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Teaching to all Types

Teaching to all Types

By Donna Dunning

The task of accommodating diverse learning styles when teaching can be daunting. It is natural to fall back on your own learning preferences. However, trainers and teachers need to actively plan to meet the diverse learning needs of all participants.

Think about your learners. You can’t always know their learning preferences, but there may be some clues. For example, certain kinds of work, subjects, or programs attract people with compatible personality type preferences. As you think about your learners and assess their needs, expect there will be diversity.

One size doesn’t fit all

Plan a balance of activities. For example, allow time for reflection before starting a group exercise, share outlines and overviews as well as facts and details, and provide some flexibility within a structured day.

Make sure icebreakers, designed to develop rapport, serve a practical or logical purpose. Demonstrate a friendly, competent approach.

Try providing your credentials within a handout. Some people want to see these, yet others may find it pretentious for you to state them all up front.

One way to plan your session to accommodate all learners is to consider the learning preferences associated with the eight dominant functions. Use the following checklist to determine if you are incorporating teaching strategies to appeal to all personality types in your session.

Responders (ESTP and ESFP)

  • Include activities in which participants can move around
  • Provide links to practical applications
  • Engage the senses with color, texture, scents, or sounds

Explorers (ENTP and ENFP)

  • Provide opportunities to generate or explore ideas
  • Introduce ideas with an overview or conceptual framework
  • Link material to other applications and frameworks

Expeditors (ESTJ and ENTJ)

  • Demonstrate your competency and ensure information is credible
  • Provide a logical rationale for activities
  • Provide opportunities to question or debate information or ideas

Contributors (ESFJ and ENFJ)

  • Include activities to build group rapport
  • Provide opportunities to cooperate and collaborate
  • Deliver in a pleasant physical environment

Assimilators (ISTJ and ISFJ)

  • Use well-organized structure and follow a clear agenda
  • Provide useful and practical information
  • Include facts and details and link new information to participant’s experience

Visionaries (INTJ and INFJ)

  • Provide additional resources for interested participants
  • Use precise language to discuss complex concepts and ideas
  • Integrate information from a variety of sources

Analyzers (ISTP and INTP)

  • Use efficient design and implementation
  • Provide information in a logical manner
  • Include challenges or have participants solve problems

Enhancers (ISFP and INFP)

  • Explore the personal meaning and significance of learning
  • Provide support and encouragement for participants
  • Consider the unique situation and needs of each participant

More information on accommodating learning preferences can be found in my booklets, Introduction to Type and Learning and Type and Training.

Learners: Are there any other tips you can share to help trainers accommodate your learning style?

Trainers: What strategies have you found that work well to accommodate individual differences?


If you would like more information on personality type and learning, check out my booklet, Introduction to Type and Learning in print or pdf format.

A Kindle version of Introduction to Type and Learning is available from for U.S. customers only.

Type and Training delivers a powerful, step-by-step guide to creating an effective workshop, breaking the process into five practical steps.

This type practitioner booklet is now available on Kindle. Purchase a personal reference copy and take it with you when you’re on the go.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 at 8:38 am and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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