How do we learn?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Learning is something close to my heart and to learn how others learn is quite interesting in itself. Beginning with the Es, here's an overall look at how we do it differently.

ENTPs are relentless learners. When the subject matter interests them, they are able to find meaning in whatever they are studying. Knowledge is important to them, but they may not feel the need to show this to their teachers and therefore may be somewhat lackadaisical about assignments and tests. ENTPs use their enthusiasm and energy to get others involved in their learning. They learn through give-and-take discussions and by questioning and challenging others. They are quick, verbal, and logical, preferring to use their skills in interactions with others. ENTPs look at the logical foundations in others' thinking and build on them to develop their own conceptual systems. They want to be taught concepts rather then facts. Models are important to them. They typically absorb their teacher's material and present it in a framework that ties all of the elements together. They like to challenge their teachers and classmates and enjoy competitive learning tasks through which they can show their conceptual versatility. They may also enjoy independent study in which they can pursue and area of interest.

ENTJs see education as one of the major ways of getting ahead. They are willing to learn about the past and what is but always with the mind-set of how that information affects their future. They particularly enjoy critiquing and solving problems. They apply their logical systems view to the issues they deal with. They want to change things to fit their concept of what should be. They learn best through a variety of instructional methods, including lectures and group activities. Without variety and action in the classroom boredom sets in. ENTJs like to debate and view problems from all sides. They are comfortable critiquing and analyzing. and do not mind intellectual conflict in the classroom. They like challenge. They may have a general study plan laid out, with test dates and paper deadlines noted. They set up a schedule and work to attain the goal within that time.

ENFPs often learn best through a variety of means, such as observing, reading, and listening to and interacting with others. They enjoy the search for new ideas and possibilities, and will put in the time necessary to master subjects they find interesting. One strength is their enthusiasm for the process of discovery. They enjoy survey courses, comparative studies, and disciplines in which there is much to research and explore. They do not like classes that are too structured, that consist only of lectures, and that allow no room for their imagination. They may get caught up in the learning process and consequently need strict deadlines to bring a project to completion. ENFPs prefer a learning environment in which the teacher takes personal interest in them, in which there is an opportunity to talk about ideas with their peers, and in which there is a chance to ask questions and develop new ideas. A motto that might describe the ENFP as a learner is "There's always another way or another answer."

ENFJs learn best in structured situations in which they are able to talk about the lesson and interact with their peers. Because they want their teachers to be pleased with them, they attempt to be model students. They are willing to do what is required in order to become personally recognized by their teachers. Because they take criticism personally, they can either be wounded by it or be willing to redouble their efforts in order to change the criticism. ENFJs enjoy classes that have subject matter relating to people, their needs, their aspirations, and their characterizations. Many ENFJs choose the liberal arts because it gives them an opportunity to more fully explore humanity. ENFJs are good students when the subject matter relates to their strong relationship values and people orientation, and when the teacher is warm and personal. They apply the necessary effort and energy to complete the tasks that they start. ENFJs also like some independent learning and projects.

ESFPs prefer learning through participating in groups where they can interact with others and do things, not just observe or listen about things. They want to get to know their teachers well. It is not that the teachers have to be nice, but they do need to care. ESFPs dislike and are upset by intellectual arguments and conflict. They need to experience the concept first before discussing it or receiving a didactically presented theory. Directions must be very concrete, simple and accurate. They are also plugged into the environment. Atmosphere, attitudes, physical setting --- all make a difference. If the encouragement they receive for their social life is more than the encouragement they receive for their academic life, they may err on the side of being too social. Most ESFPs learn actively and do not function as well when they must read quietly by themselves about matters that are theoretical. They find themselves easily drifting off while studying, and they are ultimately diverted by things more real to them.

ESFJs learn best in structured situations where they know what they can expect. They like to schedule their learning projects so that they can plan ahead to complete their lessons. They become uncomfortable with continuous interruptions and changes when they are trying to finish what they have started. Even more importantly, however, they want to like the person who teaches them. The teacher-student relationship is helpful to them in doing their best. When there is disharmony in the classroom, it interrupts their learning process. When their work is criticised, even constructively, ESFJs may feel demoralized until they get it right and the teacher acknowledges this. Because they tend to personalize the feedback of their teachers, it is important for them to know teachers' expectations so that they can work to meet them. Learning tends to be a personal experience for ESFJs. This attitue, combined with their ability to follow through and meet deadlines, results in a conscientious and effective student. ESFJs often enjoy studies about people and their well-being, and are usually less interested in theoretical and abstract subject matters. They like active learning activities such as field trips, experiments and group projects that get them personally involved with others.

