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MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND APPLIED COMPUTING

Valuing the Theory of Multiple Intelligences in Formal Curriculum. New Trends
MARIANA NOREL, RODICA MARIANA NICULESCU, DOINA USACI, DACIANA LUPU Psychology and Educational Sciences Faculty Transilvania University of Braşov Address: Str. Nicolae Bălcescu, nr. 56, Braşov, 500019 ROMANIA mariana_norel@unitbv.ro, rodicanic@unitbv.ro, usaci@unitbv.ro, dacianalupu@unitbv.ro http://www.unitbv.ro

Abstract: - The paper present how curricular reform from Romanian educational system provided an adequate framework capable to implement new trends of differential and individualised education, in order to valorise the intellectual potential of each student. There are disseminated the results of a questionnaire applied to teachers from pre-university educational system, in order to establish the manner in which they approach the issue of differential learning using the theory of multiple intelligences in the educational process. Key-Words: - multiple intelligences, curricular reform, formal curriculum, differential education, student centred education can also be observed at the level of teachers training the reform project in Pre-university education initiated by National Ministry of Education from Romania in collaboration with of Educational Development Centre Boston, SUA. There were organised special trainings for national trainers pointing to differentiation of learning and applications of multiple intelligences theory. The American trainers’ experience was valorised by national trainers in their disseminations; the translated papers and books represented an important resource for teachers interested in implementing TIM in educational process. Through the new concept –„school centred on individuals”- the Howard Garner’s theory of multiple intelligences has, according to his statement, important educational influences. [3] „Education must aim to develop the human personality to its full potential and to strengthen the respect for both human rights and for its fundamental freedom.” [7], therefore, the child has the right to be treated differentiated so as to ensure a harmonious development of his personality, according to his own type of personality. Differential pedagogy –an them introduced by de L. Lengrand (1973)- has as foundation R. Cousinet, C.Freinet, J. Piaget, Ed. Claparède, H. Wallon, C. Rogers and L. Lengrand’s ideas. In this type of pedagogy the student is considered a person with his own representation about educational situation. It can be said that “it’s a various pedagogy that recommends a

1 Introduction
25 years ago, Howard Gardner created for the first time the theory of multiple intelligences [2]. As an adept of high standards and simulative expectances, Gardner starts with a critical approach of the American model of education considered “uniform” – a set of competencies and basic acquisitions of (logic-mathematical and linguistic) for each student to be obtained [2]; therefore, the same curriculum, the same methods and procedures, the same standardized evaluation methods on which students, teachers and schools are assessed. Howard Gardners’ theory of multiple intelligences has found a place in Romanian educational system – especially in primary education- a fertile field, open to modern approaches and to collaboration between all the educational actors (teachers, professors, students, councillors, parents). One can say that the implementation of multiple intelligences’ theory was conducted almost simultaneously with Gardners’ one in the American educational system (even though in the last decade of the former century, the Romanian teachers were intuitively using the multiple intelligences theory in the teachinglearning-assessing process). It must also be mentioned the manifested interest in translating the following books: “The Disciplined Mind”, in 2005, at Sigma Printing Press and “Multiple Intelligences. New Horizons”, in 2006, at only several months after the American edition. This synchronicity

