4MAT Cycle for powerful workshops


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The 4MAT cycle is a learning and teaching model, based on the principle that individuals learn differently.

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4MAT Cycle for powerful workshops

  1. 1. T H E 4 M AT L E A R N I N G C YC L E T he 4 MAT model is inclusive and flexible. Inclusive as it takes into account the many different ways that people learn. With guidance from the 4MAT model the outlines are flexible enough that the facilitator can choose their own way to facilitate the learning event. The 4MAT model is based around the following beliefs about how people learn:   People learn differently: Each learner brings a personalized approach to learning. Learning is a cycle: Learning is a cycle based on the ways people  perceive, and then process newness. Engaged learners perform: When learning is delivered using a systematic approach that appeals to all journey into formal learning for a very long time. This can have its own set of worries and concerns. Most of our learners are already full time caregivers and so tiredness at an evening learning event is very common. All of us learn in very different ways and so it stands to reason that we need to consciously vary our delivery techniques to capture as many of the different styles as we can. Our aim is to provide an experiential learning programme that uses a diverse range of delivery techniques so that we may cater to as many of our learners as possible. Guidance for Facilitators: When this cycle is used intentionally, learning becomes a positive growth experience for all learners. Our students come from varied backgrounds with many different values and beliefs. Some of our learners are highly educated whilst others may have unpleasant memories of their learning. For some of our students this is their first THE FOUNDATION OF THE CYCLE Never underestimate that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world, indeed it's the only thing that ever has.  The cycle describes the learning act itself.  We choose our most comfortable places along the two continua of perceiving and processing, and we approach learning using that favoured combination.  The result of those choices determines our learning style.  If teachers understand the cycle, they can use it to powerful advantage.  Four major learning styles result from our choices along the two continua of perceiving and processing. I call them Types One, Two, Three, and Four.  There is no hierarchy. All four styles are equally excellent and legitimate.  These four styles are the result of a composite of research from learning theorists and brain research. Margaret Mead Dalene Mactier © 2013
  2. 2. What type of learner are you? TYPE 1: IMAGINATIVE LEARNERS TYPE 2: ANALYTICAL LEARNERS  Seek personal meaning, clarity and integrity  Seek facts and information  Become involved in learning by listening and sharing ideas  They need to know what the experts think   Perceive information through experience and make sense of it through reflection They learn by thinking through ideas and adapting to the experts  Perceive information through and make sense of it through reflection  More interested in ideas and concepts than people  Interested in people and culture  Divergent thinkers  Make sense of knowledge through own experiences   Good at viewing experiences from different perspectives  Thorough and industrious  Enjoy debating the issues  Model themselves on people they respect  They will re-examine facts if situations perplex them  Learn through social interaction  Strengths are to create theories and concepts  Ideas people  They engage intellectually with ideas  Strengths are innovating and imagining  Their favourite question is “What?”  Their favourite question is “Why?” TYPE 3: COMMONS SENSE LEARNERS Critique information and collect data TYPE 4: DYNAMIC LEARNERS  Need to know how things work  Seek hidden possibilities  Seek usability and like to test theories  Adaptable to change and like to take risks.  Value strategic thinking  Function by acting and testing experience.  Skills-oriented  Need to know what is possible with ideas  Perceive information through thinking and make sense of it through doing  Learn by trial and error and self-discovery   They need hands-on experiences Perceive information through experience and make sense of it by doing  Enjoy solving problems  Relish change and like variety  Resent being given answers  Excel in situations calling for flexibility  Have limited tolerance for “fuzzy” ideas   They need to know how things they learn can help in “real life” Often reach accurate conclusions in the absence of logical justification  Strength is to take action and carry out plans  Strength is practical application of ideas  Goal is to make things happen  Their favourite question: “How does this work?”  Their favourite question is ‘What if?” Dalene Mactier © 2013