ESTPs learn best in situations in which the subject matter applies directly to one of their interests, where the expectations are realistic, and where the explanations are clear. They like observation and hands-on experience, and have little tolerance for theory and material that could be, but that is not currently, useful. Teachers' comments that knowing certain ideas or theories will someday pay off leave most ESTP's cold. They want few constraints put on them. They prefer teachers who are entertaining and make learning active and fun. One of the ESTP's main strengths is using the five senses to notice what is happening, to find any flaws and inaccuracies that may exist, and to act quickly on them.

ESTJs learn best in structured situations in which the objectives are clearly established. They like schedules or agendas so that they can plan ahead. It is important for them to know the time frames, the course content, the requirements, and when papers or projects are due. It is not sufficient to know that a short paper is a class requirement. The ESTJ wants to know things like an appropriate topic or two, the number of pages, and the due date. ESTJs like plenty of advance notice and dislike changes in class schedules. However, when the teacher's authority is established, these changes may be tolerated. Their idea of a good teacher is one who is consistent, fair, and applications oriented. ESTJs may be good students when they put in the necessary time and effort. One of their main strengths is their ability to follow through and meet deadlines. They like learning activities such as field trips, experiments, and anything that gets them actively involved in the learning process. They sometimes get stuck when they concentrated only on the facts without putting them together into some kind of coherent whole.

INTPs are relentless learners in areas that hold their interest. They often seem 'lost in thought,' and this characteristic appears very early. INTPs enjoy the life of the mind and the learning process, regardless of whether that process takes place in a formal sense. They are often characterized as life-long learners. In school, well-rounded INTPs work on their assignments with a great deal of inward energy and interest that is usually not apparent to others. They tend to connect unrelated thoughts. As learners, they are able to find logical flaws in the thinking of others. They analyze these flaws and find ideas for further study. They go to great depths in their analysis. In taking exams, they prefer theorectical questions. When INTPs view a test, teachers, or subjects as irrelevant, they may respond as follows: 'I know what I need to know about this topic; I may even know more than my teacher. The teacher made this test, and this test is dumb. Therefore, my teacher is dumb, and I will not do the test.' Because of such reactions, the INTP's academic record may include successes or may be filled with failures.

INTJs learn best when they can design their won approach and when they are able to absorb themselves in an area that interests them. They tend to focus on systems, theories, and constructs relating to universal truths and principles. They prefer challenging teachers, ones who meet their standards. High grade-point averages and test scores tend to characterize INTJs, who like rigorous academic work. Learning needs to be a creative process. Rote memory can be dull and boring for the INTJ. INTJs are diligent in pursuing new ideas and thoughts, and they exert effort to master a given subject. This makes INTJs particularly adept in most school situations. Because of their resourcefulness, thirst for knowledge, and inner needs, INTJs tend to find ways of acquiring knowledge. They gravitate toward libraries, public lectures, courses, and other learners and teachers - sources that offer them information and direction.

INFPs learn best in flexible situations where they know the teacher takes a personal interest in them. They like to be able to interact with their peers, but not too much so. They want to feel free to dig into subjects that are of interest to them. Having both flexibility and creativity rewarded is encouraging to them. While they may not enjoy deadlines, if they value the assignment, they will meet those deadlines. Deadlines may force INFPs to decide that their work is 'good enough' to turn in. Subjects that hold a great deal of interest for them are learned readily. They will often do extra work in their attempt to learn as much as possible about something of interest. And they often read assignments carefully and them work their creativity into the given framework of the assignment. Thus it may appear that they did not pay careful attention to the details of the assignment in their reinterpretation. It is best if they have teachers who appreciate their unique approach and who do not hold them to the letter of the law.

