Myers Briggs and the Middle School
There are some middle schools that have already implemented Myers Briggs in some form or fashion to assist student learning. For example, the article “Are They Really Problem Students? Bridging Differences Through Understanding,” by Jane Kise and Beth Russell, addresses an inner city middle school who saw improvements in students who received some instruction from a newly implemented MBTI program. The school adjusted some of their programs and classroom instruction to help teachers better reach different types of learners through studying and understanding their MBTI profiles. The data collected from the experimental classroom that implemented MBTI showed improvements in grades, and also improvements in teacher and student relationships. The teachers who had implemented MBTI could only name four students with whom they hadn’t established deep connections, while other regular classroom teachers who did not use MBTI reported twenty-five students with whom they did not form relationships. A lot of the students from this middle school were considered to be “problem children,” before MBTI had been implemented, but once students experienced programs under MBTI, their learning and behaviors improved. These findings further solidify that MBTI can be effectively used in the middle school classroom. (Kise, 1998).
The article “Personality Preferences in the Learning Environment” also discusses application of the Myers-Briggs test in the middle school. The middle school teachers took the MBTI, while the students completed the MMTIC (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children) (Chandler, 1996). Like the MBTI, the MMTIC measures preferences between Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perceiving. In having the teachers and students complete these tests, the researchers sought to answer the following questions: “1) Are there differences in personality preferences between teachers and students? 2) Will increased understanding and communication between students and teachers occur as a result of sharing information about personality preferences?” (p. 28). The results of their study showed that a majority of teachers were actually of the more structured personality type judging, while the majority of students were the flexible personality type of perceiving. Also, teachers tended to be more introverted, while the students were more extroverted (34). In response to question two, the researchers found that teachers and students did increase understanding and communication with each other after discovering and interpreting their respective personality types (34). Understanding and communication are key components to any successful classroom, and since the MBTI and MMTIC seem to improve both teacher and student perceptions of these two important elements, this certainly merits application of these tests in the middle school environment.
Another area of application for the MBTI and MMTIC is with teachers with gifted students in their classrooms. The article “Focusing on Individuality” provides three applications for these personality tests. First, teachers can understand their own personality profile to help better understand how their teaching styles may affect students. Then, teachers can discover their students’ personality types in order to better understand how their learning styles may be affected by the instruction they receive. Finally, teachers should explain these individual personality profiles to their students which can help them better understand their differences in comparison to other students and make them more comfortable with their personalities. (27)
By analyzing student personality types through the MMTIC, and by understanding their own personality types through the MBTI, teachers can develop better communication with their students that enable them to better understand learning styles and to better diversify their teaching strategies to meet individual student needs.
Myers Briggs and the Military Classroom
Many different groups are employing MBTI in classroom settings already. For example, The Chief Leadership School on Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, AL uses MBTI to help enhance their students’ leadership skills to better prepare them for their new leadership positions as Chief Master Sergeants. The instructors receive proper administrative training for giving the MBTI assessment to their students, and they also learn how to properly assess the information and guide the students through analyzing their individual types. The instructors are also required to take the MBTI test and understand their personality profiles.
The Air Force utilizes several resources for implementing MBTI in the classroom. First, each instructor is provided with a copy of the book Gifts Differing authored by Isabel Briggs Myers, detailing the analysis of the 16 personality types. The instructors are also provided with training materials from the MBTI Certification Program, including a PowerPoint presentation, MBTI Manual authored by Isabel Briggs Myers, and a manual concerning analysis of personality types and leadership skills.
Myers Briggs and the College Classroom
Western Nevada College has a section on their website dedicated to MBTI and how it can be applied to college students, stating that students through MBTI will understand how they learn best, and will also be able to learn to work through teaching styles with which they may not be as comfortable. (http://www.wnc.edu/mbti/personality_types_and_learning.php) The school also encourages students to talk with their professors about how best to approach learning in their classrooms. By knowing their personality types, these students are able to take charge of their learning and be proactive in taking the steps necessary to adjust to situations in which they may not be as comfortable. Professors are also encouraged to know their personality types and how these types influence their respective teaching styles. By knowing how personality influences their teaching styles, professors can challenge themselves to diversify their teaching strategies.
Myers Briggs and Business
Some businesses also use MBTI to analyze their employees to determine how they may be best motivated to complete projects or which positions in the company will suit them better. Companies such as Key Talent Partners work with businesses to help them and their employees better understand MBTI. (You can access a video from Key Talent Partners in the More MBTI…section)