I got my master's degree in the late 80s in Creative Arts in Learning. It was a fabulous program with some incredible instructors, and fantastic content. We had classes in music, visual arts, acting, storytelling, and movement. We also had a great class called Arts in Society which helped us develop a deep understanding of what Art is and the importance of Art in our world.
We met one weekend a month for a couple of years. We were lucky to go through the whole program with the same group of teachers. It was a variety of educators, from classroom teachers, to art teachers, music teachers, and even a school nurse! We came from all over New England to a little seminar house in a small town in New Hampshire. When we were done, we not only had a masters degree, but we had a core of deeply trusted friends in education.
Although these courses were 25 years ago, they left a profound impact in my teaching as well as my personal life. I draw on these experiences daily in my teaching.
Probably the most valuable thing I got out of this masters program was learning about the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. It was one of the first things we learned in the program, and it kept coming back through the whole 2 year process. It helped me understand myself, and it helped me understand my students. It helped me accept differences in people and realize that all different kinds of people are valuable and important in our society.
It's based on 4 different scales, or preferences. It is important to remember that these are just preferences. It's not an IQ test or aptitude test in any way. Just like you might prefer to write with your right hand, because it's more comfortable for you. If you had to, you could use your left hand, but it's just not as comfortable. Using your right hand (or your left) is your preference.
The first scale is about how a person interacts with their world. Some think of this scale as how a person gets their energy. These preferences are Introversion (I) and Extroversion (E).
The next preference is how a person prefers to process information. These preferences are Sensing (S) and Intuition (N)
The third preference is about how a person makes decisions. These preferences are Thinking (T) and Feeling (F).
The fourth preference is how a person organizes his life. These preferences are Judging (J) and Perceiving (P).
Since each of the 4 scales has 2 preferences, there are a total of 16 possible personality types.
The word scale is appropriate here. Some people land all the way on the edge of a scale, and some people land close to the middle of a scale. My own scale has some extremes, and some places where I land almost in the middle. (Almost like "ambidextrous", with the dominant hand analogy.)
There are links to more information about the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator all over the internet! These are a few good ones I've found: HERE, HERE, and HERE. The official website is HERE.
Here are links to the other posts in this series:
Myers-Briggs Part 2: How do you find your energy?
Myers-Briggs Part 3: How do you process information?
Myers-Briggs Part 4: How do you make decisions?
Myers-Briggs Part 5: How do you live your outer life?
Myers-Briggs Part 6: What's your type?