Multiple Intelligences Analysis and Emotional Implications in STEM Education for Students up to K-12

Multiple Intelligences Analysis and Emotional Implications in STEM Education for Students up to K-12

Esperanza Rosiña, M. Luisa Bermejo, Miriam del Barco, Florentina Cañada, Jesus Sanchez-Martin
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0249-5.ch013
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This chapter investigates whether there is a relationship between emotional management and the prevailing intelligence profile of a sample of pupils in the last year of primary education and two years of lower secondary education with respect to their learning in STEM subjects. A questionnaire was designed to collect information on multiple intelligences and the emotional factor. The sample comprised 143 pupils from the 6th of primary education and 2nd and 4th of secondary education classes in a state school. It was found that the pupils with a predominantly logical-mathematical and/or visual-spatial intelligence also scored better on the items related to the emotional and adaptation factor in science classes.
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In the last 40 years, we have been witnessing a steady decline in scientific vocations. Fewer and fewer students are choosing to pursue degree courses related to STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) subjects (Vázquez & Manassero, 2011, 2008; Ardies, De Maeyer & Gijbels, 2015). Studies show that while pupils' interest in science is present in primary education, it decreases as they progress to compulsory secondary education. At this latter level, a progressive attitudinal depression is detected towards science content, with pupils pointing to them as being difficult and of no use for their everyday lives (Osborne, Simon & Collins, 2003). In any given class, there are pupils who have different ways of learning, and, as the teaching goes deeper into more abstract content, this separation grows. In part, this is because the teaching methods tend to be homogeneous, so that many pupils are left out with their interests or “other way” of learning not taken into account. According to Sánchez-Martín, Álvarez, Dávila & Mellado (2017a), awareness of pupils' emotions in face of the knowledge and practices in the classroom favours the teacher's control and direction of the teaching and learning process.

Until relatively recently, the pupils' emotional environment was not the competence of formal education which instead focused on teaching knowledge and social rules without taking into account the pupils' characteristics, individual skills, motivations, etc (Mellado et al., 2014). The present work revolves around two concepts of great relevance in recent years in the field of education: the affective domain and “multiple intelligences”, both related to the learner's integral cognitive and affective development.

The objectives that we set for the study were: (1) to determine the attitudes of pupils (ages 11 to 15 years) in 6th of primary and 2nd and 4th of lower secondary (denoted ESO in Spain) through their stress management, adaptability, and general mood in relation to learning STEM content; (2) to analyse the relationship of these affective factors with the different intelligences that the pupils present; and (3) to compare the results found between the different school years.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Multiple Intelligences: The theory of multiple intelligences is a model of conception of the mind. It was proposed in 1983 by the US psychologist Howard Gardner who later taught at Harvard University. In this model, intelligence is not a unitary set of different specific capacities but is rather like a network of interrelated autonomous sets. Gardner proposed that for the development of life one needs more than one type of intelligence.

Adaptability: The characteristic, and the degree, of being adaptable. In sociology, it is applied to a person's capacity to adapt or adjust to a new environment, new situation, different condition, etc.

Self-Efficacy: Confidence in one's own ability to achieve the intended results.

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