ISSN: 1790-2769

441

ISBN: 978-960-474-124-3

there are children teachers who don’t accept. between the ministry and scholar and university institutions and over the institutional growth. Curricular reform from the last decade has an impute over the development of education at all the levels from the Romanian system. [6] Gardner sustains the idea that each person has a proper combination of these eight intelligence types linguistic intelligence. The impact study “School at a crossroad. Nowadays we need a complex and coherent reform which must bring to front teachers and students and which points to national curricula.. from both the urban and rural area stayed under the reform umbrella: scholar successes and insucces. then we can see that. In other words. It was part of Curriculum Module Reform Project in Pre-univesity Education. It was a complicated period. Curricular reform in Romania pending between aspiration and achievement The curricular reform was used. the attitude towards teaching. school managers. materialised as educational strategic plans.MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND APPLIED COMPUTING large area of actions. fight against or don’t want to know anything about the ISSN: 1790-2769 442 ISBN: 978-960-474-124-3 .” [8] As the impact study’s authors suggest “curricular reform in educational system aimed to improve the students’ learning performances. methodological guides and alternative manuals used at all four levels of preuniversity education: pre-primary education. a reform that must be understood and accepted on all levels and by social classes. continuity and change must be complementary. interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence. also aiming to achieve a better quality in education. All that was build with the help of teachers and students. till now. a fundamental one not just a partial one”. some time being recovered. we can say that the attitude of teachers towards all that is new has a decisive role in the implementation of reform principles. [5] The question should be . What does this reform bring as new? “If we look both at the educational politics’ situation in our country” and at the existent legislation. spatial-visual intelligence. there were reported some differences between the teachers training and occurred curricular changes. students and parents. implementing and constructing values for actual society based on knowledge.” [8] After the analyze was finished.] The fundamental option is clear: when school is at a crossroad. following the same ways and with the same rate”. the formative has a central place: if the teacher trusts the educational offer. naturalistic intelligence. it also an impute on how to design and develop the educational strategic plans. It highlights the need to represent in a new manner the “students at school as having an improved set of competencies. syllabuses.. Change and continuity in education”. after ten years since the reform started. Research and Innovation from Romania. if he is encouraged and if he benefits of special adequate training. to false democracy under which all must work in the same time. alternative manuals and auxiliary materials. Applying the theory of multiple intelligences in Formal Curriculum –a new trend? The formal curriculum includes curricular proposals agreed by the Ministry of Education. we can talk about certain and favourable curricular change occurred since 1998. Thus. the developed reform has been concentrated around relations area. secondary education and higher education. more or less felt and. in the first decade. if he succeeds to motivate the students and their parents.Does this goal remains as a declarative one or can we talk about a success of curricular reform? The educational agents’ opinions are different as we can see in the published studies about this issue. on different levels. co-funded by Romanian Government and Mondial Bank (RO-3724) and represents the result of quantitative and qualitative research. also initiative hopes and dreams” and there is also the need to create develop and talk about a new conception of “organizing. other times being accentuated. [. logical-mathematical intelligence. while contributing to their personality development. [3] 2. even now. It is also important the extent to which they want to understand and to accept the curricular changes and challenges. at the request of Ministry of Education and Research. Thus. According to the same author each individual has the capacity to develop these intelligences at an accepted level. syllabuses. the very first year of curricular reform. then we can talk about an educational system that lied under the sign of reform. musical intelligence. but all of them pointing in the same direction. through effects’ investigation of the curricular reform over teachers. by a collaborators’ team of Educational Centre 2000+.reflecting the actual orientation of Romanian educational system and the need to adjust after the European and Euro-Atlantic requirements. was realised in 2001. primary education. bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence. 3. opposed to uniformisation. otherwise they may generate instability or they may lead to an undesirable past. the methods used in teaching-learning-assessment process. a reform meant to change things not just to avoid risks.

