On the Outs: Learning Styles, Resistance to Change, and Teacher Retention

Aug. 28, 2009

Source: Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(3). (2009).
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined the relationship between learning style, level of resistance to change, and teacher retention in schools implementing an intensive schoolwide technology and media integration model.

Research Questions

This study addressed three subquestions:
What are IMPACT teachers' learning style preferences?

Do teachers with different learning styles differ in terms of their resistance to change, as measured by the way they perform on a self-report instrument measuring perceptions of change?

Do teachers with different learning styles differ in terms of the rates at which they remain at schools undergoing systemic change?


The population involved in this study included 237 elementary and middle school teachers from 11 Title-I (low-income) schools in North Carolina . These teachers represented a range of ages and levels of experience, with proportionally more teachers in these schools reporting that they were over 50 and having more than 15 years of experience.


Researchers found that teachers with ST (sensing-thinking) and SF (sensing-feeling) learning style preferences, as described by the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, had higher levels of resistance to change. Teachers with the ST learning style were also three times more likely to leave their schools, compared to teachers with other learning style preferences.


Implications for policy and practice are discussed.
In particular, teachers with the ST learning style preference may require additional support to enable them to adapt to changes within the dynamic environment of a school undergoing an intensive technology reform effort.

Updated: Jun. 13, 2010