Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

Temperament & Teaching Styles

Instructors' teaching styles are influenced by their personality types and temperament. The following are brief descriptions of characteristics and styles each temperament often uses in teaching. This information can help you to understand, and thereby more efficiently cope, with varying teaching styles.

Guardian Instructors

Guardian instructors prefer to use reliable methodology they have successfully used before and often model their teaching style on traditional techniques they experienced as students. They tend to explain with step by step procedures, rely on routine, and encourage learner-instructor interaction. Although they can be spontaneous, they are more likely to prefer well-planned teaching methods that have been proven through experience. They are willing to learn new teaching techniques, provided they have adequate time to adapt to changes. They are dependable and hardworking, often taking on extra commitments to serve their students. They create and preserve harmony in the classroom.

Guardian instructors will likely provide clear, detailed syllabi, definite instructions for assignments, and clearly communicate their expectations for student conduct, behavior, and academic achievement. They can set standards and adhere to them so strongly that they may have trouble realizing they may need to bend to some situations. They are the least likely of all types to tolerate tardiness, and they are more likely to have attendance policies and stick to them.

When lecturing, Guardians tend to make comparisons. They will refer to events from the past with a high degree of detail and accuracy. They remember specific techniques that did not work well and are not likely to retry them. They are the ones to ask for details regarding previous college events--they tend to be the school historians. Since Guardians at times expect things to go wrong, they can be seen as pessimistic. However, they believe they are merely being realistic, anticipating what really could happen. They tend to apply to rules and regulations and expect students to do the same.

Artisan Instructors

Artisan instructors bring excitement, energy and variety to their classrooms. Instruction will often change pace--with fast-paced action at times and a slower style at other times. An Artisan instructor can quickly move from a high state of energy into a state of relaxation. Although lectures are typically organized, they may not follow a step-by-step approach. A student question, or discussion, might stimulate this instructor to focus on a related, yet relevant, topic. An Artisan instructor will quickly adapt their lesson plans to seize an unexpected opportunity. They are involved in the present moment and with what is happening in their classroom.

An Artisan's syllabus will have objectives and goals but may not have exact details as to what will be covered on certain dates throughout the semester, or exact test dates. They like to keep these options open, depending on what happens in class. Artisans are good at making learning fun. They can be unconventional and keep students on their toes. Students often like Artisan teachers because they can be exciting and entertaining, claiming the experience is challenging yet fun. Artisans are often willing to take risks in teaching. In addition to giving lectures, they will demonstrate techniques, give entertaining illustrations, use story telling to get points across, and encourage student experimentation.

Artisan teachers allow their students the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail, challenging their students to solve their own problems. They are highly observant and can remember and apply many facts. They tend to cover less theory than other instructor types, preferring facts to be based on experience. They are able to focus their teaching on things that can be applied to the present. Their negotiating skills make them persuasive teachers and coaches.

Idealist Instructors

Idealist instructors are interested in pursuing the development of their own and their students' highest potential. They strive to help their students improve and achieve their best. They are skillful at determining accurately what each student needs emotionally and intellectually to achieve success and in ensuring that all students gets their individual needs met. Idealists are likely to conduct a democratic classroom, involving students in decision-making processes, and are willing to abide by group decision. They look for and encourage creativity. They are more willing to allow student-to-student interaction and do not see themselves as the only source of wisdom or instruction. They will allow students to fail but will provide encouragement when needed.

Idealist teachers encourage harmony so each student feels valued and respected. They are in touch with and will change lesson plans to accommodate student needs. They provide ample opportunity for class discussion and group projects. When lecturing, they often use symbolic metaphors. Students often like Idealist instructors because they tend to be inspiring and value each student as an individual. They freely provide praise and feedback. They are described as charismatic, empathetic and committed to their students and their profession. They tend to be enthusiastic about teaching, willing to devote the time necessary to do what needs to be done and participate in extracurricular projects and activities if they seem relevant to their interests.

Idealist instructors are interested in anything that is innovative and new. They prefer to create their own curricula rather than using preplanned materials such as workbooks.

Rationalist Instructors

Rationalist instructors encourage individualism, autonomy, intellectual curiosity and achievement in their students. As a core need of Rationalists is to pursue competence, these types of instructors are often experts in their field. They typically love their subject and are able to communicate this enthusiasm to their students. They strive to inspire, encouraging students to seek out answers themselves. They tend to structure their lectures logically, tying each statement into the theme of the lesson. They carefully choose specific words to emphasize the correct meaning. Their focus is on relationships and complex components.

Students of Rationalist instructors are likely to know where the teacher stands regarding discipline and expectations for achievement. The Rationalist's approach is subject-centered, so they tend to be impersonal in their approach. They take it for granted that students want to learn and therefore seldom verbalize appreciation for learner efforts. At times they can be unaware of the emotional climate of a classroom and may continue a planned lesson when the students would benefit more from another sort of experience. They have a tendency to move too rapidly for many students, assuming all students have gained knowledge if something has been explained once.

Rationalist instructors enjoy designing new curriculum, seeking new tactics to teach the same subject matter. Their abstract vision of reality helps them to apply inventive new approaches to solving problems and teaching. They encourage individual study, providing challenging assignments. Students are often expected to do research and are recognized for exhibiting curiosity and ingenuity. They will often talk about visions or designs, carefully describing relationships and systems and can spend hours discussing strategies and precise categories. They encourage classroom debates, providing the discussion is intellectually stimulating.

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