Monthly Archives: September 2018

The 4MAT Learning Cycle


SOURCE: About Teaching Book,  from About Learning, Inc.

4matLearningCycle.jpgThe 4MAT Learning Cycle is a process for teaching to individual learning differences and maximizing brain-compatible learning. 

This blog post briefly describes each progressive phase of The 4MAT framework, how to create lessons that move through all four quadrants.

The 4MAT Cycle requires that teachers establish their conceptual goals, create classroom climates that are conducive to honoring diversity, set up essential questions that go to the heart of the concepts, and create a total learning cycle, complete with multiple kinds of assessments.

Here is a very brief overview of the 4MAT Learning Cycle. Please keep in mind that the cycle moves like a clock beginning at 12 o’clock and moving on to 3, 6, 9 and back to 12 o’clock.

Quadrant One: Answering the Why? Question

A lesson unit must begin with an experiential beginning. It must begin with your students and their own perspectives and ideals. You open the learning process in Quadrant One, bounded by the parameters of Direct Experience at 12 o’clock and Reflective Observation at 3 o’clock. You create a climate of trust and openness.

Quadrant Two: Answering the What? Question

In Quadrant Two you move learners from experiencing to conceptualizing through reflection, bounded by the parameters of Reflective Observation at 3 o’ clock and Abstract Conceptualization at 6 o’clock.

The question you focus on Quadrant Two is What?

  • What do my students need to know to master this content?
  • What are the essence pieces, the core concepts that will lead them to understand more with less?
  • What parts of this content do I need to emphasize so they will understand it at this core level?

Quadrant Three: Answering the How? Question

In this quadrant, bounded by the parameters of Abstract Conceptualization at 6 o’clock and Active Experimentation at 9 o’clock, learners move from expert knowledge into personal skills and usefulness, the beginning of the return back to themselves.

The question you focus on in Quadrant Three is How?

  • How will my students use this in their real lives, (not just their school lives)?
  • How will this content affect their power?

Knowledge is the most powerful problem-solving tool there is.

If I want to solve problems in mathematics I’ve got to have mathematical concepts.

But there’s a difference between teaching knowledge as a tool that facilitates problem solving and teaching it simply as a thing to be memorized.

Quadrant Four: Answering the If? Question

In this quadrant, bounded by the parameters of Active Experimentation and Direct Experience, learners complete the movement back to themselves.

They refine their use of what they have learned, integrating it into their lives.

The question the teacher focuses on in Quadrant Four is If?

  • If my students master this learning what will they be able to do they cannot do now?
  • What power will they have attained as persons?
  • If they learn this, what new questions will they have?

Want to Learn More?

To learn more, we invite you to download our new 4MAT 2018 Research Guide. Or call About Learning at (800) 822-4MAT to or learn how to become trained or to receive training in this innovative teaching method.

Copyright 2018, About Learning, Inc. Exclusive providers of the 4MAT Teaching and Learning Methodology throughout the world.

Introducing the 4MAT 2018 Research Guide


4MAT 2018 Research Guide

For almost 40 years, the 4MAT Model has been empowering educators to create transformative approaches to teaching and learning. Administrators and teachers at all levels of education as well as leaders and trainers in the business and corporate community have been using the 4MAT Model of Learning to facilitate effective learning with their students and trainees.

4MAT’s successful use requires the reorganization of instruction to employ a wide variety of learning methods and requires a re-design of instruction to maximize its impact on learners. 

An organization’s success rests on its learning ability. The 4MAT Model of Learning provides principals and teachers, leaders and trainers at all levels with a framework to guide learners in the use of their individual, inherent learning abilities in order to assimilate new demonstrablle useful knowledge.

In today’s dynamic world information and skills are not static, learners need to move from a fixed mindset to one of growth.

As more educators and trainees embrace the 4MAT Model of Learning, they seek research that proves its effectiveness and The 4MAT 2018 Research Guide helps fill that expanding need.

This books includes 3 sections, including…

An Historical Perspective of 4MAT

This first section features the primary research theories and educational philosophies of those who form the base of the 4MAT Model. The work and insights of the researchers listed here have inspired the foundation of 4MAT regarding the nature of learning: The making of meaning, in a learner-centered, experiential cycle, through ordering and constructing knowledge of understandings not yet known, by naming experience in dialogue from individual internal frames of reference in a social process based on sharing power.

An Overview of The 4MAT Model

The Model is described with the details of the eight steps.

The Latest Research and Studies on the Impact of the 4MAT Model

The final section is a compilation of some of the research from our first studies of 4MAT in 1985 to the present. These include some of the latest work being done in Saudi Arabia, Ankara University, Thailand and the School of Pedagogical Sciences at Mahatma Gandhi University. These were chosen as a cross-section of a typical sample from a much larger group.