Friday, August 31, 2012

Learning Styles, Personality Types & Generations

by Dr. Vanae E. Morris

If you have a learning style that helps you learn best, does this correlate with the generation you were born in (or perhaps the generation you were raised by) and your personality type?

As in all inventories, tests, and types, it is important to remember that generalities are the norm. First, let’s review definitions for each:

Learning Styles
“A learning style is a student's consistent way of responding to and using stimuli in the context of learning. Keefe (1979) defines learning styles as the ‘composite of characteristic cognitive, affective, and physiological factors that serve as relatively stable indicators of how a learner perceives, interacts with, and responds to the learning environment.’ Stewart and Felicetti (1992) define learning styles as those ‘educational conditions under which a student is most likely to learn.’ Thus, learning styles are not really concerned with what learners learn, but rather how they prefer to learn" (Clark, 2012).

Learning Styles and Personality Tests
The Gregorc Style Delienator, the Barsch Learning Style Inventory, and the personality test based on Jung, which was the basis for the Myers-Briggs Personality Type are some of the tools used to determine how learners prefer to learn.

A generation is a 20-22 year span and those born within that span are defined as possessing certain characteristics, shared values, and beliefs. Each generation has their own set of values, ideals, ethics, and beliefs that dictate individuals’ preferences for living, learning and working. A generation is often defined by significant events experienced as a unit. Events of one generation can have a ripple effect on other generations. Generations don’t solely define a person’s behavior, but the generations into which you were born and raised does help define who you are and will most likely have some impact on your behavior.

In working with both teachers in training and learners in the classroom in kindergarten through higher education, patterns have emerged between what the preferred learning style is, what their personality type is, and which generation they were born within.

The major distinction that emerged is that of a relationship between the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Gregorc Style Delineator similar to the results found in this study. However, I am convinced that generational attributes can also contribute to a preferred learning style and a personality type.

Perhaps this will be my next research project!

What are your thoughts?


Clark, D. (2012). Learning styles & preferences. Retrieved August 28, 2012 from http:

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