  3. 3. Planning a workshop using the 4MAT cycle QUADRANT 1: WHY? In quadrant one, the first phase of the learning cycle, the goal is to connect. During this quadrant your focus as a facilitator is on winning the attention of your learners, and engaging their interest in the subject. You are seeking to help them understand the real value (to them) of what you’re saying, and get the learner to think about how what you’re saying fits in with and enhances his or her existing experience. concept being taught. 1. Connect [Right mode] Establish a relationship between your group and the content connecting it to their lives, not telling them how it connects, but having something actually happen in the group that will bring them to make the connection themselves. The experience must encompass the heart of the content. Learners create personal meaning, 2. Attend [Left mode] connecting to the concept, relating their Have your group analyse what just personal ideas and beliefs to the happened, have them attend to their TEACHING INTENTIONS  Connect students directly to the concept in a personal way.  Capture students’ attention by initiating a group problem-solving activity before delivery of instruction. own experience and to the perceptions of their fellow group members; how it went, what really happened. LEARNING INTENTIONS POSSIBLE STRATEGIES Encourage students to:  Icebreakers  Make connections based on experience  Reflecting on whakatauki and quotes  Sharing experiences and personal stories  Use appreciative inquiry techniques – sharing best practice stories  Use storytelling to create meaning  Engage in dialogue  Establish relationships  Begin with a situation that is familiar to students and builds on what they already know.  Listen and share similar experiences  Construct a learning experience that allows diverse and personal student responses.  Experience camaraderie  Show and tell  Experience the diversity of how others see things  Journal writing and discussing  Partner work  Facilitate the work of cooperative teams of students.  Gain insight  Using music to explain context  Create high interest in the material to come  Role playing  Cooperative learning group  Brainstorming  Continuums  Provoke meaningful dialogue from students.  Speak with subjective voice  Establish resonance  Become aware of the value of the learning  Experience the discrepancies that the learning will unravel  Focus on present and past understandings  Create a sense of “I know something about this, and I want to know more”. Dalene Mactier © 2013
  4. 4. QUADRANT 2: WHAT? During quadrant two, you build learners’ knowledge, and encourage them to find out facts for themselves. In doing this, you help learners make connections between what they already know and what you are teaching. And by finding out facts for themselves, they learn the broader context into which information fits. This all helps to build a good theoretical foundation of the subject. The goal of learning is to inform, to present facts in a systematic and TEACHING INTENTIONS  Provide a metaview, lifting students into a wider view of the concept.  Use another medium (not reading or writing) to connect students’ personal knowing to the concept (i.e. visual arts, music, movement, etc.).  Involve learning in reflective production that blends the emotional and the cognitive.  Transform the concept yet to be taught into an image or experience, a “sneak preview” for the students.  Deepen the connection between the concept and its relationship to the students’ lives.  Relate what the students already know to what the experts have found. organized fashion. 3. Image [Right mode] Encourage the group to image, to picture the concept as they understand it, have experienced it, before you take them to the experts. 4. Inform [Left mode] Now they are ready for receiving and examining the expert knowledge. Inform them of the expert theories and knowledge. LEARNING INTENTIONS Encourage students to:  Connect fascination to facts.  Comprehend the learning.  Receive expert knowledge.  Examine pertinent information with the most salient facts.  Establish links between subjective experience and objective knowing.  Seeing both the big picture and the supporting details.  Organizing.  Connecting to other similar ideas.  Classifying and comparing. POSSIBLE STRATEGIES  Sharing theories, research and expert knowledge  Brainstorming  Looking for patterns  Taking notes  Structured tasks  Examining information of experts  Relating ideas to the big pictures  Looking for discrepancies in patterns  Listening to lectures and viewing  Information classification questions  Blending personal experiences with expert knowing.  Patterning.  Clarifying purpose.  Bringing out the structure and form.  Theorizing.  Engaging in interactive questioning.  Focusing on current hypotheses.  Creating knowledge that will give a solid ground to further understanding. Dalene Mactier © 2013
