Ultimate Guide to 4MAT Learning Cycle Model

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In this blog, you will learn about the 4MAT learning cycle and Delivering instruction that everyone can understand easily.


Introduction to 4MAT Learning Cycle Model

Ultimate Guide to 4MAT Learning Cycle Model

The 4MAT gaining knowledge of the cycle was invented by Bernice McCarthy in 1980. 4MAT model gives teachers and trainers a systematic way to train all learners to think and learn well.

It also offers a method for creating an environment for continuous learning and development. It is embracing and flexible.

Inclusive as it takes into account the many different ways that people learn. These guide outlines are flexible enough that the facilitator can choose their way to facilitate the learning event.

It is a structure for developing a dynamic and greater worried fashion of coaching through as it should be counted on the studying procedure that every learner is going through.

While traditional instruction may focus totally on facts and knowledge. The teacher’s roles will completely change as they move through the 4MAT Learning Cycle.

They are more effective in the first two quadrants of learning as the goal is to engage students But the learner takes over within the last two quadrants, where they need to apply learning in real-life situations or contexts. 


It is based on four major theories which are as follows:- 

  1. Kurt Lewin’s experiential Learning Model where experience is connected to new learning to validate and test abstract concepts.
  2. David Kolb’s experiential learning and his style research.
  3. John Dewey’s emphasis on learner experience and concept integration through action.
  4. Robert Kegan’s movement from subject to object, from connecting experience to analyzing experience, as the key to cognitive growth. 

All these models have founded on the premise that learning is a continuous process of growth and change that is grounded in inexperience. 

4mat is about the interplay in how people perceive and how they process what they perceive. There are two ways of perceiving and the overlay of these two dimensions is the foundation of the 4MAT learning cycle.

  1. Experiencing:- Here you sense things, being alive to what’s happening, emotionally captured by the moment, feeling the learning through the experience.
  2. Conceptualizing:- Translating experiencing conceptual forms into language, Ideas, systems, and an abstract approach to learning, trying to figure out what’s happening and naming it. 

We process by reflecting on these experiences, acting on what we learn from them. 

4MAT Learning styles

David Kolb in 1984 found that the four combinations of perceiving and processing determine the four different learning styles.

Type One Learners:- Imaginative learner

In a new learning situation, Type One learners will rely on their intuition and gut when deciding on the relevance of new. They will take time to think things through before acting.

They start with what they see, then they generalize and Prefer to take in information from a “feeling” perspective and make sense of it.

  •  Their main focus question is “why?”.
  •  Model themselves on people they expect.
  •  Learn through communication with different people.
  •  Strengths are innovating and imaging.
  •  Become involved in learning by listening and sharing ideas.

Type Two Learners:- Analytical learner

Type Two learners will rely on external data and knowledge when deciding on the relevance of information.

They start with an idea, then they reflect on it, watching it, and take different shapes. They will make sense of new information by reflecting and thinking things through before trying out new approaches.

In a new learning situation

  • Their favourite question is “what?”.
  • More interested in ideas and concepts than people.
  • Enjoy debating the issues.
  • They engage intellectually with ideas.
  • And They will re-examine facts if the situation surprises them.
  • They need to know what the expert thinks.

Type Three Learners:- Pragmatists learner

They start with an idea and then experiment and test it to see if it is working or not. Prefer to take in information from a “thinking” perspective and make sense of it by doing. 

  • They need to know how things work.
  • Their foremost question: “How? ”
  • Seek usability and like to test theories.
  • Enjoy solving problems.
  • They need to know how things they learn can help in ”real life”
  • They need hands-on experience

Type Four Learners:- Activists

Type Four learners will rely on intuition and their sense of what will work. They start with whatever they see, hear, touch, feel. Then they plunge in and try it out in action.

They will try different approaches to determine the usefulness of the information being learned.

  • Their main focus question is “what if?”
  • Learn to trial and blunders out and self-discovery
  • Excel in a scenario calling for flexibility. 
  • The strength is to take action and carry out plans.
  • Adaptable to change and like to take risks.
  • Often reach perfect conclusions in the absence of logical justification.

Right and Left Mode

  • Learning involves interaction between the right and left hemispheres of the brain. The ability to hold two major brain functions in balance in all teaching.
  • The balance of the Right Mode Operates out of being, comprehends Imaging and intuiting, seeks patterns, creates metaphors, is simultaneous. Strives to synthesize, consolidate information synthesizing. 
  • Two important books give prestigious credence to the notion of right- and left-mode functioning.
  • Daniel Kahneman describes these complementary functions as “fast and slow thinking”, and Chip and Dan Heath metaphorize the description as “an emotional elephant with a deliberate, analytic rider atop”. Balance strategies that require students to use both of their brain functions. 
  • Overlay of Both Right and Left Functions The 4MAT design alternates the synthesizing right mode and the analyzing left mode throughout the 4MAT Quadrants to assure balance and interaction. 

