Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Teacher's solution to Student engagement

A Teacher's solution to Student engagement

I spend most of my time, as a Music Teacher, demystifying Music Lessons.  Students and Parent may have fears of a tyrant Piano Teacher, getting frustrated, saying things like, "I taught you this!  Why didn't you learn it?"  After Graduating with my Masters Degree, I spent two years researching the Teacher/Student Interaction and what follows is a simplification of that Research.  I hope that you will find it useful.

Overview


We all have to take in information and then do something with that information.

 The technical terms for taking in information is "Perceiving"  

The technical term for doing something with the information is "Judging"

As we learn something new, we "Perceive" it.  Once we have perceived the information, we make a "Judgement" about how best that information is to be used.

The Student/Teacher Interaction is often affected by a frustration: either, "I taught this, why aren't you learning?" or "Why can't you teach me, so I can understand?"  The Teacher makes a Judgement about how best to present the information they have Perceived.  The Student then Perceives the information.  The Student cannot yet make a Judgement about the information.

If we are lucky, the Teacher and Student have complimentary Judging and Perceiving Functions, but this is not often the case.

Carl Jung - the Psychologist - observed that groups of clients behaved in specific, and consistent, ways and other clients behaved in different - yet still specific and consistent - manners.  Jung constructed and method for labeling the behaviours he observed.  Note that Jung observed the behaviour and categorised the behaviour, as opposed to categorising the client and ascribing behaviours based on the category.

Jung's Categories

That is four functions, each with an opposing function.  With multiples of four possibilities, that equates to sixteen different variations of how we Perceive and Judge.  The Teacher is one person and the Student is one person.  It is unlikely the the Teacher and Student will have the same Functions.

While the Learner does have some responsibility to get themselves out of the way and just do what the Teacher says, Teachers seek to motivate Students, so Interaction will be more productive if the Teacher understands the Student's Preferences and does not aggravate them.  If we are to teach effectively it is our responsibility to understand our Preferences and how they affect the Learner. 

The Four Dichotomies

A Dichotomy is an opposite pair.  Black/White, Up/Down are examples of Dichotomies. 

Dichotomy 1: the E/I pairing

Learning from the outside in or the inside out.

Extroverts

You will prefer to gather information from your outside stimulus. You like parties because you can speak to lots of people and learn more.  Busy environments are also good.  New noises, smells, things to touch/things bumping into you and lots of things to look at.  

If you prefer to stimulate yourself from outside/in, you are an Extrovert (E) for short.
This type of learning might over stimulate you and you get tired.
If you do not like this type of stimulation you are an Introvert (I) for short. 

Introverts

If you are an Introvert you will prefer to gather information from an inside stimulus.  You like one-to-one or small groups: intimate Dinner Parties would be your preference.  The quietness gives you time to assess how you Think/Feel about something (Thinking and Feeling is a Dichotomy that we will explore later).

If you prefer to stimulate yourself from the inside out, you are an Introvert (I) for short.

Finding it hard to communicate your idea? Consider if you are an (E) talking to an (I) or vice versa.

Dichotomy 2: the N/S pairing

Perceiving what is possible versus what is actual.

Intuition

You will prefer to perceive information from what is not there, but possible. What is not yet real, is more important to Intuitive types. Intuitive types will give more energy to connections that have not been made.  Inventive in spirit, they help people see the possibilities that have not become actualities yet.

An alteration in spending, a novel method of understanding or a new way to decorate for Christmas are prizes for Intuitive types.  

If you prefer to perceive what is possible you are Intuitive (N) for short: the (I) has been used before for Introversion.

This type of perceiving might scare others as there is no continuity.
If you prefer actuality over possibility, you are a Sensing Type (S) for short. 

Sensing

You will prefer to perceive information from what is actually there. What is real, is more important to Sensing types. Sensing Types will give more energy to traditions that have been made.  Archival in spirit, they help by amassing a wealth of understanding from what actually works.

Constancy of saving, constancy of method or a traditional way to decorate for Christmas - although alterations evolve as differences in workable methods are amassed - are prizes for Sensing Types.  