  5. 5. QUADRANT 3: HOW? During quadrant three, you teach the practical skills that come from the theory, and encourage learners to test their understanding of the material. This is where learners confirm and refine their understanding, and apply and generalize the information they’ve learned. The goal is to help learners to test theories and ideas and apply them in the practical world. 5. Practice [Left mode] TEACHING INTENTIONS  Provide hands-on activities for practice and mastery.  Check for understanding of concepts and skills by using relevant standard materials such as worksheets, text problems, workbooks, teacher prepared exercises, etc.  Provide opportunities for students to practice new learning, (learning centers, games fostering skills development, etc.).  Use concept of mastery learning to determine if re-teaching is necessary and how it will be carried out.  Students may create additional multi-modal practice for each other. Stay first with the left mode. The group PRACTICE the learning as the experts have found it. 6. Extend [Right mode] This is where innovation begins. Group know enough, have enough skills to begin the tinkering, playing with the content, the skills, the materials, the ideas, the wholes and the parts, the details, the data and the big picture, to make something of this learning for themselves, to be interpretive. LEARNING INTENTIONS POSSIBLE STRATEGIES Encourage students to:  Make resources  Learn important skills  Practice strategies  Practice and experiment  Rehearse  Use expert knowledge to get something done  Write reflections  Test accuracy  Do  Establish the link between theory and application  See how things work  Journal entries  Collages  Write stories  Games  Share strategies  Predict  Record the details in action, not just in theory  Question  Compare results  See how form operates  Resolve discrepancies  Reach conclusions  Master skills  Extend the learning into usefulness in real life Dalene Mactier © 2013
  6. 6. QUADRANT 4: WHAT IF? Finally, during quadrant four, you group have proposed an extension of encourage learners to extend creatively the learning into their lives. They need their use of the skills you’ve taught. This to evaluate that extension. gives practice in the new skills, and 8. Perform [Right mode] helps them reinforce and “cement” their learning. Lastly, have your students perform: The goal is to apply and extend learning Here the content takes a new shape, as in new and innovative ways, to seek it is formed through the group. Look for hidden possibilities and excitement and originality, relevance, new questions, to promote self-discovery. and connections to larger ideas, skills that are immediately useful, values 7. Refine [Left mode] confirmed or questioned anew. Stay first with the left mode again. The TEACHING INTENTIONS  Give guidance and feedback to student’s plans, encouraging, refining, and helping them to be responsible for their own learning.  Help students analyse their use of the learning for meaning, relevance, and originality.  Maintain high expectations for completion of chosen options.  Help mistakes to become learning opportunities.  Summarize by reviewing the whole, bringing students “full circle” to the experience with which the learning began. LEARNING INTENTIONS POSSIBLE STRATEGIES Encourage students to:  Teaching each other  Adapt the learning  Self-evaluations  Modify and rework  Real life extensions of learning  Verify usefulness  Community involvement  Summarise  Portfolios  Create new questions  Expressive writing  Break boundaries  Share new understandings/light bulb moments/questions  Synthesise  Establish future use  Refocus  Pose questions/problems for next session  Edit and refine  Confirm conclusions  Take a position  Create new discrepancies  Make new connections  Evaluate  Exhibit, publish  Re-present  Perform  Celebrate  Share the learning Dalene Mactier © 2013
  7. 7. What is your facilitation style? TYPE 1 FACILITATORS  Are interested in facilitating individual growth and selfawareness.  Encourage their students to be authentic.  Believe curricula should help students know themselves and others.  See knowledge for the basis for achieving potential.  Involve their students in discussions and group projects.  Believe reflection is a primary method for enhancing self-awareness.  Are informed about social issues that affect human development. TYPE 2 FACILITATORS         TYPE 3 FACILITATORS  Are interested in helping their students achieve high skills competence.  Try to lead their students to mastery for life skills.  Encourage the practical aspects of learning.  Believe curricula should stress economic usefulness and opportunity.  See knowledge as enabling learners to make their way in the world.  Involve their students in problem solving, experiments, and hands-on activities.  Believe their students should approach problems scientifically.  Excel in the technical aspects of their field. Are interested in transmitting the best knowledge. Try to help their students become knowledgeable. Encourage excellence. Believe curricula should encompass significant information with facts in service to that goal. See knowledge as the basis for achieving goals. Involve their students in lectures, note taking, and readings. Believe people should approach learning systematically. Are up to date on the expert knowledge in their content areas. TYPE 4 FACILITATORS      Are interested in enabling learners to seek possibilities. Help their students act on their dreams. Believe self-awareness comes from challenging oneself. Encourage real-experience learning. Believe curricula should be geared to individual learners.  See knowledge as important to bringing about change.  Involve their students in many out-of-school activities.  Use the community as their classroom, seeing community needs as learning opportunities. Small groups of aspiring adults who desire to keep their minds fresh and vigorous; who begin to learn by confronting pertinent situations; who dig down into the reservoirs of their secondary facts; who are led in the discussion by teachers who are also seekers after wisdom and not oracles: this constitutes the setting for adult education, the modern quest for life's meaning. Eduard Lindeman, The Meaning of Adult Education (1926). Dalene Mactier © 2013