4MAT Learning Cycle Model

Ultimate Guide to 4MAT Learning Cycle Model

Quadrant 1:- Why?

In this quadrant, something happens and your attention is gained. In this, you ask the question “Why? ” Why ought I take note of this? Why is it important? Meaningful? 

In quadrant one, the first phase of the learning cycle, the goal is to connect. During this quadrant, your complete focus as a facilitator is on winning the attention of your learners and engaging their interest in the subject. 

In this quadrant, you are seeking to help them understand the real value of what you’re saying, and get the learners to think about how you’re saying fits in with and enhances his or her existing experience.

Learners concerning their non-public thoughts and ideals to the idea being taught.

1. Connect (Right mode)

In this mode establish the relationship between your group and the content connecting to their lives, not telling them how it connects but having something happen in the group that will bring them to create the connection.   

2. Attend (left mode)

In this mode have your group analyze what just happened, have them attend to their own experience, and the perception of their fellow group members.

Quadrant 2:- What?

In quadrant two, you seek out expert thinking. In this, you ask the question, “What? ” What ought to I understand approximately? And What do the specialists have to say? What statistics exist?

You build learner’s knowledge and encourage them to find out facts. In doing this you help learners make you watch, reflect, and think about this new information. 

This all helps to build a good base of the subject. The goal of learning is to inform, to present facts in a systematic and organized form. 

1. Image (Right mode)

Encourage the group to picture the concept as they understand it, have experienced it before you take them to the experts.

2. Inform (Left mode)

Now they may be equipped for receiving and inspecting professional knowledge. Inform them about expert theories and knowledge.

Quadrant 3:- How?

In quadrant three you move into action. You practice. You explore the question, “How?” How is it useful? And How will I apply it? How does it work?

During this quadrant, you train the realistic talents that come from the concept and inspire newcomers to check their knowledge of the material.  

This way learners confirm and refine their understanding, and apply and generalize the information they’ve learned. The goal is to help learners to test theories and ideas and apply them to the practical world.

1. Practice (Left mode)

Stay first with the left mode. In this group practice, learning as the expert has found it.

2. Extend (Right mode)

This is the stage where innovation begins. Group understands sufficient, have sufficient abilities to start gambling with the content, the abilities, the materials, the ideas, the parts, the details, the data, and the big picture, to make something of this learning for themselves, to be interpretive.  

Quadrant 4:- If

In the last quadrant four, you encourage learners to extend creatively their use of the skills you’ve taught. This gives practice in new skills and helps them reinforce.  

During this quadrant, you assess the results of your action and adjust. In this, you ask the question, “If? ” If I do this then what will be the new results generated?

If I am to achieve success in making use of this, what variations will I make for my real-international environment? 

1. Refine (Left mode)

In this also stay first with the left mode again. The group has proposed an extension of the learning into their lives.  

 2. Perform (Right mode)

At last, have your students perform, Here the content takes a new shape, as it is formed through the group. Look for originality, relevance, new questions, and connections to larger ideas, immediately useful skills.

4MAT Facilitator Style’s

Type-1 Facilitators

  • Encourage their students to be authentic.
  • Belief reflection is the main method for raising self-awareness.
  • See knowledge as the basis for achieving good potential.
  • They are aware of social issues that affect human development.
  • Involve their students in discussions and group projects.

Type-2 Facilitators

  • Try to help their students be knowledgeable.
  • See knowledge as the basis for achieving the target.
  • Are interested in transmitting the best knowledge.
  • Are up to date on the expert knowledge in their content areas.
  • Involve their students in lectures, note-taking, and readings.

Type-3 Facilitators

  • Believe their students should approach problems scientifically.
  • See knowledge to enable learners to make their unique way in the world.
  • Excel in the technical aspects of their field.
  • Are interested in helping their students achieve high skills competence.
  • Involve their students in problem-solving, and hands-on activities.

Type-4 Facilitators

  • Help their students with their dreams.
  • They Involve their students in many out of school activities.
  • They see community needs as learning opportunities.
  • Are inquisitive about allowing beginners to search for possibilities. 
  • See knowledge as important to bringing out change. 


The 4MAT learning cycle describes the learning activity itself.

The cycle is creating the connecting experience, encouraging discussion and sharing of perceptions requiring imaging of the concept, informing with the best and most current knowledge, structuring the practice with different options, and providing multiple strategies for extending learning into student lives.

If teachers understand the cycle perfectly, they can take it. It helps both teachers and students to teach and to learn in a structured form and it provides an easy and effective way of teaching and learning.

Also you can read our blog on Top 50 Personal Morale Booster


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