Learning and teaching styles and implications for teachers' classroom planning using the Myers-Briggs framework

  • Yvonne Mary Russell

    Student thesis: Other thesis - CDU


    The purpose of this study was to identify and describe links between teachers' learning styles and teaching styles, as reflected in their planning of instructional strategies. The investigation of the research questions was conducted through the lens of Myers-Briggs personality type theory.

    The research sought to identify teachers' Myers-Briggs personality profiles, their teaching and learning styles, and the influences and constraints which affected the way teachers planned instructional strategies for their students. The study was conducted in two main stages, the first focusing broadly on teachers' personality types, learning and teaching styles, and the second more specifically on formal planning. Data were gathered using personality measures, questionnaires, inventories, workshops and interviews.

    Findings indicated that participants' personality types as identified through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), were reflected in their learning styles. However, in comparing participants' learning and teaching styles, it was found that there were often variations between preferred and actual teaching styles. For many participants, actual teaching styles were found to be a blend of a teachers' preferred teaching styles, learned skills and their responses to particular needs.

    The tendency towards a blended actual teaching style was attributed to a wide range of influences on teaching, which could be categorised under the broad headings of planning, classroom atmosphere, teaching techniques, qualities valued in students, teacher-student interactions, classroom management, student behaviours, teacher behaviours, evaluation and goals.

    Significant among teachers' stated influences on teaching style, was the teacher's dominant (most preferred or developed) MB TI function. This manifested itself in areas such as classroom management and teachers' expectations and personal interactions, but was less evident in teachers' formal planning. However, apart from the dominant function, other factors which influenced actual teaching style were also found to impact on teachers' formal planning of instructional strategies.

    In conclusion, teachers' preferred learning styles were not significantly reflected in their formal planning. This finding, together with data which suggested that influences on actual teaching styles went beyond natural preferences, indicated that teachers did not always teach in ways consistent with how they themselves preferred to learn. These findings also highlight the complex interrelationships involved in the teaching-learning dynamic, and the need for elements such as planning to be viewed in the overall context of the teaching process.

    Recommendations for future research include expanding this research through a broadened focus on planning. In this context, planning would be viewed as a process which is cyclical in nature and which underlies all stages of teaching, and both the formal and informal aspects of planning.

    Date of Award1993
    Original languageEnglish

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