33 12 1.47 7 1.5 2 2. to recognise your students their individual differences and also.96 4 1.assessment methods at the dominant intelligence and/or at students personal aptitudes. The first assessed aspect was the attitude towards multiple intelligences theory. The respondents answer by ticking on a scale starting from 1 to 5 (from 1 “very high” to “small measure”). demonstrated by an insignificant T test.74 2.67 11 2. in students and their parents attitude towards school and learning.25%) and 56 secondary school teachers (47.808 for the Alpha Cronbach coefficient. The study has a descriptive character. From the comparative analyses of means reported to global results (the sum of all items between 14 and 70) we can see there aren’t significant differences between nursery school teachers and primary school teachers regarding the perception and valorisation of multiple intelligences theory. The questionnaire has 14 items. active learning strategies.79 2.8). as follows: (1) Individual differences (2) Adapted Teaching for each student (3) Proper environment for differentiated teachinglearning-assessment (4) Use of active learning strategies (5) Intelligence type knowledge (6) Learning situations adequate to dominant intelligence type (7) Support for recognising personal talents (8) Activities for all types of intelligence (9) Specific criteria for assessment (10)Environmental design for all individual learning styles (11) Use of multiple intelligence (12) Informing parents about student’s skills (13) Involving parents in valorising the dominant intelligence type (14) Valuing Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory in teaching The research lot has 119 subjects.021 showing secondary school teachers are less interested in multiple intelligences theory.5 1 1. develop and encourage the students native talents thorough adaptation of the teaching-learning.93 3. to use in the educational activity.1 The comparative analyse between those 14 items and the extent to which teachers teach.18%) have a wider perspective reported to multiple intelligences theory and want to create more educational contexts where students can demonstrate their dominant type of intelligence. Comparatively analysing the importance degree for the seniority with the global score of the scales. 36 primary school teachers (30.5 Global_score_scale Fig.59 2.5 0. Using Multiple Intelligences Theory’s Application. But there are significant differences between primary school teachers and secondary school teachers.79 important 4 1 Less 2 important 11 14 1. we applied a questionnaire taken from Differential Instruction.52 1. but when they have more then 10 years in the work filed (11-25 years at their workplaces40. We establish a value of . lenght of service 3 1 50 2 3 40 Frequency 30 20 10 0 0. establishing the extent to which teachers identify.5 1 1.88 ISSN: 1790-2769 443 ISBN: 978-960-474-124-3 .34%) while teacher that are working in the system or more then 25 years have a even more low consideration for the theory of multiple intelligences.5 2 2. As a conclusion there can be said that teachers from secondary school are less receptive at the theory of multiple intelligence even though they declare it is important to know the individual differences because “each person is unique in her/his own way” (R.5 3 3.84 2.33 2.67 9 2.80 1. we can see that: teachers who are working for more then 10 years (41. In fact the answer at the following question: “Does the curricular reform in the Romanian educational system is just an aspiration or does it been achieved?” is reflected in each teacher didactical activity. (Fig1).5 2 2. in community involvement in education. Its’ objectives are: identifying the different perspectives of teachers about differentiated work modalities used in pre-university education. [1].69%).5 1 1. generated the following conclusion (Table 1): preschool teachers and those from the primary school consider that is the most important thing is to inform parents about their talents.94 Table 1 1 4 9 11 14 1. Importance Preschool Primary Secondary Degree Teachers School Teachers School Teachers Item Mean Item Mean Item Mean Most 12 1. a T test of -2.5 3 3. To analyse how differential learning is used while valorising the theory of multiple intelligences in the educational process. teachers in preuniversity education as follows: 29 pre-school teachers (22.5 0.64 14 2.06%). A Guide for Trainers and Teachers.349 with a signification of 0.5 3 3. representing the questionnaire reliability because there wasn’t made such an analyse.MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND APPLIED COMPUTING changes that would affect the educational process also their work.53 1 1.7) and “represents an individual with his/her skills and aptitudes”(R.

