Sunday, September 15, 2013

PeopleKeys (Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook)

We were recently given the opportunity to use a resource from PeopleKeys , the Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook. This is a part of the Student Keys Binder package, which includes this workbook, along with 5 others. The purpose of these workbooks is to help students (and adults) identify strengths and weaknesses in their preferences in personality, thinking, learning, and values, and more (You can read more about the complete Binder at the PeopleKeys website, as well as clicking through to the TOS Reviews from the banner at the end of this post).

Because I have two children who fall into the right age range, we decided to go through the workbook together, and just use notebook paper to answer the questions that help to pinpoint their dominant style of thinking (We didn't copy any pages, as they are copyrighted). I decided to answer the questions as well, just out of curiosity.

The booklet starts with a series of descriptions. There are 4 possibilities per line, which must be labeled as "most like" to "least like" your feelings or thinking process. When you have completed assigning the 32 descriptions a number, the columns are added up, and you will be able to discover your dominant thinking style~ whether you are:

  • Literal
  • Intuitive
  • Theoretical
  • Experiential

Once those determinations are made, you can "Chart" your thinking styles, and then read on the next few pages information that will help you to identify and work with your specific strengths and weaknesses.

We charted our family's scores (minus youngest) in different colors. it was very interesting to see where each person fell on the chart.

Eldest had the most definite trait that was least like her (she scored 12 on Experiential), however, this was her brother's dominant trait. She was fairly well pegged as a Literal Theoretical, and I was fairly close to that, as is her father.

As we were reading through some of the descriptions, characteristics, and strengths of the various types, my daughter and I were struck with the thought that we were reading about her BFF's dominant thinking style (Which is the opposite of her own). We decided to ask she and her mom the same set of questions, and sure enough, we had her pegged. It was very interesting however, that I didn't have a definitive feeling about her mom, whose answers ended up putting her even more highly in the same category as her daughter as an intuitive thinker.

This was a "fun" exercise, but the workbook goes further than that. There are lists that identify where your thinking style excels, what you might have difficulties with, and how you work in a group. There are also some learning strategies that may help you to capitalize on your thinking style strengths.

The last two pages are a "Wrap up" filled with questions that might help your student really examine the information received through the workbook, and relate it to his or herself. For instance, one questions asks the student to identify their strengths in a group project as well as noting where their individual thinking might be limited, among others.

Not So Nutty Nitty Gritty 
I think the Cognitive Thinking Style Workbook is an entertaining AND interesting tool to help your student get to know his or herself better. While my eldest really didn't enjoy answering the questions and had a hard time with them(which actually jives with her thinking style, so I wasn't surprised), when she was finished she enjoyed hearing some concrete concepts that helped to explain why she thinks the way she does.

Beyond the educational tips and strategies, I also feel that learning about the other thinking styles can help us to be more considerate and compassionate towards those who don't think the same way. God created each of us with our own unique way of seeing, thinking, and learning, and if we have a better handle on some of the differences, we can focus on each other's strengths, and help to minimize the weaknesses.
Please click the banner below to visit the TOS Review Crew and see what others had to say about this workbook, as well as others, including the complete student keys binder. As always, I hope that this review was useful to you as you choose where best to spend your homeschool budget.


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