SC015: Personality & Learning Styles

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Season 3: Personality Matters

Don’t miss the free homeschool personalities reference page!

Those of us educating young children tend to use the vocabulary of learning styles, though current research seems to be showing that most of the learning styles rhetoric is bunk.

Still, we do know that children are different. We know that there are different modes of and avenues for learning. There is value in reading, in hearing, and in doing.

I believe that some of what people are describing when they speak about different learning styles can be tied back to personality. In fact, Isabel Briggs Myers has an entire chapter in her 1980 book, Gifts Differing titled “Learning Styles” as well as another chapter called “Type and Early Learning” (all quotes in this post are from this book).

Type tells us what interests this person the most (that is, what do they naturally pay attention to) and how they best “catch on” to an idea through communication.

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Simple Sanity Saver: The Perks of Personality

There is no one ideal personality type. Each type serves a role that supports other types. It is only together, in a community, a family, a society, made of of multiple types, that we can have a full perspective and be in tune with what is happening and what needs to happen.

None of us are complete and whole in and of ourselves. We are finite, limited. We need each other to function in a more complete and whole way. When Isabel Myers wrote her book, she called it “Gifts Differing,” referencing 2 Corinthians x – where God reminds us that we all serve different functions and it is only together that we make a whole body. Some are feet, some are eyes, and if we are missing a type, we will be handicapped. Rather than seeing other personality types as competing types or alien types, we need to see them as completing types, needed types to balance our own selves.

Without the thinking, where would be the principles? But without the feeling, where would be the connection and relationship that makes us human? Without the sensing, we would be blind, and without the intuition we would be shallow. A single person can rarely gain proficiency in all eight functions, much less 16 – experts argue about whether one should even try. But we can knit ourselves in community – and even within our own families – with different types in order to better understand and function within our own roles.

Perks of Personality: Free Reference about MBTI Cognitive Functions


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Learning styles might be bunk, but we all know there are different modes of learning. Personality type will tell us what modes work best.