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Monday, April 20th




Meta Analysis of Learning Styles Models from Turkey, including the 4MAT Model of Teaching.

A new meta-analysis of learning styles models from Turkey has some interesting findings about these types of educational interventions. Hare are key highlights from this research. To view the entire research study, you can use this link to view the full PDF File. This research article was published Online in October of 2016 in the journal Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice

Overview of the meta-analysis

The total sample size included in this review was 2159. The treatment groups consisted of 1075 and the control groups consisted of 1084 students. Here was analysis of how the research studies were selected or inclusion in this meta-analysis.

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The table below shows the frequency distribution of the studies by course type, study type, learning style model, experimental design and investigated variable.

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According to Table 1, in terms of course type, 30% (f = 9) of the studies involved natural science (science, physics, chemistry, biology), 23.3% (f = 7) involved math, 20% (f = 6) involved social science (social studies, history, geography), 16.7% (f = 8) involved English, 6.7% (f = 2) involved informatics and 3.3% (f = 1) involved music. In terms of study type; 53.3% (f = 16) of the studies are thesis and 46.7% (f = 14) are articles.

In regards to the types of learning style models involved, here is the breakdown:

  • 43.3% (f = 13) of the studies employed the Perceptual Learning Styles Model,
  • 33.3% (f = 10) employed the 4MAT Model,
  • 6.7% (f = 2) employed the Kolb Learning Styles Model,
  • 10.1% (f = 3) employed the Dunn & Dunn Learning Styles Model,
  • 3.3% (f = 1) employed the Felder & Solomon and Brain 2070 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES: THEORY & PRACTICE Dominance Model.

In terms of experimental design, 86.7% (f = 26) of the studies used quasi-experimental design and 13.3% (f = 4) used true-experimental design. In terms of investigated variable, 58.0% (f = 29) of the studies investigated the effect of learning style on achievement, 22.0% (f = 11) investigated the effect of learning style on attitude and 20.0% (f = 10) investigated the effect of learning style on retention.

Effect Sizes of Learning Styles Models 

Under the random effect model, the common effect sizes were as follows.

Studies employing the…

  • 4MAT System, 1.168 (0.860, 1.477);
  • Perceptual Learning Style Model, 0.870 (0.653, 1.023);
  • Dunn & Dunn Learning Style Model, 1.331 (1.047, 1.087);
  • Kolb Learning Styles Model, 1.067 (−0.876, 3.009).

These results reveal that there is not a meaningful difference between the effects sizes of the classification created according to course type: namely the effect sizes of the courses tailored to learning styles model on the academic achievement are independent of course type.

When the effect sizes of 11 studies included in this review were combined according to the random effect model, the common effect size was calculated as (d) 1.113 with 0.227 standard error and 95% confidence intervals of 1.557 and 0.669. This common effect size is large according to the Cohen’s (1988) classification. This d value is associated with a U3 value of 84.1%, which means that the average student receiving instruction tailored to their learning styles scored higher on attitude tests than 84.1% of students receiving no instruction.

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When the effect sizes of 10 studies included in this review were combined according to the random effect model, the common effect size was computed as (d) 1.763 with 0.241 standard error and 95% confidence intervals of 1.763 and 0.817. This common effect size is large according to the Cohen’s (1988) classification.

This d value is associated with a U3 value of 90.3%. This means that the average student receiving instruction tailored to their learning styles scored higher on retention tests than 90.3% of students receiving no instruction.

When the effect sizes of 10 studies included in this review were combined according to the random effect model, the common effect size was computed as (d) 1.763 with 0.241 standard error and 95% confidence intervals of 1.763 and 0.817. This common effect size is large according to the Cohen’s (1988) classification.

This d value is associated with a U3 value of 90.3%. This means that the average student receiving instruction tailored to their learning styles scored higher on retention tests than 90.3% of students receiving no instruction.     

In these meta-analytic review, it was found that when student received an instruction tailored to their learning style, their attitude (d = 1.113) toward courses improved and their learning was more permanent (d=1.290).

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Comparison of Effect Sizes to Hattie’s Barometer of Influence.

