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Teaching Around the 4MAT® Cycle

Teaching Around the 4MAT® Cycle
Designing Instruction for Diverse Learners with Diverse Learning Styles

Foreword by Gordon Cawelti

February 2006 | 120 pages | Corwin
'4MAT has transformed my teachers from adequate to outstanding' - Robin Kvalo, Principal, Rusch Elementary School, Portage, WI

'Principals and teachers have continually requested 4MAT training as the 'basic core' of knowledge for teachers in our 80,000-student district. We have trained literally hundreds of teachers over the past ten years to 'teach around the 4MAT wheel' and meet the learning needs of all their students' - Patricia Shelton, Director of Certification and Professional Development, Brevard County Schools, FL

'All children have intelligence. We have asked the wrong question. We ask 'How much?' We must ask 'What kind?' - Mary Meeker, Former Member, Board of Directors, National Association for Gifted Children

Learning styles are linked to preferences in the ways people perceive and process experience. Bernice McCarthy's unique 4MAT® cycle is a brain-based teaching method that emphasizes diverse learning styles, honors learner individuality, teaches concepts as well as facts, and improves student thinking and performance on traditional as well as high-stakes assessments.

With 25+ years of field testing and field use supporting its effectiveness, the 4MAT® method uses a 4-quadrant cycle of learning that begins by engaging learners through direct experience, moving them toward:

• Reflective observation

• Abstract conceptualizing

• Active experimentation and problem-solving

• Integration of new knowledge and skills

Foreword by Gordon Cawelti
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Learning Styles
A Cycle of Learning

How Perceiving Defines Us as Learners

How Processing Defines Us as Learners

The Processing Dimension and John Dewey

Perceiving and Processing Style

Type One Learners: Why?

Type Two Learners: What?

Type Three Learners: How Does This Work?

Type Four Learners: What If?

Putting It All Together

Chapter 2: A Cycle of Learning
First We Experience

Then We Reflect

Then We Conceptualize

Then We Act

Finally We Integrate

The Cycle Begins and Ends with the Individual

Any Successfully Completed Cycle Will Flow to Reflection on Itself

The Cycle Is a Consummate Design for Curriculum

The Cycle Encompasses Important Assessment Benchmarks

The Cycle is a Showplace for Different Styles at Different Places

Think About Yourself

Other Ways to Look at the Quadrants

Chapter 3: Teaching Around the Cycle
Quadrant One: Answering the “Why?” Question

Quadrant Two: Answering the “What?” Question

Quadrant Three: Answering the “How?” Question

Quadrant Four: Answering the “If?” Question

Plot Your Quadrant Teaching Score

Chapter 4: The Brain-Mind Learning System
Left- and Right-Mode Processing

The Brain Research

Left and Right: The Two Hemisphere Continuum





Student Learning Strategy Preferences

Teaching Strategies That Favor the Right Mode

A Bushel Basket of Right Mode Activities

Graphic Organizers

Chapter 5: Overlaying Right- and Left-Mode to Complete the 4MAT Cycle








All Real Learning Leaves Us Changed

Chapter 6: Teaching From Concepts
Working With Concepts

Different Teachers, Different Concepts

Concepts and Standards

4MAT in Action

Chapter 7: The 4MAT Design Overlay (Lesson Planning)
The Information Delivery

The Skills Practice

The Intended Outcomes

The Connection

Sharing the Connection

The Learning Used

Critiquing the Work

The Image That Connects

Adding the Assessments

Your 4MAT Plan: A Final Look


"As a parent and a teacher, I would truly love to see all  teachers teach with the depth and intention that fully understanding the 4MAT Cycle instills...this book is different because it is not a "theory" book. It is more of a "how to" book...A holistic, step-by-step framework for addressing the diversity of learners is presented rather than a few helpful strategies to try."

Julia Koble
Minot High School

"4MAT has transformed my teachers from adequate to outstanding and made them different educators...knowledge of the 4MATmodel keeps my teachers searching for a variety of lesson approaches around a concept that will enable all our students to learn and achieve."

Robin Kvalo
Principal, Rusch Elementary, Portage, WI

"Principals and teachers have continually requested 4MAT training as the 'basic core' of knowledge for teacher in our 80,000-student district. We have trained literally hundreds of teachers over the past ten years to 'teach around the 4MAT wheel' and meet the learning needs of all their students."

Patricia Shelton
Director of Certicfication and Professional Development, Brevard County Schools, FL

"I have worked with teachers using 4MAT while serving as a high school principal and I have personally utilized the planning tools as a staff developer and superintendent...teachers are energized by the training and find it to be an invaluable tool for planning instruction as well as a powerful way to think about learning."

Fred Morton
Superintendent, Montgomery County Public Schools, Christianberg, VA

"The 4MAT system has had a positive impact in several schools througout Illinois ranging from rural to urban, impoverished to affluent. It is a proven model for improving instruction, and the leadership component has enabled formal and informal leaders to create a culture of success."

Max McGee
School Superintendent, Wilmette District 39, IL

"Through 4MAT, teachers are able to meet the needs of individual learners, address hemisphericity, and successfully engage students in the learning process."

J. Kay Giles
School Superintendent, Prarie Hills ESD 144, IL

Sample Materials & Chapters



Chapter 1

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781412925303