If you prefer to perceive what works you are Sensing (S) for short.

Finding it hard to communicate your idea? Consider if you are an (N) talking to an (S) or vice versa.

Dichotomy 3: the F/T pairing

Judging Subjectively versus Objectively

Feeling

You will prefer to Judge a decision based on values. How a decision makes people feel is more important to Feeling Types. Feeling Types will give more energy to connections that align with their values.  Subjective in spirit, they are motivated by actions that have the highest value for those around them and themselves, not necessarily what gets things done fastest.

Altering a decision to not hurt someone's feelings, learning something in order to benefit someone else and emotional harmony are prizes for Feeling Types.  

If you prefer to Judge Subjectively you are a Feeling Type (F) for short.
This type of Judging might frustrate you as it takes longer.
If you do not like this type of Judging you are a Thinking Type (T) for short. 

Thinking

You will prefer to Judge a decision based on accuracy. That a decision is logical is more important to Thinking Types. Thinking Types will give more energy to connections that are accurate and logical.  Objective in spirit, they are motivated by actions that have the highest value for what gets things done, not how that decision makes people feel. 

Logical decisions, irrespective of feelings, learning for the purpose of gaining knowledge and accuracy are prizes for Thinking Types.  

If you prefer to Judge Objectively you are a Thinking Type (T) for short.

Finding it hard to communicate your idea? Consider if you are an (F) talking to a (T) or vice versa.

Dichotomy 4: the J/P pairing

Preferring Decisiveness or Learning 

Judging

You will prefer to Judge a decision. The Judging Functions are what was explained in Dichotomy 3 - referred to as the F/T axis.  The F/T axis leads to decisions.  As these decisions are material - they will either affect the feelings of others (F) or be logical (T) - they are made decisively and quickly.

There is a bias in Society toward J Types.  Fast decisions are good, right?  

If you prefer to Judge you are a Judging Type (J) for short.
The decision is made quickly and may not have all the information correct.
If you do not like this type of Judging you are a Perceiving Type (P) for short. 


Finding it hard to communicate your idea? Consider if you are an (J) talking to a (P) or vice versa.

Perceiving

You will prefer to Perceive - learn all that you can - before making a decision. The Perceiving Functions are what was explained in Dichotomy 2 - referred to as the N/S axis.  The N/S axis is concerned with gathering information.  As information gathering is fluid - it explores what is possible (N) or what is happening (S) - decisions are made made at the last minute.

There is a bias in Society against P Types.  Slow decisions are bad, right?  

If you prefer to Perceive you are a Perceiving Type (P) for short.
The decision which waits for all the information leads to indecision.

Finding it hard to communicate your idea? Consider if you are an (F) talking to a (T) or vice versa.


Conclusion

At the beginning of this piece, I said that I would write an overview as a summary of two years of Research.  This has been a summary and I will go into various complexities in great deal in later Blogs.  

At this stage the term "Research" should be taken to mean "Desk Research".  I have read books and gathered information, but not added my own gathering of Data.

At this stage I share what I have gathered - as one Teacher - hoping to show other Teachers that an understanding of our Preference and the Preference of the Student facilitates a more productive Learning Experience.  

The information which I have gathered is based on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator which is an instrument designed - at least in part - to direct people into work which aligns with their Preferences.  As an Introverted Intuitive (IN) my preference is to Teacher in an Academic manner - other I alter my Teaching Style to compliment the Student in a one-to-one setting.  IN Types are drawn to Academic Teaching roles.  As IN Types explore possibilities rather than actualities, we Teach implicitly.  That is a failing.  This Research seeks to highlight our strengths as Teachers; our weaknesses and how others are affected by our Preferences and therefore provide a Tool Kit for better Teaching. 

As a Teacher, I get to know my Student's Preferences and adapt my Teaching Methods to compliment their Learning Methods.  I seek to share this to fill a gap in knowledge in the Teaching Community.

Robin's Experience and Style

Robin Thornton - Teacher At a young age, I decided that I wanted to be a Musician. I did not believe that I could support...