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### Math Instruction and the Four Jungian Learning Styles

In a recent post, I wrote about an article detailing the four Jungian Learning Styles: Introversion/Sensing, Extraversion/Sensing, Introversion/Intuition, Extraversion/Intuition. It’s one thing to be aware of these four learning styles, but it’s more important to understand how to reach students of all learning styles in the math classroom. Luckily, the article that I have referenced also includes information about how the learning preferences apply to teaching math.

When addressing each of the styles, four major areas of instruction are to be addressed: Practice, Instruction and Feedback, Numbers or Manipulatives, and Student Mistakes.

• Practice: Sensing students need lots of concrete practice, while intuitive students don’t like to practice once they understand a concept. To address both learning styles, help sensing students develop a conceptual understanding while also providing enough practice for intuitive students. Develop engaging activities that require students to repetitively practice skills, but that can be tailored to the ability level of the student. Think about dice games where the numbers on the dice can be changed depending on student ability.
• Instruction and Feedback: Sensing students need more guidance before starting an activity, while intuitive students like time to work through a problem on their own. It’s important to provide continuous guidance and feedback to some students, while letting others work independently until they ask for help. Try assigning an activity and allowing intuitive students to work independently while guiding the sensing students in a more structured manner.
• Numbers or Manipulatives: Sensing students are more likely to use concrete objects to understand concepts, whereas intuitive students prefer to use numbers. To help all students, refer to manipulatives as a tool for solving problems and explaining solutions. Some students will use manipulatives throughout a problem solving process while others may just need them to help with their explanations.
• Student Mistakes: Some students have a deep conceptual knowledge while other students simply practice until a process is mastered. It’s important to probe all student mistakes to determine “students grasp the concept, are just using a procedure, are making careless mistakes, or still lack conceptual understanding.”

While the summaries above provide some information on how to address various preferences, refer to the article for more specific detail on addressing each of the learning styles. The suggestions may just give you one more tool for helping to understand your students and enable you to address each of their needs.

### Differentiation and the Four Jungian Learning Styles

I like to work alone. It’s not that I don’t often collaborate with my peers – I think that’s essential for all educators. But when I am studying something new or trying to get work done, I like to tuck away in my office and put my nose to the grindstone. According to an article written by Jane A.G. Kise, this makes me an introverted learner. I never think of myself as introverted, but perhaps when it comes to learning, that’s just what I am. Kise’s article highlights the four Jungian learning styles, one’s that I had previously not been familiar with. But, in my continuous search for how to best differentiate in the classroom, I’m always looking for a different perspective on how kids learn.

According to the article, a child has two ways he can gain energy and two ways he can process information. To gain energy, children who favor extraversion like to work with others and those who prefer introversion thrive while working independently. To process information, students may prefer intuition or sensing. Intuitive types focus on hunches and connections, whereas sensing types build knowledge in an orderly fashion. When combined, these create four learning preferences summarized below.

• Introversion/Sensing: Need certainty before completing tasks, like direct instruction and practice.
• Extraversion/Sensing: Learn through movement and interaction with others. Need to “see” the math.
• Introversion/Intuition: Process information internally and find creative solutions.
• Extraversion/Intuition: Process ideas out loud with others and easily transfer knowledge to different situations.

To help find a student’s learning style, use the checklist below:

Preferences for gaining energy:
EXTRAVERSION   INTROVERSION
• Thinks out loud (talks!)
• Thinks inside (quiet!)
• Likes to work in groups
• Likes to work alone or with a close friend
• Likes noise
• Dislikes noise
• Prefers to speak
• Prefers to read or write
• Has lots going on
• Likes to do one activity at a time
• Says what he or she is thinking
• Keeps thoughts inside

Preferences for processing information:
SENSING   INTUITION
• Likes facts and concrete things
• Likes ideas and imagination
• Relies on experience first
• Relies on explanation first
• Sees the trees – details
• Sees the forest – big ideas
• Wants clear expectations
• Wants room to roam
• Prefers step-by-step learning
• Prefers random learning
• Thinking characterized by practical, common sense
• Thinking characterized by new insights
Source: Adapted from Differentiated through Personality Type: A Framework for instruction, Assessment, and Classroom Management (p. 174), by Jane A. G. Kise, 2007, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Copyright 2007 by Jane A. G. Kise. Adapted with permission.

Stay tuned for the next post for information about how these learning styles may be addressed in your math class!

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