Relationship Between Personality Types And Learning Styles

Por: Eleonora Mileva e Zshivka Zsheliaskova Koynova.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction
The concept of learning styles refers to preferred ways of perceiving and processing information in learning environment. Honey and Mumford, based on the model of Kolb, define 4 learning styles [1]: Active, Reflective, Theoretic and Pragmatic. The learning styles differentiate during the process of learning and depend on personality characteristics of students. Relationships between learning styles and temperament, creativity, extraversion-introversion were identified in many studies [2]. The main goal of the presented study is to identify the relationship between personality types and learning styles of students-athletes.

Methods
Subjects were 163 students in their 2nd year of education in National Sports Academy who practice different sports. Of them, 68.1 % were males and 39.1 % were females. The test of Honey and Mumford, adapted to Bulgarian language by Vurbanova [1] and the personality types inventory of D. Keirsey, adapted by Zsheliaskova-Koynova, were administered to students. The applied statistical methods included frequencies report and Chi-Square Test.

Results
The learning style is not differentiated yet in 18.3 % of the subjects of the study. 40.5 % of subjects use Reflective learning style, 20.9 % use Active learning style, 16.6 % use Pragmatic style and only 3.7 % use Theoretic learning style. Orientation to more passive strategy for obtaining knowledge in well-structured environment and for reflection on observed experience predominates between students-athletes. Prevailing personality types in the sample are Extroverted (90.2 %), Sensing (69.5 %), Feeling (72.5 %) and Judging (59.5 %). Only one of the studied characteristics, orientation to Feeling (χ2 = 9.02, df = 1, p < 0.01), is significantly influenced by sex. Females are more subjective than men (87.2 % of them prefer Feeling to Thinking when making decisions). The learning styles are significantly influenced by the dimensions Feeling-Thinking (χ2 = 11.95, df=3, p < 0.01) and Perceiving-Judging (χ2 = 21.19, df=3, p < 0.001) as seen on Graph 1 and 2.

Discussion / Conclusions

Almost all subjects (96 %) who represent Active learning style are oriented to Feeling. At the same time, preference to Perceiving prevails between students who use Active learning style (79 %). Representatives of Active experimenting learning style are oriented mainly to gathering new information and testing new opportunities [3]. The relationship between Reflective learning style and orientation to Judging should be a subject of an additional study as it turns to be opposite to the expected one.
These findings call teaching methods of social sciences in our sport university in question. Students use reproductive ways of learning which are not effective enough. More helpful would be provocations of students during process of learning and mastering, use of active and interactive methods of teaching and pedagogical interaction, for example role-plays, psychological and didactical games, brainstorming, etc.

References
[1]. Vurbanova, S. (1997) in: Provocation Learning (ed. Gurova, V.) Sofia, Askoni (In Bulgarian)
[2]. Klaus, G. (1987) Differential psychology of learning. Sofia, Nauka I izkustvo (in Bulgarian)
[3]. Johansen, D. & Grabowski, B. (1993) Handbook of individual differences. New Jersey, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 249-262.

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