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Personality is defined as a combination of traits that stems from your interaction with your immediate environment. If you live in an environment that is dangerous, chaotic, and scary your behaviors will denote a tendency to act defensively, anxiously, and watchful. Those traits just mentioned are what constitute someone's "personality".
Personality theory, such as that proposed by Allport, entails that each and every individual is essentially unique, and that each is expected to behave differently from others because each of their life experiences have been unique. This is why, when it comes to learning theory, intelligence can be defined as a product of personality--you interpret what you see, learn, and analyze from within the parameters of your point of view and your life events.
The specific areas of personality that can affect learning include:
The affective filter- if you are consistently stressed, or feel insecure, it will be very hard to commit any new information to memory because the negative state of mind will make your affect too stimulated. As a result, stress will block any natural cognitive process. When a student's affective filtered is clear and lowered, the student will feel free to learn and even excited about it. This is why ice-breakers, and the beginning of a lesson are so important: they are opportunities to communicate to the student what will happen, how, and what is expected.
Motivation and self-motivation - when there is no feedback or end in sight, there is no real reason to accomplish or finish anything. Motivation is intrinsic and can only occur if it is elicited in a student. Hence, the teacher has to keep consistently assessing students, giving them feedback, showing them their progress and making them the most essential and central part of the learning process.
Commitment and responsibility - these are ethical areas more than personality traits, but they do clash and in many occasions are a result of the other. When a student is made the most important part of the learning and teaching process, the responsibility of learning falls immediately on his shoulders, making the student aware of how important it is to place weaknesses aside and tap on the best of his or her potential. In lesson plans, teachers must make students find consequences and rewards for each time commitment and responsibility are either neglected or embraced. It is an ongoing observation process of which the student is part and which demands an ongoing, interactive conversation between teacher and student.
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