first of all. to develop the capacity to implement acquired acquisitions in various ways. but depends on preschool teachers.16). no matter to which curricular area their disciplines belong. found in the special literature (first of all we are talking about Howard Garners’ books) or because of good practice exchanges to which they participated as members of different national and transnational project (as results from the questionnaire). Here we found. but they think that ISSN: 1790-2769 444 ISBN: 978-960-474-124-3 . during the continuous teaching trainings periods. there is a weak responsiveness in order to adapt teaching approach in a way that allows the valorisation of students’ dominant intelligence types. they consider that modern lesson efficiency consists in the class created climate. however. Curricular_Area Language and Communication Mathematics and Sciences Technologies Arts Psysical Education and Sport parents have a decisive role in the development of students talents: “parents must know about their children talents. by using strategies of teaching-learning-assessment that develop each child’s capacities and in the end the students’ scholar success increases. There are also lots of teachers (especially those from primary school) that use and valorise TIM because they became interested in teaching-learning -assessing methods using a multiple intelligence manner or because their interest was risen by the trainings and they want to experiment a new method. activities they are gifted for we can say that “student centred education” happens not just at a declarative level. this receptivity is relatively low for teachers teaching disciplines from the following curricular areas “Technologies”. some modules presenting those new tendencies found in student centred education. In a school where students are motivated to learn. to act. in order to support and encourage him” also “a parent must be supported in order valorise their children talents” (R. This minus can be covered by introducing. however. at the idea to improve the educational activity using multiple intelligences. funded by CNCSIS Romania 6 Frequency 4 2 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Global_Score Fig. to acquire intellectual work techniques. Forming and developing the students’ trust in his/her forces. 2 Analysing the global scores registered on curricular areas results that 80 % of subjects. the theory of multiple intelligences is applied in various Romanian schools. The global scores regarding the responsiveness degree of secondary school teacher. change a lot his/her evolution. also encourages the active participation in the educational activities proposed by teachers and develops their responsibility. and for teachears that teach “Mathematics and Sciences” there is a large distribution (between 40 to 70). a certain shallowness regarding differential education for students. because some respondents considered very important to inform and to involve parents in valorisation of children’s dominant intelligence but less important teachers’ interventions for this purpose. but it represent a reality: school oriented towards children’s needs aims to maximise each student intellectual potential. to designing the learning environment according to individual types of learning. [4] In student centred education. 4 Conclusions By comparing the obtained results of the questionnaire with the direct observations. Most of the subjects like to adapt educational activities to the dominant intelligence type of each student. “Physic Education and Sport”. We think that because each student is unique. were analysed by reference to curricular area “language and communication” manifest the highest receptivity for valorising students’ dominant intelligences (the values distribution is between 10 and 40). to create abilities and scholar skills.MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND APPLIED COMPUTING Although teachers are informed about the importance of recognising the individual differences. it is shown that at the educational activities developed by primary school teachers. Acknowledgement: This paper and the research behind it is done under the project ID_203. the primary school teachers’ duty is to adept learning environment at pupils’ needs. While using various differential activities we teach students to think. primary school teachers and secondary schools teachers to find adequate methods and procedures for teaching-learning-assessment process in order to stimulate the combination of intelligences at students. in creating various possibilities of approaching by using the students’ dominant intelligence. the curriculum facilitates the development of different intelligences profiles for all students. “Arts”.

National Council for Teachers Training. L. trans in Romanian and published by Sigma Printing Press. Change and Continuity in Education”-An Impact Study. 2002 [2] Gardner. translated into Romanian and published at Sigma Printing Press. M. vol. Polirom Printing Press. Iaşi. 2000. 1999 [7] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights [8] Vlăsceanu. Iaşi. Multiple Intelligences Theory Applications. Multiple Intelligences. The actual reform in educational system. I. 2006. The K-12 Education That Every Child Deserves. Bucharest. Bucharest.). New York: Simon and Schuster (and New York: Penguin Putnam). H. 1993 [3] Gardner.. Series Quality in Education . The Disciplined Mind: Beyond Facts And Standardized Tests. Jody Spiro).. A Guide for trainers and teachers. 2004 [5] Marga. H.. Polirom Printing Press. New Horizons. A Member of the Perseus Books Group. Published by Basic Books. Lucia Gliga. National Education Ministry. H. 2006 [4] Gardner. in National Curriculum.. (coord. Bucharest.MATHEMATICAL METHODS AND APPLIED COMPUTING References: [1] Education and Research Ministry. 1999. Reform in educational system contents. 10th Edition. School at a Crossroad. Educational Strategic Plan.. Differential Education. A. Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences. 2002 ISSN: 1790-2769 445 ISBN: 978-960-474-124-3 . Bucharest. 1998 [6] Stanciu. (coord. Published by Basic Books.