  8. 8. Group activities Brooks-Harris and Stock-Ward (1999) described four stages of group facilitation used in workshops, based on Kolb’s (19=4) theory of experiential learning. These stages relate to the 4MAT quadrants.  Engaging Workshop Participants in Active Learning – emphasizes concrete experience and reflective observation; corresponds to the needs of imaginative learners. Icebreakers are brief interactive exercises to encourage and prepare for interpersonal learning during the workshop. These activities may or may not be related to the workshop topic. Example: Participants have the names of famous people taped on their backs so that others can read their identity but they cannot. They are asked to mingle with others and ask “yes or no” questions until they discover their own identity.  Informing the Group with Relevant Knowledge – encourages reflective observation and abstract conceptualization; corresponds to the needs of analytic learners. Motivation Grabbers are short topicrelevant activities that increase participants’ motivation to think and learn about a new topic. Example: Having participants share in dyads the  Involving the Group in Interactive answers to several sentence stems Participation – emphasizes abstract related to the workshop topic. An conceptualization and active example of a sentence stem related to a experimentation; corresponds to the workshop on self-esteem might be: “I needs of common sense learners. feel best about myself when...” participants in imagining scenarios related to the workshop topic. Participants are asked to relax and close their eyes, and the facilitator verbally encourages them to imagine different scenes and experiences. Example: In a career decision making workshop, participants are asked to imagine a day  Planning for Future Application – Stimulus Role-Plays are pre-planned role in the future. The facilitator guides encourages active experimentation -plays structured by facilitators and participants through different parts of and concrete experience; presented to workshop participants that the day related to work and personal corresponds to the needs of dynamic are meant to stimulate thinking about a life. learners. topic and provide a relevant example to reflect upon. Example: At the beginning INFORMING GROUP ACTIVITIES ENGAGING GROUP ACTIVITIES of a workshop about sexual orientation, The second stage of group facilitation is The first stage of group facilitation is facilitators role-play a discussion to provide informationthat will help the welcoming and inviting members into a between a gay or lesbian person and a group achieve its goals. Informing group. Engaging skills encourage co-worker who asks questions about facilitation skills manage the flow of individuals to feel included and valued their personal life assuming that they information inside the group. within the group context. Engaging skills are heterosexual. Informing skills add knowledge to help start by affirming what members Gallery Exercises are used to prompt participants expand their awareness. already know. Engaging skills are often reflection on a workshop topic. Pictures Informing skills can provide outside used at the beginning of a group or related to the workshop theme are information in the form of theories, when a new topic is introduced. displayed and participants are asked to data, and facts, or can inform the group Engaging group members in active respond to the images. Example: In an about itself or inform members about learning helps members accomplish alcohol awareness workshop, images of themselves. Informing the group with these three learning tasks: alcohol from the media and advertising relevant knowledge often involves  Reflecting on personal experience. are displayed in order to highlight how helping members accomplish these we are taught to think about alcohol. three learning tasks:  Preparing for active participation Participants are asked to write their and learning.  Assimilating new information. responses on Post-It notes next to the  Conceptualizing one’s own  Recognizing an appropriate group pictures. experience with new knowledge. role for oneself. Guided Fantasies are used to assist  Teaching what you already know to Dalene Mactier © 2013
