ISFJ (Introversion, Sensing, Feeling, Judging) Learning Style
Quiet, friendly, responsible, and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking, and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home.
~Excerpted from Introduction to Type®
by Isabel Briggs Myers
ISFJ – 13.8% of the total population
8.1% of the male population
Introversion (I) 50.7% of the total population
Sensing (S) 73.3% of the total population
Feeling (F) 59.8% of the total population
Judging (J) 54.1% of the total population
The estimated frequency table was compiled from a variety of MBTI® results from 1972 through 2002, including data banks at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type; CPP, Inc; and Stanford Research Institute (SRI).
Learner Keyword: practical and reflective1
ISFJs, while learning, address the question, “Will this help me in my work?”2
ISFJs are energized by applying what they are learning, especially when examples are used. They have an innate ability to scaffold new information into existing schemas with seemingly no effort. Yet, they still need to be able to see and understand the relevance of new knowledge, preferring a systematic method for learning.
ISFJs are very curious learners who enjoy studying additional information from other sources. They thrive on adding depth to their knowledge. They also possess an ability to retain facts. They are good at learning, focusing and concentrating for long periods of time.
ISFJs prefer to learn factual and practical information over theory.
ISFJs prefer to learn in an environment which will allow time and space for reflection. Structure, organization and discipline are essential component of the best environment for this learner type. They need detailed instructions, objectives and rubrics to succeed.
ISFJs enjoy visuals and examples more than talking and discussion although they can learn in both situations. They benefit from organized classrooms with logical purpose. Traditional classrooms are well-suited for the ISFJ learner, although they prefer to learn independently.
ISFJs are most comfortable:
- Knowing the expectations required of their work
- Need objectives and rubrics
- Prefer traditional teaching methods
- Observing, listening and reading
- Thinking before acting -reflection time
- Structure and clear purpose
- Practical information than theoretical
- In-depth learning
- Independent work or solitary study/learning
- Learning information which is relevant and practical
- Enjoy the learning process
ISFJs are least comfortable:
- Being forced to be the center of attention
- Lacking objectives, guidelines and rubrics
- Unstructured learning environments
- Working on projects without planning
- Instruction which lacks a logical flow or disorganization
- Detailed work
- Any action without having a substantial amount of time to reflect on consequences.
- Studying theory -lacking practical application
- Group work
- Too much personal interaction
- Lack of rewards or benefits for learning
Teacher and classroom tips
As an educator, provide ISFJs students structure within the classroom with substantial guidelines, objectives and rubrics. They need to know what is expected of them.
Vary activities for ISFJs between small group, classwork, and independent time including examples, metaphors, visuals and even analogies.
Provide ISFJ with explanations as to the importance of the information and where it can be used.
ISFJs need feedback in a personal manner -not in front of others, especially built on a positive instructor relationship. This relationship is easily built and maintained when the educator is logical and organized.
Provide additional resources for further study for ISFJs.
Give a preview of information and materials. This gives ISFJs an ability to organize information in their minds and to start the scaffolding process.
Using examples and modeling.
Being an ISFJ means you are a curious, even natural learner, but don’t sit back and expect information to come easily or with no effort.
Prepare ahead of time for classes by previewing the material, having questions reading to ask and preparing a general outline of the information.
Set learning goals.
Create an additional resources list for more in-depth study.
Ask questions during class-time to increase understanding.
Search for ways to apply new knowledge and information. This is especially beneficial for you when you are forced into learning situations built around theory or abstract material.
Ask for guidelines, objectives and rubrics to help your understanding of exactly what is expected of you.
Arrange a time to meet with your teacher face-to-face. Ge to know them as an individual. Explain your learning type and why you look forward to building a relationship with this instructor.
Provide time for reflection.
Use graphic organizers to integrate knowledge and provide additional understanding.
- Choice board.
- Classroom Setting Learner
- Educational games
- Engage emotion.
- Examples preferred.
- General concepts.
- Hands-on Activities
- Independent Work
- Pace of instruction: moderate
- Practical Application
- Reflection time.
- Scaffold to prior knowledge
- Teaching techniques: Traditional
- Annotate Reading.
- Annotated bibliography
- Apply new information to life.
- Bookmark -create one to remind yourself of …
- Cooperative learning
- Create a business card for a character or historical figure.
- Create a cause/effect chart.
- Create a chart using PowerPoint.
- Create a Gantt Chart
- Create a handout to give to younger students
- Create a list of valid sources from the internet.
- Create a vocabulary game.
- Create an inventory
- Create and maintain a learning journal.
- Create associations using color.
- Design a graph.
- Design a timeline
- Develop a homework assignment with key.
- Develop a list of …
- Develop a sequence
- Develop interview questions.
- Diagram and label.
- Do a survey
- Draw a map and label …
- Find sources to support a belief
- Graphic Organizers.
- Hands on Activities.
- Observe and record the behavior
- Opinion essay.
- Outline reading.
- Play Jeopardy.
- Problem Solving.
- Record findings.
- Reflection time.
- Set goals.
- Show a process chart
- Strategize a method to complete a project.
- Write a critique.
- Write a diary entry from the point of view of …
- Write a help wanted ad
- Write a process essay.
- Write an advertisement
- Write an advice column
- Write the script for a documentary
Click on one of the sixteen personality types for more information:
Click on one of these dimension for more information:
For other learning styles: MBTI Learning Styles – A Practical Approach Available in paperback; Kindle; and pdf versions
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Tracy Atkinson is certified in Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) by CPP, Inc. The findings on learning styles derive from research, experience and observations.
Tracy Atkinson, a mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband and spirited dachshunds. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passions include researching, studying and investigating the attributes of self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including: The Art of Learning Journals, Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-Directed Learners.