Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Multiple Intelligences on Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analytic and Thematic Study *

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Effect of Multiple Intelligences on Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analytic and Thematic Study *

Article excerpt

Gardner (1983) introduced multiple intelligence theory (MIT) for the first time in his book, Frames of Mind (Trujillo, 2002). His work benefitted from the use of a variety of studies' experimental findings. Although he made use of psychometric and experimental psychology, his studies were not just limited to those disciplines. On the contrary, cognitive and developmental psychology, differential psychology, neuroscience, anthropology and cultural studies were also included in MIT studies. Gardner defined intelligence as producing valuable products in a culture, and characterized it as a potential biopsychology helping to process data, which can be activated in a cultural context to solve problems (Gardner & Moran, 2006). However, a number of definitions concerning intelligence have since been developed. One definition of intelligence states that it is not directly observable, concrete and fulfilled, but rather it can be observed through behaviors and is a complex structure that affects our daily and future behaviors (Johnson, 2013). Intelligence is also defined as being able to be discovered, adapted and formed, and has an ability to select context (Sternberg, 2014). Thus, it should be noted that intelligence is continuously in interaction with real life circumstances (Taylor, 2007).

Gardner's studies in MIT have had a profound impact, particularly on educational frameworks. During its years of early development, the theory was regarded as a solution to issues of learning in schools. In particular, classes, instruction programs and schools were reconstructed in the context of this theory (Gardner, 2005). However, as the curriculum of schools in these early years focused solely on verballinguistic intelligence and logical-mathematical intelligence, it should be kept in mind that those who were successful in those areas of intelligence were regarded as being intelligent and successful (Castejon, Perez, & Gilar, 2010; Harriman, 2010; Trevino, 2005). Gardner noticed this shortcoming and noted that information could be obtained about individuals' success in schools through standard IQ tests (Mussen, 2007). However, IQ is not an appropriate scale to obtain information about how successful an individual will be in life; it is also not a valid or accurate predictor of an individual's future (Babelan & Moenikia, 2010) because an IQ point just means the calculated values used to compare individuals' aptitudes with a society's representative sample (Gomez, 2009). Thus, MIT had a tremendous impact in 1983, and it has been used widely since then (Pack, 2011).

According to MIT, humans have seven different intelligences, namely verballinguistic, logical-mathematical, visual-spatial, musical-rhythmic, interpersonal, intrapersonal and bodily-kinesthetic (Gardner, 1986). However, Gardner has continued to develop his theory and has since added new intelligences, such as naturalist intelligence (Trujillo, 2002) and existential intelligence (Akbari & Hosseini, 2008) to his theory. One of the elements that enabled Gardner in constructing MIT was his examination of children and his understanding that each child had a different skill. Some were good at logical computation and others were good at verballinguistic or musical-rhythmic aspects. Under these circumstances, Gardner posited that intelligence was multifaceted, taking into account the fact that each human had definite intelligence/s, similar to having a definite personality (Gardner, 1998). Thus, it can be said that students learn an issue via different means, different intelligence areas and different senses, and in different circumstances through MIT (Kuo, Maker, Su, & Hu, 2010; Maddox, 2002). In the research carried out in this study, the success rates of schools where all teachers used MIT in six different education levels were used. It was seen in the evaluations carried out following MIT implementation that the success rates increased substantially every year, and consequently the theory had a positive impact on students' achievement performances (Harriman, 2010). …

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