Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Curriculum Resource: MBTI Website for Teens/Tweens

One of my more popular posts of 2010 was the one I wrote about how I was teaching a class of middle schoolers and teens about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the leading personality assessment instrument being used today.  I used four experiential exercises to help them understand the four preference continuums on which the MBTI score is based, then had them place themselves where they thought they belonged on each of the scales.  We then tested their self-assessments by taking questionnaires that gave them their MBTI scores.  The students seemed to really enjoy the exercises, and the discussions they generated gave them some great insight not only into themselves, but into their families and friends.

I still advocate that kind of approach for teens and tweens--that is, having them get an experience of the dichotomies of the MBTI scores before getting into their scores and what those are supposed to mean.  That is why I like to teach MBTI in a group, because we are more like to have great examples of both ends of each continuum, which helps personalize it and have it make more sense to the kids (and, really, to most adults as well).

However, if you are working on MBTI with your children and/or students, I recently found a website that I think is helpful.  It is called Typecan, and it was developed by high school and college students (working with adult "mentors") under the auspices of the Center for the Application of Psychological Type, one of the premier organizations offering training and resources on Myers-Briggs.  It is geared to presenting MBTI information in a "teen-friendly" way and helping students to apply it to the situations that they are facing--school stress, teenage relationships, and trying to decide about colleges and careers.

It is really a little more geared to the high school or even college student than middle schoolers, but it could be used with the tween crowd as well.  It's not the best about explaining the 16 MBTI types, so I would cover that first by a class, assessment test, or other basic MBTI website.  But it is the best site I've found so far in showing how understanding MBTI can help students navigate the educational, relationship, and career challenges that occur at this age.

If anyone else has found good resources for working with Myers-Briggs with middle or high schoolers, please add them to the comments below.

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