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Designing Training for Multicultural Learners
Part Five: Learning Styles and Instructional Methodologies

by: Dawn Zintel

In Part Four, I described Dr. David Kolb's Learning Styles model, shown below. Kolb based this model on the psychological theories of C. G. Jung. One of the facts that I pointed out last month was that instructional designers and teachers in the U.S. tend to design instruction for only one type of learner - the Assimilator. The Assimilator learns best from lecture and question and answer methods. However, the ideal learning situation is one in which the instruction addresses all four learning styles.

In Part Five I will describe some instructional methods that address the needs of the four learning types.

Learning Style Types and Preferred Learning Situations

Other Resources Linking Learning Styles to Instructional Methods
Dr. Bernice McCarthy developed the 4Mat System of instruction for Kolb's learning styles. This system moves through Kolb's learning cycle in sequence, beginning with the Type 1 quadrant, and teaches to all four learning styles. She theorizes that the natural learning progression starts with the instruction answering, in sequence, the questions that appeal to each major learning style: Why? What? How? And If? Her work is directed at staff development of teachers, but it would also apply to instructional designers.

Another resource is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that is also based on the psychological theories of C. G. Jung. For people who have used this instrument and who are involved in designing instructional experiences, there is a useful book called "People Types and Tiger Stripes: A Practical Guide to Learning Styles" by Gordon Lawrence. This book provides guidelines to designing training for different types of learners in the U.S. and other countries.

In Part Six, I will leave the topic of learning styles, and move on to the topic of developing instruction. Specifically, I will provide some guidelines when writing different types of instructional materials for multicultural learners.

©1993, 1998, 2002, Dawn E. Zintel

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