Monday, May 20, 2013

INFP - Curriculum "Theories" & Teaching Styles

INFPers and others with an N in their Meyers Briggs personality profile, tend to like theories.  I've been collecting some homeschool curriculum personality type theories, and here they are:

Organized Olive / Bohemian Betty
The idea is that the organized types naturally bring structure to their lives, and that the relational types naturally bring in spontaneity in their lives.  It would follow that the organized types need help with the fun project-y stuff, and the fun project-y types need help with the structure of it all. 

(Note: I'm not sure where INFP fits on the O.O vs. B.B. litmus test.  Further descriptions are here, but it seems we are an awesome mix of both.  Which I think explains a lot.)

Curriculum = Teaching and Home Style
"The TEACHER and the HOME are the center of the homeschool. When the curriculum doesn't match the teacher and home, it doesn't work well. And all too often we are most attracted to the curriculum that is most unlike ourselves and our home. We think the curriculum will turn everything around, and CHANGE us into something we have been convinced is better than we are."

The forum thread goes into more detail about making our home a reflection of who YOU are, and then choose curriculum that is a reflection of that.


I'm still mulling all of that through.  In the O.O. vs. B.B. debate, INFPs have the relational and go-with-the-flow side of BB (it's in our F & P sides), but we also have the need for quiet time to process things, and the information gathering/sharing (it's in our I & N sides).  We are also intensely loyal (like O.O.)  I think that is why I found it less than helpful in trying to figure out if I go with something fun like My Father's World, or something highly structured and get-it-done like AOP LifePacs.  Truth be told, neither model seems to fit.  Why is that?  I think the answer is in our unique letter combination (or, that's the grand idea for today, until I get new grand ideas tomorrow, lol!)

NF types like to learn from a variety of different resources.  Learning Algebra?  Pick up a bunch of different instruction books, lay them all out, and get the big picture. 

P...Then, we like to pull it all together and teach it on the fly (because it's all in our heads, and we can custom tailor the instruction as we go).

N types are the visionaries and would probably prefer to create their own curricula, anyway.

P types don't like to get too committed to one thing and like to keep our options open, so a whole year of one type of book is a horrid idea!

I types - we don't have a lot of energy bursting through us, so sometimes these teacher intensive materials seem quite tedious and socially exhausting, lol.


I did a search online for INFP Teachers, to find out more what other INFP teachers are like.  I found some interesting similarities, which I'll sum up here:

  • They tend to relate to each student individually.
  • They don't demand a lot of respect for themselves (and often make jokes at their own expense); however, they will fiercely defend other students' rights to be respected.
  • They go off on tangents, and can easily be derailed.
  • They aren't naturally organized: sometimes their go-with-the-flow mentality works out amazing in a classroom.  If they feel the energy of the classmates leading in a certain direction, the INFP teacher can harness it and go with it, creating an interesting lesson that students love.  However, sometimes this doesn't happen: an INFP teacher might go off on a tangent and lose their students, or speak too idealistically, cryptically, or their lesson might be really unclear. 
  • Sometimes being organized ahead of time really helps the INFP stay on course, othertimes, it kills that spontaneous energy that the INFP can sometimes bring to a classroom.
  • INFP teachers tend to expect autonomy from their students; they'll help direct the students but have a tremendous amount of respect for the learning process when a student has the right interest and materials to pursue on their own.  Sometimes this is a real blessing to a student, othertimes it can be a detriment.
  • INFPs use humor, often at their own expense (as mentioned above).  Sometimes the INFP teacher is well loved for what they bring to the classroom, but sometimes INFPs seem quirky and are made fun of by students.
  • INFP lesson objectives aren't very clear cut.  Students may be confused about the assignment's objectives and what is expected of them.  The creative students tend to like the open-ended assignments, but those that need clear expectations are extremely frustrated by this.
If you are familiar with the Harry Potter series, Remus Lupin is often cited as an INFP (sometimes he's given other letters, but INFP comes up most often by those who analyze HP characters with Meyer Briggs letters).  Lupin individualized his lessons when he designed his Defense Against the Dark Arts lessons to help Harry Potter gain the skills he needed to defend himself, at a very critical time. 

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