  9. 9. support group learning. Lecturettes are used to provide factual content information about the workshop topic. Example: In a stress management workshop, the facilitator provides factual information about the physiological effects of anxiety. Group Surveys are a way to provide participants with topic relevant information about the group itself. Example: In a sexual assault prevention workshop, participants’ attitudes are surveyed using a brief instrument, results are tallied and feedback is given to the audience highlighting gender differences in attitudes.Group Surveys are a way to provide participants with topic relevant information about the group itself. Example: In a sexual assault prevention workshop, participants’ attitudes are surveyed using a brief instrument, results are tallied and feedback is given to the audience highlighting gender differences in attitudes. Questionnaires and instruments allow participants to gain new knowledge about themselves. Example: In a staff development workshop, the MyersBriggs Type Indicator is used to explore personality type and how it impacts the work setting. incidents involving hazing and alcohol use are used to promote discussion. Movement and sorting exercises have people move to different areas of a room to increase awareness of individual differences and encourage reflection on previous experiences related to the workshop topic. Example: In a multicultural workshop, members of different oppressed groups are asked to move to another side of the room. Handouts are concise, written summaries of material related to the workshop topic. Example: A summary of Simulations are used to present realistic situations so that participants can topic-relevant facts and statistics are practice using knowledge related to the presented during a workshop. workshop topic. Example: In a INVOLVING GROUP ACTIVITIES leadership workshop, participants are asked to play the roles of members of a The third stage of group facilitation encourages interaction and participation selection committee and make decisions about fictitious applicants. that results in active learning and productivity. Involving facilitation skills create an opportunity for active experimentation and allow the group to put new knowledge to practical use. Involving skills provide an opportunity for group members to practice and involve themselves in new behaviors, skills, and knowledge. A group should provide a safe environment to try out new things in preparation for applying them outside in the “real world.” Involving skills are often paired with Modeling role-plays are used to informing skills so that new knowledge demonstrate effective behaviour related can be put to practical use. Involving the to the workshop topic. Example: In an group in interactive participation helps assertiveness workshop, facilitators members accomplish these three demonstrate assertive behavior. learning tasks:  Experimenting with new knowledge Case studies are accounts of actual and behavior events related to workshop topics that  Practicing skills to improve are used to prompt exploration performance. discussion. Example: In a fraternity leadership workshop, reports of Interacting with others to support Demonstrations allow a facilitator to demonstrate a new behavior or skill so that participants can learn by observation. Example: In a cooking workshop, the facilitator shows the participants how to melt sugar without burning it. participatory learning Practice role-plays are used to practice new behavior related to the workshop topic. Example: In a social skills workshop, participants are encouraged to practice different ways of meeting new people. Worksheets require participants to use knowledge in a written format. Example: In a time management workshop, participants complete a weekly schedule in order to learn how to budget their time. Structured discussions provide an organized way for participants to share their ideas in an interactive manner. Example: Participants are asked a series of questions that progressively lead from information to practical application. Art work is used to allow workshop participants to creatively access and express their ideas and experiences related to a workshop topic. Example: In a family dynamics workshop, participants are asked to draw a picture of their family. They can represent their family either realistically or symbolically including relationships and dynamics Dalene Mactier © 2013
  10. 10. with the use of different colors and shapes. Scenarios are exemplary situations that provide specific examples with stimulus questions and are used to activate learning in structured discussions. Example: As a part of a sexual assault prevention workshop, a scenario of two college students on a date is presented. As different stages of the date are described, participants are asked stimulus questions related to communication, decision making, and consent. allow for “real” practice to occur that is not role-playing. However, it is possible to plan for personal practice and anticipate future opportunities for practice. Example: In a couples’ communication workshop, spouses practice problem-solving with one another using skills learned in the workshop. Skits are short dramatic presentations that demonstrate or exemplify lessons related to workshop content. Example: In a learning styles workshop, a scene from the Wizard of Oz is enacted to represent the way that different individuals have different needs. Action plans offer participants the opportunity to contract with each other and the facilitators to take knowledge gained in the workshop and apply it to their outside lives. Example: In a time management workshop, participants make plans to complete a project such as PLANNING GROUP ACTIVITIES a research paper that is actually due in one of their classes. They use techniques The final stage of group facilitation learned in the workshop and set small focuses on planning and involves realistic goals recording these goals on a considering multiple possibilities, making calendar provided in workshop good choices, and creating specific plans handouts. for the future. Planning ensures that a group’s energy and impact does not Goal setting involves stating specific, dissolve as soon as the group adjourns. measurable goals and dates when those Planning skills are often used at the conclusion of a workshop or when the focus of the group is about to shift from one topic to another. Planning skills allow learners to complete a learning cycle and “take the group with them.” Planning for future application often involves helping group members accomplish these three learning tasks:  Setting goals based on group learning.  