Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator

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.

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.

Next week I'll go into more detail about the individual types!

1 comment:

  1. Keep in mind that until kids are 12/13, they've only developed their dominant type--AKA the Jungian Cognitive Processes. Auxiliary process comes into play then, which is when the 4th character comes in for MBTI typing.

    Here are the types for elementary aged kids. The dominant type (middle character) is their "hero" process, which means that the opposite process is the toughest one for them to tap into from a learning perspective. (E.g. feeling vs. thinking and sensing vs. intuiting.)

    Extraverted Sensing (ESP)
    Introverted Sensing (ISJ)
    Extraverted Intuitive (ENP)
    Introverted Intuitive (INJ)
    Extraverted Thinking (ETJ)
    Introverted Thinking (ITP)
    Extraverted Feeling (EFJ)
    Introverted Feeling (IFP)

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