As teachers and educators we know and understand that individual differences, regardless of membership in an ethnic or cultural group, distinguishes us from others and makes us unique. We are also aware that each student is a different human being and we try to meet their individual needs. In my classroom this is accomplished by providing students with choices and opportunities to express some of their differences in small groups, individual work, whole class as well as in the activities in which they participate. Thus, up until now, I hoped that through the diversity of strategies and methods their individual needs would be met. My reading for the creation of this curricular unit has drawn my attention to those individual preferences which will be discussed. For a much more detailed and thorough discussion I suggest
A Teacher’s Guide to Cognitive Type Theory and Learning Style
(Mamchur, 1996). She provides more clear and concise definitions and includes an instrument, the Action-Oriented-Reflection-Oriented(AOROI) designed to develop a new frame of reference for observing and understanding students.
I begin the discussion of learning style based on Mamchur’s work with a brief history and description of each of the learning styles. This is followed by how each type influences one’s interaction, communication, and teaching. Then, the role of culture and ethnicity is discussed and conclude with a description of strategies and lesson plans, with the topic of diversity in mind, for each of the psychological types of the Myers-Briggs Type indicator.
Carl Jung divided all human behavior as being either perceptive or judgmental. As human beings we are constantly choosing between the acts of perceiving, that is discovery, and the act of judging, by which we internalize and evaluate, make decisions and act. According to Jung the perceiving type prefers doing so through either their senses or intuition while judgmental type prefers to do it through their thinking or feeling process.
This doesn’t mean that only one or the other types of preferences is present and the others are absent. Though we have certain preferences we all have those four functions present. Jung labels them as dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior or shadow function, which is the weakest of the four. We all look at facts through the senses, then we consider the possibilities through intuition, we come to a logical analysis of the consequences and follow by an examination of the consequences.(10) Carl Jung added the final dimension of extroversion and introversion. Thanks to Isabel Myers, for creating the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator we are able to determine with its use the accuracy of our preferences in cognitive type.