When comparing this to Hattie’s Barometer of Influence,  it is clear that this meta-analysis shows a very positive impact for learning style interventions and the 4MAT Model of Instruction in particular. The Chart above displays the impact of 4MAT on the Hattie Scale and places it near the top of the Desired Effects for an Educational Intervention. 

According to these results, it can be said that the learning environment designed based on learning styles has a large effect on students’ attitude toward course and learning retention.

About Teaching Book Excerpt on Intuition

About Teaching Excerpt on Intuitive Approaches to Teaching

Antonio Damasio, Professor of Neurology at the University of Iowa, speaks of consciousness as feeling moments when we form images of something new in our minds and know wordlessly it has changed us. Nel Noddings speaks of intuition as a way of knowing, a process of creating pictures in our minds to come to understanding—a process that needs to permeate the entire learning act—from perceiving to conceiving to acting to integrating. Domasio’s perspective is that of a neurologist, Noddings’ is that of an educator with an abiding passion for enhancing the place of intuition as an essential educational concept. They both describe how we come to know.

Intueri: to look upon, to see within, to contemplate.

The act or faculty of knowing directly, without the use of rational processes.

• Intuition is deep knowing.

• It is the voice of our insight interacting with the world.

• It is tight, intense focus.

• Immediate and direct, an unconscious source of knowledge.

• It provides the foundation for experience.

• Educators, by and large, have left it out of the teaching enterprise.

IntuitionGraphicIn order to motivate students to attend to learning, we must make them come alive. We need to appeal to their senses, connect to their lives, involve them in wanting to learn the material. We need to engage them, create the clearings deep within that ignite their inner knowing, set up receiving climates so they can move through the learning process with their own motivation.

Truth is within ourselves, it takes no rise

From outward things, whate’er you may believe

…and to know

Rather consists in opening out a way

Whence the imprisoned splendour may escape,

Than in effecting entry for a light

Supposed to be without.

—Robert Browning

It is not enough to use the methods above to encourage the intuitive, without the search for meaning as the ultimate goal. The teacher’s task is to set up the climate, the situation, the parameters, the concrete experiences that will move students to a quest for their own meaning.

We cannot give meaning, it is for our students to create their own meaning. Perhaps in trying to give meaning, we actually destroy the intuitive mode, taking away the very mechanism for creating meaning in our desire to short-circuit the process for our students, an impossible task and a cruel attempt to rob them of their own experience.”9

In our attempts to pull students quickly into the content, we rob them of the chance to call upon their own experience. We need to set up the climate where personal valuing can flourish. As the value of the learning becomes theirs, they will merge the energy of their intuition with their reasoning power. Such synergy results in deep levels of comprehension.

Noddings speaks of the creative tension between subjective certainty and objective uncertainty–when you know something in your heart and mind, yet need to examine the issues and details more closely. You are sure, yet you stay open enough to see the issues from many sides. This is the act of living in the creative tension that Nodding is describing. She extols teachers to keep this tension active and exciting in the minds and hearts of their students.

If the intuitive mode ends successfully, skepticism with respect to the result of incipient product vanishes and only questions concerning execution remain.

If we doubt its capacities or mistrust its contributions, we make intuition, in effect, hesitant.

Its appearances will be erratic and its input ambiguous. On the other hand, acceptance and confidence create receptivity. If we issue an open invitation and make intuition feel that visits are welcomed at any time, it can become a perfect guest, showing up on all the right occasions, dressed properly and bearing felicitous gifts.

—Philip Goldberg

Intuitive People Tend to Be: 

  • unconventional and comfortable about being unconventional
  • confident
  • self-sufficient
  • emotionally involved in abstract issues, both intellectual issues and human values
  • able to entertain doubts and uncertainties without fear
  • willing to take criticism and challenge
  • able to accept or reject criticism, whichever the case
  • willing to change if they see the need
  • resistant to outside control
  • independent
  • foresighted
  • spontaneous

Encourage students to trust their intuitive sensibilities. Those who enjoy uncertainty and challenge usually give their intuition room to function freely. If they are able to blend their intuitive sense with their rational “check-it-out sense,” they have a duet of powerful skills for successful problem solving.

