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Teaching students to be successful in ANY classroom

Teaching students to be successful in ANY classroom

By Catherine Rains

In an ideal academic world, faculty flex their teaching style to the learning style best suited for each student. Student retention experts Vincent Tinto and Sandy Astin call this “differentiated learning,” and it’s one of the primary factors contributing to student retention. But, alas, most of us don’t live in that world. Faculty members are typically teaching a diverse group of 30 or more students per class representing most if not all eight MBTI® preferences. Trying to flex so many learning styles all at once would be a super-human task. And although many teachers do an amazing job at adapting their teaching style to the learning styles of individual students, the styles of some students inevitably will not mesh with the styles of some faculty.

But even then, all is not lost. By helping students learn how to adapt to the teaching style of their faculty, you can potentially help them succeed in any classroom, no matter how different their preferred learning style is from the method in which they are being taught.

The journey starts with showing students how to identify the teaching style of their faculty.  Although all four preference pairs (E–I, S–N, T–F, J–P) influence how a person teaches, the first two pairs (E–I and S–N) play a major role in learning style and, subsequently, teaching style as well.

Using Extraversion and Introversion as a jumping-off point, I have students answer the following questions:

  • What behavioral cues tell you that a teacher shares your preference for either Extraversion or Introversion?
  • How does an Extraverted faculty member teach? an Introverted faculty member?
  • What does a teacher with your preference for E or I expect from you?
  • How can you be successful in a classroom taught by someone who shares your preference for E or I?

It always amazes me how accurately students answer these questions for their own type, and often their opposite type as well, even if they have no knowledge of the MBTI tool. In the next blog post in this series, I will share the answers to these questions, but in the meantime, feel free to answer them in the comment section and see how your answers compare with what I’ve heard from hundreds of workshop participants.  I will share what I’ve heard from hundreds of students participating in my workshops, but in the meantime, feel free to provide answers yourself in the comment section and later see how they compare. As you well know, there are no right or wrong answers, as there are numerous expressions of E and I. Your comments will add to everyone’s understanding of how students with an E or I preference want to learn, as well as how teachers want to teach.

 

Read the following blogs in this series:

 

 

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