for yourself, rather than telling your children which type you think they might be. We do understand that each person is utterly unique and there will be variations within each type, but we have found this typology the most helpful for getting a basic understanding of human behaviour and motivation. 

Missed our previous ones? Check out The Perfectionist and The Helper.


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