Belbin GetSet and Learning Styles

Victoria Bird, Head of R&D


As a teacher, you know how challenging it is to cater to all learning styles in your classroom.


When it comes to taking in, understanding and retaining new information, we’re all different. Some students take copious notes and read widely. Others are visual learners, using charts, diagrams and images to access and process new information. Others still are practical and need to gain hands-on experience exploring something and taking it to pieces to see how it works.

But it’s not that simple. We know that cognitive, emotional and environmental factors have their part to play too.


That’s where Belbin comes in.


As a result of extensive research which was conducted in the 1970s – and has been refined ever since – Dr Meredith Belbin identified nine ways of behaving, contributing and relating to others, which he called Belbin Team Roles.


Belbin Team Roles are found in the classroom as well as the workplace – in short, they crop up anywhere where people are making contributions and relating to one another.


The language of Belbin Team Roles can give teachers and parents a practical handle on the kind of behaviours which can influence learning.


For example, in Belbin terms, someone who demonstrates Plant behaviours – a creative individual who is able to come up with ideas which haven’t occurred to others – might prefer to work alone.


An outgoing, enthusiastic individual (who scores highly as a Resource Investigator) is likely to work best when interacting with others.


Students with Specialist tendencies may well enjoy learning for its own sake, whereas those with higher Shaper scores will probably be more focused on an end goal.


Each individual has a combination of preferred Team Role styles, not just one, so there can be a number of different roles interacting to produce the behaviours you see in the classroom.


Our handout, Belbin and Learning Styles, identifies the learning styles for each of the nine Belbin Team Roles, as well as the potential problems associated with each, so you can help your students get the best from your lessons.


Have a look at our learning styles handout here.


Belbin GetSet is a 15-minute questionnaire culminating in a workbook full of personalised advice and guidance for young people aged between 14 and 19. It helps them identify their strengths, project them in a positive way and manage their weaknesses effectively.


The Belbin GetSet programme also offers a variety of free resources such as lesson plans and 45-minute soft-skills modules. Please contact us for further information. Email or call 01223 264975.