This strategy utilizes learning styles, not Gardner's 8 learning styles, but Meyers-Briggs learning/thinking styles: mastery, understanding, self-expressive and interpersonal. Mastery thinking involves remembering and describing. Understanding thinking involves reasoning and explanation. Self-expression involves imagination and creativity. Interpersonal thinking involves exploring feelings and relating personally to material.
As a graphic, the authors use a quartered rectangle, one section for each style. Then each style is addressed with a question or activity in each quadrant. Students can be asked to complete one activity of their choice, a combination of 2 or more, or all in a certain or random order. These questions must be addressed prior to implementing the strategy.
The opening activity asks participants which of a series of images they think most represents themselves. This activity is used to help people understand their own preferences and can be used with students as well. Just because someone has certain preferences, however, does not mean that all their work should represent that style or that he will not learn if material is not presented in that style. It is incumbent to learning to use a variety of styles to enhance engagement. Additionally, everyone must be able to think in each way.
As the guide instructs, I developed my own example:
- Mastery: Identify the differences between parasitism, symbiosis, predation, and mutalism.
- Understanding: Explain how parasitism could lead to extinction, but symbiosis would not.
- Interpersonal: How would you explain your relationship with your parents: parasitism, symbiosis, predation, or mutalism? Explain your reasoning.
- Self-expression: Create and explain a metaphor comparing predation to something else.
This particular strategy could be useful for differentiating across thinking skills, but differentiation also needs to address varying skill levels. While scaffolding could be done with this strategy, it would be challenging to use it to address the needs of high ability students without merely assigning them more work.