I often have realistic dreams, in the sense that the content of the dream is me doing something mundane, like buying stuff. This can leave me quite confused, because the next day, I think I did buy some wares, but I only dreamt that I did, and somehow my fridge is unwilling to contain dreamed-up things. So this night I had a dream about giving a seminar and explaining the different types of students, and it kind of made sense, so when I woke up, I just drew up the schema and and went back to sleep. I was semi-surprised in the morning when I realized that the schema actually made sense. I’m not really sure the idea is that original, but I might be interesting. Or not.
The idea is that there are basically four types of students in a class, for lack of better term I call them positive, negative, manipulative and passive. As with many classifications, this does not really mean that there are only four types of students, just that there are four trends along two axes. The first axis is semi straightforward: positive students are the one that have like school, and have facility learning (and typically sit in the front row), negative students on the other hands are the that have trouble with the whole school thing and accordingly sit in the back-row. The other axis is between passive and manipulative students passive students just want to be taught stuff (the ones close to the door) while the manipulative have more structured expectations: they want to learn particular stuff, or even get something else out of the class (fun, recognition, fame, whatever). Somehow I put those close to the window.
The interesting bit about this classification is if you think about teaching. More precisely, what type of student teaching is optimized for. Teaching optimized for positive students will be elitist. Teaching optimized for passive students will be very academic, ex-cathedra, while teaching for manipulative students will more be hand-on labs.
Is this in any way useful? I have no clue, I just dream that stuff up…