We’re going to come at this from a different angle than most sites. Rather than starting with Introvert/Extrovert, let’s take this from a processing angle. So much of the “this doesn’t work for my family” boils down to processing differences, not whether you like crowds or not.
There are four mental processes groupings. 2 are for info gathering (Ni/Se, Ne/Si) and 2 are for decisions (Ti/Fe, Te/Fi). Everyone has all four pairs, but only two pairs are at all useful to you. And only one from each of your two pairs is a “front seat” driver. This is my favorite model.:
- You have an info-gatherer and a decision maker in the front seat.
- You have one info-gatherer and decision maker in the back seat, but they’re immature.
- The members of the other two pairs are like FOREIGN LANGUAGES to you.
So, if the instructions to the teacher don’t speak to your “front seat” processes, you’re already in trouble, especially when “life” happens and you have to adapt. Heaven forbid if the curriculum is speaking to processes that aren’t even in your car!
Let’s start with your S
How do you feel about food? Do you have pretty specific tastes or are you indifferent to how a dish was prepared last time? Are you an “anything different is fun” person, or do you find more comfort in something familiar? If you prefer things that already live in your memory, you’re Si/Ne. If you are more about sensing something new, even if it doesn’t turn out to be good, you’re Se/Ni.
Let’s verify it with your N
How are you when it comes to ideas? When you go into idea mode, is it like a skittles rainbow pouring into your hands or is it more like arrows hitting a target? Are you super-future oriented? Or do you enjoy new ideas like toys that are fun on their own? Do you make connections with movies and TV and music around you, or do your connections rattle around in some mysterious place in your head? If you’re an “ideas are fun and multiply like rabbits” person, you’re Ne/Si. If ideas are mysterious and serious and always heading into the future, that’s Ni/Se.
Now, who is in the front seat?
How do you navigate when you drive? Are you a big picture, abstract person or a concrete, 5-senses person? We all use both, but one is MUCH better than the other for you.
If I tell you how to get to my house by saying, “Follow 57 going east and turn North just before the county line,” is that going to better or worse than saying, “Follow the road in front of Walmart until you see the flashing light beside three gas stations.”?
I lived here for YEARS before I noticed the gas stations. I’m Ni/Se, but my Ni is in the driver’s seat. My husband is the same pair (Ni/Se), but his Se is in the front seat. He looks for something concrete that tells him where he is, then he follows the breadcrumbs home. Until I have compass directions and an idea of where I am in relation to the main roads, I might as well be playing dizzy bat.
Abstract, big picture people (N-dominant types) navigate by the bird’s eye view. “I need to go North and East.”
Concrete, 5 sense people (S-dominant types) navigate by landmarks. “I need to turn left at the red gas station.”
How does this affect curriculum?
If you’re Ni/Se and Ni is in the front seat, you want a teacher’s guide that shows you to big picture. Where is this headed in the future? How does it connect with life, the universe, and everything? If Se is in the front seat, that’s cool to have the big theoretical map, but you’re blind without real time experience. If Se is in the front seat, “trial and error” type instructions are more useful to you. You will know what to do once you start teaching it to a real person. I’m Ni primary. That’s cool to have a “trial and error” style lesson plan, but without the big theoretical map, I’m driving with blinders.
If you’re Ne/Si and Ne is in the front seat, you want a teacher’s guide that gives you space to explore ideas and possibilities. Rabbit trails. Off the wall contrasts and connections. How is a raven like a writing desk? Ne in the front seat can connect that to music, a pizza sauce, and the state of Utah, given enough space to noodle around. Si in the front seat is cool with dabbling around in fun ideas, but his bread and butter is memory. “Flashcards worked fine when I was a kid. Where are the flashcards?” He goes with what has already worked and knows it will work again. Front seat Ne likes to have that “what works” grounding in the back seat, but without the freedom to explore, he’s miserable.
So, disaster time. What if you’re Ni/Se and the teacher’s manual is filled with locked in one-size-fits all techniques plus a bunch of “thought explorations” activities? It reads like CHINESE to you. What if you’re Ne/Si and the teacher’s manual is showing you how this curriculum locks into a particular future and is full of trial and error teaching techniques? Again, it’s CHINESE.
Knowing this half is 1/4 of the battle..HA!
Next post, I will get into the other functions. Once you have your top two in hand, your curriculum loves/hates will make so much more sense!