The Four Temperament Learning Styles

What’s Your Learning Style?
Most of us start (or started) back to school each year full of enthusiasm and ambition. This year, we say, I will buckle down, stay on top of things, and get good grades. How often does that promise become a reality? Understanding your personality, and how it affects your learning style can lead you to more feasible resolutions, greater academic success, less guilt, and more fun!
Artisans like their schoolwork to be fun and also practical, directly applicable to their personal aims. Hands-on, active learning is preferred to sitting in a chair and listening to a teacher talk. They prefer focus on details to leaping from thought to thought or concept to concept. In high school and college, Artisans choose courses and majors that will teach a skill they will use, whether that’s business administration, diesel mechanics, or chiropractic.
Guardians respect their teachers’ decisions about what the content of their learning should be. They need and appreciate logical presentation of facts and ideas, and clear expectations for assignments — what is demanded of them and what the standards are. Teachers who leap from concept to concept will frustrate their Guardian students. Like Artisans, Guardians are likely to choose practical courses of study that will lead to secure careers.
Idealists are excited and motivated by ideas, particularly those relating to people and relationships or an understanding of “Life.” Incorporating new learning into their guiding value system is critical for Idealists. They prefer teachers who act as coaches — who provide broad concepts, set up a launching pad for independent thinking, group discussion, and extrapolation, and then fill in the facts and information that support the concepts. Idealists often choose majors in the fine arts or literature, psychology, or the humanities.
Like Idealists, Rationals are self-directed learners. They want to be challenged and provided with the means to pursue the ideas that are important to them. They are highly autonomous, and so don’t generally seek discussion. Teachers can support Rationals by sharing expertise and resources for learning and by giving them honest feedback as the students’ knowledge and expertise grows. Rationals often choose majors in science, mathematics, philosophy, or technology.

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