Re: Should We Move?

KleinCon (KleinCon@aol.com)
Sat, 17 Jan 1998 09:57:05 EST

In a message dated 98-01-17 02:28:22 EST, Jerry wrote:

<< OK, I'll bite. Someone please post a mini-summary of how we can identify
these different Myers-Briggs types. >>

Here's a mini-nutshell:

Each type is a four letter combination of the following scales, based on
Jungian psychology:

Extravert/Intravert (EI): How one gets energized, through the world of people
to people interactions (E) or through the inner world of oneself (I).

Sensing/iNtuitive: How one gathers information, concretely through the senses
(S) or through hunches and focusing on the big picture (N).

Thinking/Feeling: On what basis does one make decisions, through the logic of
thoughts and objectivity (T) or through the logic of personal values,
compassion, etc. (F).

Judging/Perceiving: How does one like to come to decisions in one's life?
Likes to have things orderly and come to decisions rather quickly (J) or keeps
options open and is always open to gathering more data...likes spontaneity
(P).

The 16 types that result are ESTJ, ESTP, ESFJ, ESFP, ENTJ, ENTP, ENFJ, ENFP,
ISTJ, ISTP, ISFJ, ISFP, INTJ, INTP, INFJ, INFP. Each combination has unique
interactions among these preferences, as well, as do the two letter
combinations. Four two-letter combinations have been discovered to have
particular significance and two of these "Temperaments" were mentioned by
Teresa in her first post (SP and NT). The others are NF and SJ. NT folks
(like moi) are abstract thinkers, like to be competent in what we (and others)
do, and can be the "absent-minded professor" type. NF folks are the warm,
touchy-feely, human relations experts. SP folks are spontaneous and a bit
iconoclastic, individualistic, and idiosyncratic. SJ folks are great managers
and leaders. They like to organize, see all of the parts of a situation, and
get things done!

An excellent example of these Temperaments in action came at a workshop I did
recently. The group was divided into these four Temperaments based on their
scores on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (the most used personality
instrument in business, and lots of other settings as well, including
education). They were asked to "create something":

The SJs got right to work, decided to make a paper airplane, ripped off a
piece of flip chart paper, tried a couple of models, created one that flew
perfectly and were done in five minutes.

The SPs also went airplane, but they created a makeshift hanger out of paper
and cardboard, made an airplane that looked more like a real airplane thanthe
SJs' model but which would never fly, and sort of lost interest halfway
through the exercise. During this time, one of their members decided to eat,
one wandered around the room looking at the rest of us, an the other sort of
tried to hold it all together.

The NTs stood in a circle around their flip chart and brainstormed a list of
what they could create. The list got very long, but every time someone
suggested something like "We could do a dance", the rest of them wrinkled
their noses and went back to list making. The list was extensive and
exhaustive and, in the end, became what the group created, although the
members were vaguely uneasy that they hadn't created something appropriate.

The NFs began by finding a teddy bear that was somewhere in the training room,
put a bandage on its head, put it in front of their flip chart on a table next
to a phone (with the receiver to its ear), drew a pretty picture of flowers
and rainbows and sunshine. They had a blast doing all of this!

SPs often do poorly in traditionally structured schooling, since they need to
be able to follow their spontaneous urges and often like to flit around from
one thing and place to another...clearly a violation of the control ethic in
most schooling.

NTs often do poorly, since they ask "Why?" all the time and are always looking
to make meaning and connections out of all of the disparate parts of a
disjointed curriculum. And, besides, NTs know that we can design it better
than they can!

I recall two fourth graders I had in my first year of teaching in a public
school. Both had been split up from their group of friends, since the group
had been labeled as "troublemakers". Chris (NT) was a Philadelphia lawyer
type (son of a lawyer) who liked to argue and discuss EVERYTHING! I got a
kick out of this (being one myself) and we got along great! His need to argue
was channeled into our class meetings (similar to a democratic school's School
Meeting, but scaled back somewhat...this was, after all, public school!)
Chris, of course, had driven his previous teachers to distraction, since they
couldn't stand to be challenged in any way.

Charlie, on the other hand, was an SP. He just needed to spend 10 minutes
working on math, then go over an dread for a while, then more math, then some
writing, then talk to his friends, then write some more... (you get the idea!)
He was a sweetheart, but had driven his previous teachers crazy since he
didn't liketo sit still for very long (although somewhere along the line he
became an accomplished guitarist and singer and wrote incredible long and
well-structured stories, filling up four spiral notebooks a year of fairly
small handwriting during the three school years he was in my class!)

NFs and SJs usually fare a little better, since NFs like to get along
(although this can cost them in the long run) and SJs are whom the system was
designed for and by in the first place. (I can't tell you how many SJs I
pissed off in my first years of teaching in a public school whenthey found out
they weren't going to get brownie points for doing a gazillion workbook pages
or for being neat!

Mimsy's point was a good one, however, that no one type does better at
democratic schools. It's just that the deficiencies of the traditional model
and the proficiencies of the democratic model are more obvious for some types
than for others.

Well, that was a lot more than the mini-nutshell I advertised at the top.
Hope this helped!

Alan