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Why am I Always on the Fence?

“Play more than one game at a time. This is a painless way to learn how to do many things at once.”            Marilyn vos Savant

I have a converging/accommodating learning style (Kolb Learning Style Inventory), an appreticeship/developmental teaching style(Pratt and Collins Teaching Perspectives Inventory) and a extrovert, intuitive, feeling/thinking, perceiving personality style (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator).  Notice I’m not squarely in any particular style in any of these inventories.  I am always on the fence. Do the results of any of these inventories surprise me?  No, I can see my self in the explanations provided by the booklet that accompanies each self-scored inventory.

Interestingly, I see my teaching perspectives as those that would complement my ‘weaknesses’ on the Kolb Learning Inventory.  Does this mean that I would be my own best teacher, draw out the best in myself?  No wonder I consider myself a self-directed learner!  My ‘personality’ leans so much more toward diverging and assimilating styles of learning and a nurturing and social reform teaching perspective.  How is that possible that my personality is so separate from my teaching and learning preferences?

Perhaps there is another answer.  Could it be that inventories like these were designed to take a perfectly good theory, based on research, and commercialize it?  It’s like seeing Christmas decorations before Halloween is over. The most difficult part of these inventories for me is the way they try to generalize the results to so many life situations.  It is as if each individual is walking around all day analyzing their behavior in relation to their learning style, their teaching preference, or their personality type;  worse yet, analyzing others based on these and trying to change behavior as a result.

Being on the fence allows me some flexibility.  I don’t have to identify only with one group.  I can be more popular.  I think the extrovert in me likes this – more personalities, styles, and preferences to play with.  I can play (and learn) on both sides of the fence.

Perhaps I am thinking about this too much, but this is how I learn – at least that is what the Kolb Inventory tells me.

“There are things known and things unknown and in between are the doors.”  Jim Morrison


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