The 3rd session I watched on the Harrogate Online website was delivered by Bita Rezaei, DoS at Hermes Institute of Science and Technology and CELTA Trainer at CELT Athens. Bita is based in Iran.
The title of her session got me thinking if she would talk about theories related to learning styles that we’ve all seen at some point in our careers (VAK, multiple intelligence, typology of learners, etc.). However, she started out by stating that her talk would be based on Carl Jung’s system of personality types, which was later extended upon by Isabella Myers-Briggs. Bita used Nietzsche’s quote to introduce the idea of different personality styles:
“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Bita then presented a hands-on activity for participants to evaluate their attitudes towards 2 situations:
- You are going out to a party with your partner. When you meet at his place to pick him up to the party, you notice he’s wearing something strange/inappropriate for the occasion. How would you react to that? Would you be direct or indirect?
- Your friends are planning a picnic. Would you be in charge of everything and plan every small detail or leave something open for unexpected outcomes?
What caught my attention was that she went beyond learning styles observed in the classroom to broader preferences which are applied in HR departments and can be adapted or modified so as to develop professional skills. These attitudes are used by everyone, but one is usually preferred and better developed. As you take this personality test, you will get a 4-letter type formula which is based on these preferences: Extraversion and Introversion, Sensing and iNtuition, Thinking and Feeling, Judging and Perceiving. Click here to take the online test.
But how can this affect the way teachers plan lessons and select activities? Bita gave the example of a brainstorming activity. Your E students are usually those who have their hands up as soon as the activity starts while your I students tend to avoid answering at first and work out the solution before giving an answer. According to Bita, teachers should bear in mind that each of these preferences have their own strengths and weaknesses, which should be taken into account when selecting activities for a group of students. In the end, the key to all that remains in planning, balance and choice.
Click here to watch the full talk.