Incorporate learning styles for the multiply personalities

One of the most important elements of the Purple learning method is how we can teach a wide variety of people with different aptitudes and personalities in a way that suits them all. We often spend too much time focuses on what people can’t do or are not good at or what learning difficulty they have rather than just looking for the best way forward for each personal student.

This simple diagram shows how we can take the 16 personality types from Myers Briggs (MBTI) and the 8 Multiply Intelligence’s (Gardner) and combine these all in 4 simple learning styles, Visual, Practical, Auditory and Kinaesthetic.

So a practical learner for example is the sort of person that gets a new techno gizmo and never reads the instructions, they simply start to play with their new phone and work it out! In the same way in a class room they need to be able to take everything apart. They are more likely to learn the alphabet by making the actual letters in play-dough or they will remember the accents in French because these were done in a different colour play-dough. At The Homework Club I have always encouraged all the teachers to think about teaching everything from English to Physics and Biology in this simple way. If we look at some of the personality types we find that people who are sensing need to be able to explore a topic and if they are extrovert and sensing they will need to do this in a group with others to interact with. We can work through all the personality types to look at their strengths, some are naturally drawn towards organisation and structure while others are not. If we then look at some of the learning difficulties we can see patterns on how say dyslexics and students with Asperger tend to be predominately visual learners. We see quite often that students on the Autism spectrum love repetition.

In later articles I will go into these details more fully. I simply wanted to start to introduce the topic here that is such an important element of the Purple Learning Project method. So the balance for all classes here is to create an environment and often groups within the classes so that everyone’s aptitudes and personalities can be balanced. The teachers present the material in a number of novel ways to the students. We have mentioned play-dough above, they also use dvd’s and YouTube for the auditory learners. They devise simple games so the kinaesthetic learners can interact with the topics. They devise classes that the students have a great deal of practical involvement, there is always change happening every 10 to 15 minutes. We try to create pictures and use art to teach topics such as languages, written expression and the sciences. We encourage the use of brainstorming to build up material in a visual way.

This is how we can very simply incorporate so many different students with different needs into the environment and allow them to all express themselves to their true potential. By being able to do this the students continue to develop and grow in confidence. Everyone loves and needs to be able to learn. We all very simply need to feel liked and able to be who we naturally are.