Re: Should We Move?

Jim Rietmulder (
Fri, 16 Jan 1998 11:23:02 -0500


Maybe you were implying that Sudbury schools work best for certain
Myers-Briggs types. In case you were, I want to say that I don't think
that's true. Also, the "let-them-teach-themselves" learning style that you
mention is not limited to any Myers-Briggs type; and Sudbury schooling
supports all kinds of learning styles, not just that one.

If we looked for MBTI correlations, maybe we'd find that certain MBTI types
thrive more at Sudbury schools than in physically restrictive schools (such
as government schools). Despite the claim that " rote
memorization" (an overly broad claim, and I doubt it), I think we'd also
find that SJ's thrive more at Sudbury schools than they do in conventional
schools. For that matter, I think we'd find that students who breathe
thrive more at Sudbury schools than in conventional schools. (Students who
don't breathe may be equally likely to fail to thrive at any kind of school.)

What I really want to say is that students (and staff, and parents) of all
MBTI types thrive at Sudbury schools equally.

I'm a founder and active at The Circle School, a Sudbury school in
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Interestingly, I and the other three co-founders
are *all* Myers-Briggs INFPs. (INFPs are thought to make up less than 4%
of the U.S. population.)

By the way, to any INFP's who consider founding a Sudbury school: I urge
you to find some high-energy E's to help! Four introverts don't draw
energy from the outward focus necessary to activate a school community!
And you E's: Find some I's to help, since you may not draw energy from the
introspection that helps to establish and stay true to the collective
vision. (What I especially value about MBTI is that it cultivates empathy
and tolerance, and it highlights the benefits of diversity in school
founding groups and other communities.)

At The Circle School (founded in 1984), we have seen students and parents
of *all* MBTI types, and the appearance is that they all thrive (or don't)
equally. Other factors seem far more influential than Myers-Briggs type in
predicting success at Sudbury schools. As someone else said recently on
this list, Sudbury schooling is just life. There's a place for everybody.

Jim Rietmulder
The Circle School

Teresa wrote...
>I've also been learning about Myers-Briggs temperament types and
>learning styles. I'm wondering if anyone here is familiar with MBTI
>temperament types/learning styles. I'm an ENTP, for which the learning
>style is "let them teach themselves" and my husband's is ISTP "hand-on,
>experiential learning." I'm guessing my son is ENTP, possibly ESTP,
>both of which do poorly in regular schools. From what I've read, about
>half of the population is either SP or NT, and would do best in
>alternative schools. The SJs (40-45%) like rote memorization, etc. and
>would fare OK in public schools.