The Type Five Student: The Intellectual Outsider

Driver:  Fear of not being prepared for the unexpected
Motivation: to be competent and intelligent
Focus: what they know and do well
Strategy: withdraw from the world to study it 


  • prefer spending time on their own
  • socially uncomfortable
  • prefer to observe instead of participate

Communication Style

  • usually quiet and reserved
  • very talkative while discussing topics of great person interest (or mastery)
  • factual, unemotional
  • think lots before speaking

Learning Style

  • learn best through observation (lecture, books)
  • comprehension before participation
  • satisfaction with full comprehension of a topic
  • analysis, finding patterns, speculation, analysis paralysis

Work Ethic:  Concentration and Solitude

  • strong ability to focus
  • hate concentration being interrupted
  • prefer depth of knowledge to breadth of knowledge
  • enjoy time alone and need time to think
  • don’t like pressure of close supervision, thinking on their feet
  • active minds full of ideas and concepts
  • feel safe ‘inside’ and clumsy ‘outside’
  • seek to reduce intrusion of their space

Ideal Classroom

  • values knowledge, originality, curiosity
  • topics are explored individually and in depth
  • ample quiet time
  • intellectual discussions

Personality Cluster

Wings:  Individualist (4) and Questioner (6) 

Stress Arrow:  Enthusiast (7)

Scattered, distracted, and/or overstretched.  Punitive. Emotionally cold.

Security Arrow:  Challenger (8)

  • Show you value them for who they are as well as for what they do
  • Show them it is ok to relax and have fun
  • Encourage them to speak out
  • Encourage them to move from thought to  action

>  Unspoken Words – a case study

>  The Type Six Student

>  Enneagram Personalities of Students

>  Home Page

with thanks to Rob Fitzel


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