A 4MAT for Teaching

4MAT gives teachers and trainers a template for designing more effective instruction.

It is built around four key types of learning—four modes of learning that all learners need to succeed in learning. By designing instruction around these core skills, instructors engage a wider diversity of students and, in the process, develop a full range of learning skills in all learners.


The 4MAT® Model explains learning in terms of the ways people perceive and process information.


Human perception–the ways people take in new information–occurs in an infinite variety of ways, all of which range between experience and conceptualization.

Experience–Perception by personal engagement–sensations, emotions, physical memories; the immediate; the self. Being in it.

Conceptualization–The translation of experience in conceptual forms–ideas, language, hierarchies, naming systems. An abstract approach to learning. Being apart from it.

The interplay between the “feeling” of experience and the “thinking” of conceptualization is crucial to the learning process. It connects the personal values and perceptions of students to those of expert learners.



Human processing–what people do with new information–occurs in an infinite variety of ways, all of which range between reflection and action.

Reflection–Transforming knowledge by structuring, ordering, intellectualizing.

Action–Applying ideas to the external world; testing, doing, manipulating.

The interplay between the “watching” of reflection and the “doing” of action is crucial as it provides the impetus for acting on internal ideas. It encourages the learner to test ideas in the real world and adapt what they learn to multiple and ambiguous situations.

Learning Styles

Together, perceiving and processing describe the whole range of the learning experience. While all learners engage in all types of learning, most seem to favor one particular type…

Type Four

Dynamic Learning–Doing and feeling. Seeking hidden possibilities, exploring, learning by trial and error, self-discovery.

Creating original adaptations. Key question: If?

Type One

Imaginative Learning–Feeling and watching, seeking personal associations, meaning, involvement.

Making connections. Key question: Why?

Type Three

Common Sense Learning–Thinking and doing. Experimenting, building, creating usability. Tinkering.

Applying ideas. Key question: How?

Type Two

Analytic Learning–Listening to and thinking about information; seeking facts, thinking through ideas; learning what the experts think.

Formulating ideas. Key question: What?

Right/Left Brain

Right Left Brain

Right and Left Mode Processing

We know, too, that learning entails interaction between the right and left brain.

Left – Operates best through structure, sequence. Prefers language, is sequential, examines the elements, has number sense. Works to analyze or break down information.

Right – Operates out of being, comprehends images, seeks patterns, creates metaphors, is simultaneous. Strives to synthesize, consolidate information.
The interplay between right and left is crucial to higher learning and thinking. It provides a greater range and depth of understanding and encourages creative expression and problem solving.

4MAT Cycle

The Complete 4MAT System Model

Our instructional design model reflects the importance of these influences.
This is the 4MAT Model for instructional development. It entails the use of right and left-brain strategies within four distinct phases of the learning cycle…

  • Experiencing
  • Conceptualizing
  • Applying
  • Creating

As an instructional design tool, 4MAT provides a systematic way to ensure thinking and learning for all learners.
As a staff development tool, it offers a clear, sequential path for in-house training programs.
As a system design, it provides an integrated system of training for instruction, staff development, curriculum mapping and assessment.

Delivery by 4MAT
Each concept is delivered using The 4MAT Process (engage, inform, practice, creative use of material learned). This ia natural process of learning Algebra that honors all types of learners.



Every concept begins with student's own experiences and ends in adaptation of learning.


Download a Sample Chapter

Click here to download or receive by mail a sample chapter from the teacher's guide. The concept is "Luck".