We’ve discussed in a previous post about learning styles. This post discusses something called “thinking styles.” Do you ever wonder why members of your family seem to do things or process information and then act on it in a certain way? Well, looking at the Gregorc theories for thinking styles will help to answer some of your questions about why your kids act in a certain manner when accomplishing tasks.
The Gregorc thinking style theory is based on 4 quadrants, with people falling into certain quadrants as their dominant thinking style. The four quadrants are called concrete sequential, concrete random, abstract random, and abstract sequential. Below are descriptions of each style:
Concrete Sequential: This thinker thinks in concrete, factual terms in an ordered and sequential manner – from a to z or 1 – 2 – 3. These are your more “very structured” people who keep their desks clean with everything in its place and a place for everything.
Concrete Random: This thinker thinks in concrete factual terms but they like to experiment and see what happens. These are your scientists who are grounded in scientific facts, but they can be a bit like absent minded professors.
Abstract Random: This thinker thinks creatively and abstractly. These thinkers are more unorganized and move from one thing to the next as the “feeling” moves them. They act intuitively and based on feeling. These are your “people persons”.
Abstract Sequential: This thinker thinks in theories and philosophies. They love ideas and discussing them, but in a more orderly and logical fashion. These are your logic and philosophy majors.
To give you an example of real life, we can look at how does someone in your family attack cleaning a closet. Your “concrete sequential” will think ahead, maybe even draw a diagram, of where everything will be placed in the closet when it is put back in and organized. There will be 3 distinct piles of “keep”, “give away”, “garage sale”. After everything is taken out of the closet, everything will be placed in its assigned new home one by one.
Your “abstract random” will take everything out of the closet so that everything is spread out all over the room. The room and project will look worse than when this thinker started out on his cleaning project. As this thinker takes everything out or looks at everything he has spread out all over the room, he will decide one by one what to do with it – but, not before looking at it, reading it, playing with it, or remembering the memories connected with it and deciding if it should go or stay based upon its sentimental value. The placement of each item back into the closet is decided as each item is about to be placed into the closet, not before.
From personal experience, I can tell you that life is interesting when these two people are married. I’ve had to build structure for myself and my husband has had to loosen up a bit. So we tend to balance one another out now. It can be quite entertaining to sit back and watch.
Here are some links for your review to help you determine what thinking style you are and those styles of members of your family. The first link has a survey you can answer to help make this determination.
http://www.bownet.org/BESGifted/learning_styles.htm (this one offers homework helper ideas for the different styles)
http://www.ehow.com/about_5449795_anthony-gregorc-learning-styles.html (this one gives examples of learning environments suited for each style)
http://iweb.tntech.edu/rclougherty/workshop/page1/page4/page4.html (detailed description of each style)
This should get you started in understanding how your day goes with the members of your family during your homeschool day.
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