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Teaching the Supportive Disposition Student

CommunitySupportive Disposition people prefer subjects and activities that are social by nature, involve human-behavior issues, incorporate personal feelings, and give plenty of opportunity to interact. They learn best when the teaching materials and techniques used offer individualization, involve small groups, and allow cooperative interaction.

science-students-1241156Journalism, psychology, counseling, and speech are examples of subjects that are social by nature and give plenty of opportunity to talk and discuss. Learning history through stories about people, conducting interviews for research, and corresponding with pen pals to develop writing skills are examples of techniques that look at human behavior issues and provide a personal touch. Working on cooperative projects and having group discussions are examples of activities that allow time to relate and offer the chance to develop team spirit.


  • Recognize the student’s need to discuss and talk through the lesson.
  • Encourage study techniques that involve relating, studying with another person, alternating reading aloud to each other, discussing the meaning of the lesson.
  • Pretend the student is involved in the subject being studied—if she were Madame Curie why would she have become a scientist, if she had been a Pilgrim how would she have felt in the New World?
  • Encourage the student to do oral presentations to an imaginary audience when studying for a test—it is his job to convince the audience of the importance of the information.
  • Relate lessons to social events—e.g. if the child is doing addition problems, pretend the numbers relate to giving a party: Three people said they were coming to the party, then two more came, how many came all together?
  • Allow small-group interaction, working with a partner on cooperative projects or writing assignments, more discussion time, and taped “interviews” or oral presentations in place of written reports.

people talkingSupportive Disposition people are motivated when they are acknowledged for noticing others and for being kind, fair, thoughtful, and considerate. They are also highly motivated by the chance to talk, getting a personal note or pat on the back, and receiving personal attention.

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copyright 2020 by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis/Reflective Educational Perspectives, LLC
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