Steps to Becoming a Master Teacher: Promote Student Creative Performance

Promote Student Creative Performance

Quadrant 4 is where people must adapt learning in their own unique ways.

The goal for teachers in Quadrant 4 is to help people produce creative adaptations or explorations of learning. This might involve evaluating the use of learning or producing or performing a creative interpretation or evaluation.

Key Question What If?

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 11.35.24 AMQuadrant 4 is where people create new understanding through personal evaluation and or extension of learning.  It is not enough to just understand the content, it must be put to use in the real world and adapted in a personally meaningful way.

This is just one of the things you will learn in 4MAT Training as you work to master this transformative approach to teaching and learning. 

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4MAT Pure and Simple Book Excerpt

Teaching seldom begins with meaningful experiential connections. Instruction often begins with lists of what must be learned—couched in measurable objectives concerning materials that are frequently outside learner experience and interest. Recent research from the Gates Foundation finds that less than 3% of teachers demonstrate regard for student perspectives.

And so teachers hear the incessant, ubiquitous Why do I need to know this? question.

Some claim this is the way it must be. Students need patience. There are many things to learn. It takes too much time to explore the underlying meanings, to excite students about what must be learned. That’s just the way it is. Students are expected to ignore the need for meaningful experiences (in school at least) and just learn the material. They are told the reasons will become clear later. 

1. ConnectBut something very important happens when you begin with an experiential connection.

The learner is caught up in it. There’s a level of emotion, an impact and a newness often accompanied by an ineffable sense of recognition. The learner reflects and ponders, seeks out more knowledge, and has the desire to talk it through and discuss it with others.

Teachers must begin by enabling learners to confront new learning from the vantage of their own experiences. Engaging in this process means coming to balance with the otherness of the learning. It’s about the learner and the learning. It’s about being and knowing. This process is at the heart of 4MAT pedagogy and is the key to all successful teaching. 

The 4MAT Model is a process for moving people through a dynamic learning cycle:

  1. To connect learners to significant concepts through the lens of their own experience, and to bring them together to share their perceptions
  2. To introduce them to excellent knowledge and ideas,
  3. To teach them to critique and examine, by creating multiple practice activities that enable all learners to achieve mastery, and
  4. To encourage creativity, by moving them beyond content for its own sake to the adaptation of learning in their own lives.

4MAT requires teachers to convince learners of the value of the learning by drawing it forth from their own experiences, then leading them through the work of the experts to their own work, their own use of it.

It is as open-ended as the very student diversity it serves.

About Teaching Book Excerpt

And What of the Learner?

What happens to the learners in schools if most learning activity takes place at 6 o’clock, if learners primarily sit and listen to lectures?

How does the child who needs to linger in experience fare in such schools? type1

And what of the child who needs more reflecting time?

How does the child fare who needs to do it to learn it?

And what of the child who doesn’t take anyone’s word for it, but has to find out  personally?type2

How do all these children succeed? How are they judged?

These are legitimate learners. They are intelligent, they have a right to be who they are. They are just different.


In life outside of school, or in the world, these type3differences  are good.

They form the foundations of great and creative teams.type4

Schools must include them all.

About Learning Book Excerpt

Alfred North Whitehead also described a cycle; he called it three “periods” in education.

The first he called the freedom stage, the place where the student must choose to be interested, must move toward self-development through joy, a process of becoming, of noticing what happens, wondering, and then being filled with wonder.

The emphasis here is on freedom, freedom that allows the learner to see, to make independent choices.

The second period he called the discipline stage, a necessary period of development of best practice, examining the data, learning the facts, concentrating with purpose.

The third he called generalization, where something definite is known, where general rules and laws are apprehended, when the learner is ready to shed the details in favor of the active application of the principles.

Here real learning happens because knowledge has become invested with possibilities; learning has become active wisdom, “connecting a zest of life to knowledge.”

“ An education that does not begin by

evoking initiative and end by encouraging it

must be wrong.”

— Alfred North Whitehead


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.

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