The Effects of the Multiple Intelligence Teaching Strategy on the Academic Achievement of Eighth Grade Math Students

Article excerpt

Education has been the platform of many individuals in and out of politics. Often, the topic is focused on school test scores, student achievement, and the demand for highly qualified teachers in the classroom. The No Child Left Behind legislation mandates school systems to adhere to a curriculum that promotes academic growth. Therefore, teachers must incorporate strategies that will lead to increased academic performance. This applied quantitative study makes a comparison between two distinct instructional methods: Multiple Intelligence (MI) and Direct Instruction (DI). The current research examines how these methods affect the achievement scores in Mathematics. The results suggest that performance on a post mathematics assessment for students exposed to MI will show considerable increase when compared to those taught using DI.

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Currently a new definition applied to the word learning is one that recognizes the components of cognition, philosophical, and multicultural research. According to this definition, meaningful learning occurs when a learner has a knowledge base which when used with fluency, can make sense of the world, problem solving, and decision making (Denig, 2004). A curriculum that supports this perception is one that has a dual agenda consisting of content and process. This curriculum includes in-depth learning; involves student in real-world, relevant tasks; engages students in holistic tasks; utilizes students' prior knowledge (Kulieke, et al., 1990). Compared to the educational beliefs of previous generations, there is a shift in the theory, methods, and practices as it relates to educating children. It has been established that children develop and learn differently; therefore, it is essential that the strategies employed, reflect the changing view points. There are two types of pedagogy discussed in this study, namely Multiple Intelligence (MI) and Direct Instruction (DI), both of which have been shown to enhance the academic experiences of students across all content areas.

Statement of the Problem

The problem of the current research was to determine whether Middle Grades students achieve higher mathematics scores when they are taught using Multiple Intelligence strategies than when they are taught using the traditional Direct Instructional method. Subsequently, the aim of this project was to summarize and evaluate the subset of literature that has special relevance to the comparison of Multiple Intelligence and Direct Instruction. The standard course of study, the formal curriculum guide for the content areas of North Carolina (for any subject area) does not provide teachers with a list of methods they can use to adhere to the guidelines of the curriculums' goals and objectives. Therefore, the methods discussed in this research represent the trial and errors of one teacher who was trying to find a more proficient and effective method of facilitating learning in their content area.

Review of Related Literature History of intelligence

According to Traub (1998), intelligence is not a crisp concept, but a term of value. Theories about intelligence, but more specifically, general intelligence, have been the focus of discussion since the early twentieth century. For all intent and purposes, general intelligence, as defined in 1904 by Charles Spearman, is the kind of intelligence that is used to an extent in all intellectual tasks; it is what is supposedly measured by standardized tests, such as IQ tests and the SATs (Standard intelligence vs. multiple intelligences). Kaplan & Saccuzzo (2001), define intelligence as the general potential, independent of prior knowledge. Individuals such as Howard Gardner, the creator of multiple intelligence, has challenged the notion that intelligence is merely a score made on a typical standardized pencil-and-paper test used to predict success in school. As stated by Gardner, intelligence is the "biopsychological potential to process information that can be activated in a cultural setting to solve problems or create products" (Denig, 2004). …