The 4MAT curriculum development model allows a teacher to create a program that is engaging to a variety of different:
  • Learning styles
  • Intelligences
  • Personality types

The four learning styles are integrated into a cyclical approach which begins by asking the students to participate in WHY activities. This provides concrete motivation in an innovative way to create interaction and discussion on what is felt, and seen.

Type One - Why?
  • Brainstorming
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Interacting
  • Knowing Oneself
  • Understanding and Appreciating Others

The process then continues by having the students enter into WHAT activities. These provide for reflective observation - watching and thinking - in order to think through the concepts and formulate them in an analytical way.

Type Two - What?
  • Observing
  • Analyzing
  • Classifying
  • Seriating
  • Drawing Conclusions
  • Theorizing
  • Seeing Patterns And
  • Connections
  • Conceptualizing The Sense Of The Whole

The next stage is the abstract conceptualization stage, answering HOW. By thinking, giving facts, and trying by doing, students can integrate common sense with underlying reasons and, with hands-on activities, move closer to personalized knowledge which can be useful later in life.

Type Three - How?
  • Experimenting
  • Manipulating Materials and Ideas
  • Following Directions
  • Building On Givens
  • Making Things Work
  • Testing Reality
  • Tinkering
  • Improving
  • Trying and Failing
  • Applying

This leads to the fourth stage, the active experimentation stage, in which students sense concrete reality. In a process of self-discovery, they answer the question IF and basically teach themselves and others. Here, the students adapt and share what they have learned.

Type Four - If?
  • Modifying
  • Shifting
  • Adapting
  • Risking
  • Intuiting
  • Acting
  • Collaborating
  • Innovating
  • Creating

ERIC Database Abstract on 4MAT