MMTIC® at Combs Elementary l Lessons Learned

Since 2018, the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Center for Applications of Psychological Type (CAPT) and the Myers & Briggs Foundation, and A.B. Combs Leadership Magnet Elementary School (Combs) have engaged in a research-practice partnership to create a new model for application of the MMTIC® instrument (Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children®) to improve instruction and student’s social, emotional and academic decision-making in public schools in Wake County, North Carolina. To learn more about the MMTIC® Initiative at Combs, visit our website here.

This brief highlights lessons learned from MMTIC® Initiative at Combs during the 2020-21 school year, based on the information found in this Year 3 Summative Brief. The research team has identified three main lessons learned from year three. These lessons, detailed below, may be helpful to other implementation sites.

Lesson 1: Remote learning provides options for levels of engagement across the spectrum of dichotomies, which can continue post-pandemic

Although many classrooms are going back to in-person learning in the fall 2021 semester, there are several engagement strategies from remote learning that may be beneficial to continue postpandemic to provide opportunities across the spectrum of preference dichotomies. Examples include incorporating Flipgrid and slide activities and offering computer-based options (i.e., type into the chat, use the raise your hand feature before sharing out loud). In addition, providing a way for parents to join parent sessions virtually allows parents to manage multiple family responsibilities while remaining active in school life.

Lesson #2: When implementing type in a remote or hybrid setting, it’s important to be comfortable with the uncomfortable

Even with their extensive background regarding type, at times, implementing in a remote or hybrid environment felt “awkward” for Combs teachers as opposed to their traditional in-person classrooms. In those moments, it was important for Combs teachers to lean into that discomfort because that’s where growth occurred. This lesson can put new implementation sites at ease; even veteran MMTIC® implementers have to adapt to new modalities. Moreover, learning how to implement MMTIC® in a school community is an ongoing process that requires continuous iteration and improvement.

Lesson #3: A school-wide understanding of type and operational support is necessary for future implementations

As mentioned previously in the findings section, the Combs community has bought into the relevance of MMTIC®. This buy-in has been shepherded by their school leadership and has permeated throughout their staff. Administrators and teachers both believe that employing MMTIC® can make a positive difference in their students’ lives, and this top-down buy-in promotes MMTIC® continuity. Extending these findings to other contexts, future sites should consider beginning their implementation by establishing buy-in about the relevance of MMTIC®. One practical way to establish buy-in is to develop a school-wide understanding of type.

In addition, data also underscore Combs’ strong culture for integrating initiatives into their mission. By embedding MMTIC® into how they function, Combs has lessened the possibility that MMTIC® will be considered an “add-on” for teachers. When applying this finding to broader audiences, it is key to recognize that all schools do not have the optimal environment or skills to begin integrating MMTIC® into their daily work. Although findings indicate that third party operational support was desired by Combs, for these schools lacking integration prowess, this type of support will be even more critical.

Thus, it is advisable for future sites to consider partnering with third-party professional development trainers and consultants that can help them integrate MMTIC® into their lessons. The inherent caution here is that such assistance, while advantageous, can also be costly. Administrators, in particular, noted funding concerns for themselves and future sites interested in implementing this work.

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