INFJs have a strong love of learning, and they tend to do well academically. Through persistence, diligence, and conscientiousness, they complete their assignments on time. They are likely to enjoy research and will go great lengths to find answers. INFJs enjoy investigating the possibilities and meanings beyond the actual facts and realities. Reading holds a particular fascination for them because it allows them to have quiet reflection time and engages their imagination. They also like the written word (and rely on it more than the spoken word) since it is usually better structured and more coherent with a ready-made framework. INFJs write and communicate well because they want to formulate their ideas clearly. They place high regard on their reader and audience. They seek to communicate their ideals to others. When their ideals need to be championed, they speak up in an enthusiastic and impassioned way. As students, INFJs prefer learning from teachers whom they both like and admire, and who give them personal attention. INFJs are often 'model' students. They are quiet and orderly, reflective and thoughtful, and sincerely want to please their teachers and learn the right thing. They learn best from others but want time to assimilate material by themselves. INFJs will go beyond what has been presented and often mull material over in their minds. Occasionally they will discuss ruminations with others in order to learn even more. They particularly like the more conceptual and theoretical classes, therefore, higher education is comfortable to them.

ISFPs learn best through hands-on experience. They may not be as interested in traditional academic subjects as some other types. They prefer application and practicality rather than studying the theoretical and only potentially useful. Making drawings, constructing miniature models, or using other direct representations to master the subject matter are appealing activities for them. They dislike structure and institutional settings that take away their spontaneity and freedom. They want their learning to be relevant to what is going on in their world. They have less patience with conceptual and abstract learning. ISFPs enjoy learning subjects that relate to helping and knowing about people. They may be easily overlooked in the classroom unless the teacher has recognized their special ways of learning and their unique contributions. Encouragement helps draw out ISFPs.

ISFJs tend to be good students, because they diligently follow through in their work to please their teachers. One aspect of pleasing their teachers is wanting to know their teachers' basic requirements so that they can meet them to the letter of the law. They like having assignments that are clear and that tangibly demonstrate that they have worked hard. They are not likely to feel comfortable with an independent study project, because independent study leaves them too much on their own without a set of definite procedures. ISFJs learn best by doing. They like to be involved in their work, perhaps having a work sheet to follow along as the teacher speaks. They may feel comfortable in group activities as long as they are working with a cooperative and task-focused group. They learn well from lectures that are well organized, not too fast paced, and properly sequenced. Lectures that activate their senses or connect to sensory impressions are very rich for ISFJs. They find arguing to be nonproductive and even uncomfortable. They like clear conclusions to their learning. They want to know the right answer. They may need to accept that situations do not always have one answer and learn to feel comfortable with that.

ISTPs learn best when they can observe first-hand in a one-to-one situation. They are particularly fond of subjects that have a logical basis; mastering certain rules or principles allows them to efficiently work with the subject matter. They like individual projects that require them to solve problems systematically. ISTPs prefer to learn alone, at their own rate and in their own time frame. Because they are able to assimilate a great amount of detail in areas that interest them, they usually do well in those areas. ISTPs earn their best grades when it is necessary to accurately report facts and data. They are impatient with theorectical subjects and like their learning to be directed toward concrete and practical outcomes. Teachers are not particularly important to ISTPs in the overall scheme, unless they can show ISTPs how to do things more easily. When the teacher obstructs or gets in the way of something ISTPs want to learn, they may ignore or go around the teacher. The formal or traditional school setting is not as important to ISTPs as is the opportunity to increase their own practical knowledge. Nontraditional programs or approaches often attract ISTPs, especially when they can learn about things that they see as vital and central to their interests.

ISTJs learn best and apply themselves most carefully in subject areas that are practical and useful. They are diligent and persevering in their studies. As learners, ISTJs tend to need materials, directions, and teachers to be precise and accurate if they are to trust the information that is presented. They prefer concrete and useful applications and will tolerate theory only if it leads to these ends. ISTJs like learning activities that allow them time to reflect and to think. If the material is too easy or appears to be too enjoyable, the ISTJ may be skeptical of its merit. Because of their practical bent, they believe that work is work and play is play. Therefore, their preferred learning environment is task oriented, starts and stops on time, and has clear and precise assignment.

Enough of personalities for a long, long time!


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2 comment(s)

  1. Hahaha...more hint? :-)

    Anyway, what you've put up described my learning style SO well!! To the dot, I would say.

  2. ok,ok, not more about hinting! haha