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Multiple Methods, More Success: How to Help Students of All Learning Styles Succeed in Quantitative Political Analysis Courses
Unformatted Document Text:  4 4 student has implications for how he or she will master new material. Figure 1 shows the learning characteristics for students with each type of intelligence. MBTI has been used by psychologists to assess a variety of personality characteristics, including romantic compatibilities, group-dynamic interactions, and most recently, learning styles (Myers-Briggs 1995). Myers-Briggs suggests that people can be classified on four dimensions: introvert/extrovert, judgment/perception, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition. The thinking/feeling and sensing/intuition dimensions offer the most insight about how a student learns new information. Figure 2 shows each of the four categories of learners that can be formed from these two dimensions. Each type of student—ST, SF, NT, and NF—learns differently. Students who are an “S” are “concrete” learners. They like logical, step-by-step derivations of formulas or explanations of concepts. They usually have strong inductive and deductive reasoning skills, and like to see new material explained in that way. Such a student may be bored with a free-flowing discussion and may dislike assignments that appear impractical or irrelevant. Such learners find it critical to see and practice concrete applications of new material. “N” students are just the opposite. Such students prefer to use their imaginations and creativity and are usually very good at seeing the abstract relationships between theories and concepts. They get bored with step-by-step explanations and rote learning; instead they prefer to see the big picture and then fill in the details through their own discovery. Applications of material are less important to these students than a thorough understanding of the concept. Students who are Thinkers (T) learn from logically ordered derivations of concepts. NTs need to see the “big picture” first to understand the logical order, whereas STs like to see the details first. Both NTs and STs benefit from practicing what they have learned, but NTs like to

Authors: Gershkoff, Amy.
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student has implications for how he or she will master new material. Figure 1 shows the
learning characteristics for students with each type of intelligence.
MBTI has been used by psychologists to assess a variety of personality characteristics,
including romantic compatibilities, group-dynamic interactions, and most recently, learning
styles (Myers-Briggs 1995). Myers-Briggs suggests that people can be classified on four
dimensions: introvert/extrovert, judgment/perception, thinking/feeling, sensing/intuition. The
thinking/feeling and sensing/intuition dimensions offer the most insight about how a student
learns new information. Figure 2 shows each of the four categories of learners that can be
formed from these two dimensions.
Each type of student—ST, SF, NT, and NF—learns differently. Students who are an “S”
are “concrete” learners. They like logical, step-by-step derivations of formulas or explanations
of concepts. They usually have strong inductive and deductive reasoning skills, and like to see
new material explained in that way. Such a student may be bored with a free-flowing discussion
and may dislike assignments that appear impractical or irrelevant. Such learners find it critical to
see and practice concrete applications of new material.
“N” students are just the opposite. Such students prefer to use their imaginations and
creativity and are usually very good at seeing the abstract relationships between theories and
concepts. They get bored with step-by-step explanations and rote learning; instead they prefer to
see the big picture and then fill in the details through their own discovery. Applications of
material are less important to these students than a thorough understanding of the concept.
Students who are Thinkers (T) learn from logically ordered derivations of concepts. NTs
need to see the “big picture” first to understand the logical order, whereas STs like to see the
details first. Both NTs and STs benefit from practicing what they have learned, but NTs like to


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