Planning for specific personal action.  Applying lessons from the group to other contexts. Personal practice of skills provides an opportunity for participants to incorporate knowledge from the workshop into their own personal behaviors. Most workshops will not goals are expected to be accomplished. This specificity increases the likelihood that application will occur. Example: In a job search workshop, participants will set goals for when they will write their resume and how many jobs they will apply for each week. Brainstorming solutions can be used as a way for the group to cooperate in identifying possible solutions to an individual or collective difficulty. Example: In a social skills workshop, participants are asked to brainstorm places where they can meet new people and apply the skills they have learned in the workshop. workshop after they leave. Example: After a relaxation workshop, participants are asked to use techniques they have learned when experiencing anxiety. Adapted from Chapter five of Workshops: Designing and Facilitating Experiential Learning by Jeff E. BrooksHarris & Susan R. Stock-Ward (1999). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think-rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. Bill Beattie Homework can be used to provide participants the opportunity to apply knowledge they have learned from the Dalene Mactier © 2013
  11. 11. Some icebreakers to get you started Truths and Lies: Have participants lowest price of an everyday commodity share 3 things about themselves - 2 true that you can remember from childhood. and 1 lie, others guess what the lie is. Eg. I can remember buying iceblocks for 22 cents when I was 12 years old. Icebreaker bingo: Have a handout made up with the same 10 or so Good or New: Ask each person to share statements for each participant. The something good or new they have object is for learners to ask other experienced in the last 24 hours. participants if they fit with one of the Getting to know each other: Questions statements. If they do, write the to learn more about each other – persons name by the statement. If they  What is your favourite time of day? do not move onto the next person. Statements might include: I have 3 children, I have been at Playcentre for 6 years, I enjoy yoga, I am vegetarian, I love animals etc. The winner is the person with the most statements named. This is a good one for relating to your topic.  What are you good at?  What would you do with a great amount of money?  What is your favourite food?  What was your position in your family? How did it effect  you? Burning Questions: The facilitator asks  How long did it take you to get here? participants to answer a question  Share an early childhood memory? designed as a lead-in to the topic  How did you get your name? material or to help raise issues that will  What did you do in the last half an need to be given priority. Examples: hour before leaving for  this meeting?  What is your opinion of [the relevant  Share two things that make you topic]? smile.  What one or two “burning  How do you peg out your washing? questions” do you hope will be About Playcentre: Say something that addressed in this session [course, you like about Playcentre. workshop]? Interviewing: Ask the students to pair up and interview each other. The students will then report on what they discovered about each other. Patterns: Take turns in pairs to make a pattern on paper without speaking. Memory Lane: Since students are so diverse in age as well as other things, such as ethnicity, it is good to close or expose the generation gaps that might exist. Ask the students to list two major world events that they can remember. Another idea here could be to share the Intellectual challenge: Brain teasers and rebus puzzles. Introduce yourself: Introduce self and why you are here in pairs to your neighbour or in the groups when the ball is thrown to you. Coin dates: Have a small bag of coins with a range of dates. Ask each participant to take a coin and share what they were doing the year of their coin.  Cross body touching: elbow to opposite knee.  Tap head and rub stomach simultaneously, then swap movements  In pairs, one person moves forward while the other taps them with the fingertips – from the top of their head down their back Forming a continuum: Form a continuum on a chosen subject. Lining up: Get into alphabetical order of middle name or according to date of birth. Getting active: Activities to get the group moving –  Have the group stand up and jump.  Do star jumps. Dalene Mactier © 2013