SETTLER OR NOMAD?
by Michael Berman
on the concept of evolutionary psychology, it can be argued
that there are three main personality types depending on what
we have inherited from our ancestors. The Warrior is forceful,
resolute and organisational, the Settler is sociable, intuitive
and adaptable, and the Nomad is restless, charismatic and
innovative. What kinds of learners are your students and what
are the classroom implications? That's what this article will
Warrior needs to be in control and has drive, the ability
and desire to manipulate others, speed of thought and the
desire to take charge. The Settler is adaptable and able to
solve problems, tactful, diplomatic and an effective communicator
- often found in caring / nurturing professions. The Nomad
is an individual who needs change, drama and excitement. They
enjoy feelings of importance and they often spend considerable
time attempting to be the centre of attention. We are all
predominantly one of these types, as are the learners we work
with, and a questionnaire to ascertain your type can be found
in Terence Watts book listed in the bibliography below.
you would like to get some idea of the category you fit into,
count the number of times the letter 'F' appears in the following
FILES ARE FREQUENTLY
THE RESULT OF YEARS OF
you counted correctly the first time, then you are probably
a Warrior type. If you counted correctly the second time you
read it, then you are more than likely a Settler, and if you
counted incorrectly twice and needed to read it for a third
time, then you are probably a Nomad.
you decide on a course of action, it is important to bear
in mind your major personality type and plan accordingly or
to access the most appropriate type to give you the resources
mode in which you automatically think is likely to be the
real you whereas the mode in which you act is probably the
result of imprinted behaviour. There is often a conflict between
the two and this needs to be resolved before we can function
way of developing the other two aspects of your personality
can be by making use of affirmations. Affirmations can be
described as 'brain convincers' as they can be used to counter
the infuriating little voice within which comes with its limiting
self-beliefs. They can confuse our internal belief systems
and displace negative attitudes with more positive ones. A
changed image can lead to changed behaviour and this is why
affirmations can be such a powerful tool.
reinforcement and carefully chosen words can actually change
the structure of the brain. An amine called seratonin plays
a critical role. When there is positive reinforcement, seratonin
is released simultaneously into the brain and the intestines
inducing a sense of well-being and security.
creating affirmations, there is a golden rule with a very
helpful mnemonic device to remind you of it: KISS. It stands
for Keep It Simple Stupid. In other words, the affirmations
should be phrased as simply and as directly as possible. The
subconscious loves simplicity!
option available to us is the use of guided visualisation
and / or self-hypnosis. This entails creating pictures in
your mind while following a script. The itinerary of the 'journey'
is controlled but the content remains unique to each person
taking part in the process. This is explored in depth in my
books listed in the bibliography and also in Mark Fletcher's
In the classroom Warriors are likely to respond to challenges,
for Settlers success breeds success so it is important to
provide plenty of positive strokes, and Nomads are likely
to get bored quickly so will respond favourably to a frequent
change of activity. If each lesson you give can provide these
three elements, then there is clearly more chance of reaching
everyone in the group and of achieving effective results.
conclude this article, there follows a story:
is the story of three unfortunate bees whose curiosity got
the better of them one sunny day when they fell into an open
first bee wasn't particularly concerned about his predicament
because his partner had always rescued him from tricky situations
in the past and he trusted that she would do so again. In
fact, he'd grown to depend on her. So he just sat back in
the jam and waited because he knew that he'd be all right.
What happened to him? He died waiting.
second bee kept climbing the slippery glass wall until he
reached the rounded rim, then fell back down again. And the
more times he fell, the more determined it made him. He was
a fighter and he refused to give in. What happened to him?
He died of exhaustion.
third bee was different to the others and had never really
fitted into the hive. In fact, he'd become a social outcast
and lived a very solitary life. The other bees had found him
to be rather strange and refused to have anything to do with
him. Anyway, while his colleagues were otherwise occupied
with their own attempts to escape, he chose to taste the jam
and what do you know - he found he really liked it. So he
ate and he ate and he ate until he'd licked the jar clean.
And what happened to him? Well he died too, but he died of
of the bees was the Nomad, which of the bees was the Settler,
and which of the bees was the Warrior? And I wonder which
of the bees you would have been - I will leave that for you
M. "A Multiple Intelligences Road To ELT" Crown
Berman M. "The Power of Metaphor" Crown House 2000
Berman M. "Activating ELT Through Multiple Intelligences"
NetLearn Publications 2001
Fletcher M. "Teaching for Success" English Experience
Watts T. "Warriors, Settlers & Nomads" Crown
|Michael Berman is currently a research student at the University of Wales, Lampeter, and working part-time as a teacher at Oxford House College in London. Publications include A Multiple Intelligences Road to an ELT Classroom and The Power of Metaphor for Crown House Publishing and The Shaman and the Storyteller for Superscript. Michael has been involved in TESOL for over thirty years and has given presentations at Conferences in Austria, Azerbaijan, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, and the Ukraine.
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