4MAT learning was developed by Bernice McCarthy in the 1980s and has never really gone away. There is an interesting paper by Sandra Craven which she submitted in using class 4MAT research as a part of her Masters of Education degree. She concludes:
“Student communication and presentation skills using the 4MAT System showed marked improvement in that student application of the system included audience participation, involvement, and engagement. Furthermore, improved organizational and research skills produced presentations that not only entertained but informed. Although students did become aware of learning styles, to say that they understood their learning style, or were capable of truly honouring their own after only one experience, would be untrue. Only through repeated exposure brought about by the teacher during lessons will students reach this goal. The collaborative learning experience was much more successful than this educator anticipated. This was evidenced not only by student actions during the project, but carry over has been noted in the classroom generally. Furthermore, because of the intensity of the project, students appear to have bonded and are now treating each other with greater respect.”
Teachers have always striven since then to teach students according to their needs and develop materials which will connect with different sorts of learners. Differentiation became the key word and has stayed. Teachers are more than aware their classes are made up of so many sorts of people with different learning needs. When they then have to address curriculum requirements, standards, professional standards, deadlines, national testing and then the documentation around that and put that all into a digital context it is not surprising it becomes overwhelming at times. Teachers put the content value in but the picture can sometimes become muddied with the content value out because of the complexity of classrooms these days. It doesn’t matter who is teaching what and at what level, 4MAT is a useful way to address content delivery to maximise the outcomes for learners no matter where they are and what they are using in terms of resources. We are all now engaged in lifelong learning. When you have no idea what you know, what you are supposed to know, what you are doing and what you are supposed to be doing then you need tools to clarify the picture so that you can make it realistic and know what is possible at the time.
The content model and the strategies you employ to deliver content which will make the path clear for learners. You have to develop a way of connecting with learners at each point of the learning pathway. AbbyEagle explains well how to use 4MAT learning :
“The ‘why’ learner needs to know why they need to learn the material.
The ‘what’ person wants lots of information and is looking for facts.
The ‘how’ person wants to know how things work?
The ‘what if’ person learns through a process of self discovery.”
By focussing on those four areas and gathering your resources and delivery around them you have a better chance of being less lost in the array of demands from varying sectors of education. The sector requirements can be fitted in on the basis of clarifying what needs to be done, what needs to be developed and the value it will then provide and the learning goals being set.
Filed under: classroom, e-learning, methodology, resources, software, technology | Tagged: 4MAT, brain based elarning, content delivery, differentiating the curriculum, Teaching for Effective Learning, teaching in the 21st century, teaching in the information age | Leave a comment »