Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Application of Multiple Intelligence Theory to Increase Student Motivation in Learning History

Academic journal article Asian Culture and History

Application of Multiple Intelligence Theory to Increase Student Motivation in Learning History

Article excerpt


This study aimed at investigating the enhancement of motivation among low achievement students in the History lesson, after the multiple intelligence theory was integrated in teachers' teaching practices. The teachers were expected to apply a new approach with various teaching activities to motivate students to learn. The sample consisted of 68 low achievement students, who were then divided into two groups: 34 students were treated in the treatment group, while another 34 students were put in the control group. This is a quasi-experiment of non equivalent control group design. The questionnaire was distributed to students of both groups, to test the effectiveness of the integration approach. Analysis of the mean and standard deviation was conducted for both groups, while the null hypothesis was tested by the t-test. Based on the pre-test, there was no significant difference between the two groups. The post-test recorded significant motivational differences between the two groups studied. It was determined that the integrated History lesson with multiple intelligences had increased the level of motivation among students in the treatment group. This shows that diversity of methods and activities undertaken were able to change students' perception about the History subject and had increased their interests to learn History. Hence, it can be concluded that integrated multiple intelligence activities are able to increase students' motivation to learn History.

Keywords: multiple intelligence, student motivation, readiness, History subject

1. Introduction

2.1 Background

The History subject for the secondary school was upgraded as a core subject at par with other subjects namely Malay Language, English, Mathematics, Science and Islamic/Moral Studies. This is due to the fact that History subject has been recognized as a vital subject to develop great personality and identity among Malaysian students. The cultural elements in the History curriculum should be able to raise students' curiosity and the contents could be intelligently delivered by the subject teacher as interesting topics to be debated by students. A creative teaching and learning process would encourage students' interest and motivate them to learn the subject.

The common approach of teaching History lesson has been critised as too conventional and teacher-centred. The teaching and learning sessions were mostly dominated as one man show by teacher; students were not given fair opportunities to develop their talents and abilities. According to Abdul Rahim (1989), the common teaching approaches emphasize the rote methods; hence fail to exploit one's thinking skills, making the subject to be too dry, static and boring. The rote learning method disables students to participate actively and there is no ample opportunity for students to interpret, analyze and evaluate the learning materials. As a result, historical information is accepted as a rigid and unquestionable doctrine.

This calls for desperate measures and great efforts in developing historical thinking as it is crucial in improving learning performance and encouraging explorative learning. Despite extensive efforts have been made to improve the quality of teaching in schools, yet there are issuess need to be resolved through a variety of approaches. Past studies revealed that without teachers' creativity in learing History subject, students will have a lack of interest to learn certain subjects (Omardin & Yunus, 1996; Baghaei & Riasati, 2013). It will be terrible if students are forced to memorise names of prominent figures, dates and events without understanding the purpose and reasons of doing so. Historical events are not to be memorized but to be understood. One-way teaching method is outdated and does not provide chances for students to interact and expand their thinking. Low performance students in terms of cognitive behaviours are poor in the context of reading, reasoning and learning strategies (Meichenbaum & Biemiller, 1998; Lawrance & Vimala, 2012). …

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